In this article, we will explain to you the demerit point system in NSW and give you a quick breakdown of the number of points each licence holder has in NSW.


What are demerit points?

When an offence is committed, an offence which carries demerit points a person will be issued with a penalty notice. Once the penalty notice is paid, the demerit point(s) will be added to the Driver’s record.


If a person incurs the threshold number of demerit points within a three-year period, a licence suspension will be applied to that person’s driver’s licence.


A driver who has not committed any offences has 0 demerit points.



We have previously mentioned that once the threshold number of demerit points is incurred within a three-year period, a licence suspension will be applied to the person’s driver’s licence. Below is a breakdown of the demerit point threshold for each type of driver’s licence:


          Professional Drivers– 14 points

          Unrestricted Licence– 13 points

          P2 (Provisional Licence)– 7 points

          P1 (Provisional Licence)– 4 points

          Learner Licence– 4 points

          A holder of an Unrestricted Licence who has elected to be on a Good Behaviour Licence– 2 points for the entire duration of the good behaviour period.




Once a holder of an Unrestricted Driver’s Licence exceeds the demerit point limit Transport for NSW will send the Licence holder a ‘Notice of Suspension’ or a ‘Notice of Refusal’ and the notice will specify the commencement date of the suspension (or refusal).


The period of any suspension will be contingent on the number of demerit points which have been accumulated in a period:


·        If an unrestricted licence holder accumulates 13 to 15 demerit points:

3 months

·        If an unrestricted licence holder accumulates 16 to 19 demerit points:

4 months

·        If an unrestricted licence holder accumulates 20+ demerit points:

 5 months


It should be noted for unrestricted licence holders that there is no right of appeal to the Local Court against the decision of Transport for NSW to suspend or refuse an unrestricted driver’s licence. However, it should also be noted that holders of an unrestricted driver’s licence (only) who exceed the threshold demerit point limit have the option of electing to hold a Good Behaviour Licence to avoid sitting out (any) period of suspension.




P1 & P2 licence holders have a right of appeal against a decision of Transport for NSW for the suspension or refusal of a Provisional Drivers licence.


This means that if a holder of a P1 or P2 (provisional) drivers licence exceeds their demerit threshold limit, the provisional licence holder can lodge an appeal against the decision of Transport for NSW. Once your Appeal document(s) have been filed at the Court Registry (or in some cases Online) you will be given a Court date and you must attend that Court date to have your matter dealt with.


One common question which we receive day to day is…


‘‘If I don’t pay the fine & Elect to Take the Fine to Court, will I avoid demerit points?’’


If you elect to take a fine to court and the court deals with your matter by way of a ‘section 10’ or by way of a ‘Conditional Release Order without recording of a conviction’ then yes, you will avoid the demerit points as well as the fine payable.


However, if you take the fine to court and the Court convicts you (or in other words) the court does NOT deal with your case by way of a ‘section 10’ or by way of a ‘Conditional Release Order without recording of a conviction’, then you will incur the demerit points and you will have to pay the fine which you received originally.


Did you know that if the court convicts you of the fine which you elected to take to court, in some instances, the Court can increase the fine or even order that you be disqualified from driving in rare circumstances! It should be noted that the court also has the power to decrease the original fine which you have incurred therefore it is critical that you obtain advice from a legal practitioner and provide your lawyer with a copy of an updated driving record prior to electing to take any fine to court.


It is very important that you speak with a lawyer so that you can get the appropriate legal advice which you require prior to going to court.


Our team of experienced solicitors are there for you and can help you answer all your questions, so be sure to contact Nicopoulos Sabbagh Lawyers.


*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 9th November 2022.


*Please note that this page or any other pages on our website (including any other social media platforms for Nicopoulos Sabbagh Lawyers) are not to be considered as a substitute for legal advice or even other professional advice. It should also be noted that accessing of this information from this website does not create a client-lawyer relationship.


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