As a driver within NSW, it is vital that you are aware of your rights and obligations.
Where a driver does not comply with the roadside rules, they may be subject to the Demerit Points Scheme.
What is the Demerit Points Scheme?
This scheme is a national program that allocates penalty points for driving offences. Along with financial penalties, demerit points provide a strong incentive to drive within the law.
How demerit points work?
The demerit point scheme is administered by NSW Roads and Maritime Services. It allocates penalties, which are known as demerit points, for certain driving offences. If you accumulate a specified number of demerit points within a three year period, your licence will be suspended.
How many demerit points are you entitled to?
The amount of demerit points you have depends on the licence you hold.
a. Normal unrestricted drivers licence
Generally, unrestricted licence holders have a demerit point limit of 13 points within a three year period.
You are eligible to hold an unrestricted licence once you complete the following 6 steps over the course of 4 years: –
- You must pass the Driver Knowledge Test to get your learner licence (L’s);
(a) If you are under 25, you must complete 120 hours of supervised driving practice and hold drivers licence for 10 months
(b) If you are over 25, you can proceed to step 3.
- You must attempt the Hazard Perception Test (HPT). This is a computer-based touch screen test that measures your ability to recognise potentially dangerous situations on the road and respond appropriately
(a) If you are under 25, you need to hold your learner licence for at least 12 months and complete 120 hours of supervised driving practice, including 20 hours at night, before moving to step 4.
(b) If you are over 25, you can go straight to step 4 after you pass the HPT
- You must then book and pass the driving test to get your provisional P1 (red) licence). You will need to hold your P1 licence for at least 12 months before you can progress to step 5.
- You are then eligible to apply to a provisional P2 (green) licence. You need to hold your P2 licence for at least 24 months before you can progress to step 6.
- Once the above steps are completed, you are then eligible to progress to a full unrestricted licence.
– Note: P2 drivers who receive a suspension for unsafe driving behaviour must stay on their P2 licence for an extra 6 months for every suspension they receive.
b. Professional Drivers
Professional drivers licence holders have a demerit point limit of 14 points within a three year period.
You are eligible for a professional drivers licence if you hold an unrestricted license and you are a:
- Motor vehicle driver who transports goods either inter and/or intra state, or
- Bus, taxi or hire car driver who holds an authority issued under the Passenger Transport Act 1990.
The following conditions apply: –
- You must earn an income for the driving work and drive more than 20 hours per week. Volunteer drivers do not qualify.
- You must have been a professional driver on the date of your last demerit point offence and on the date the notice of suspension was given.
You do not qualify as a professional driver if: –
- Driving a motor vehicle is incidental to your primary work such as a tradesperson, salesperson, tow truck operator etc
- Your primary work is driving an implement (bulldozer, road roller etc)
- You have not held a licence for more than 6 months because it expired or was disqualified
- Your primary work is personally driving a motor vehicle but the driving is not for the purpose of transporting goods
- Your primary work is personally driving a motor vehicle to transport people but the driving is not for the purpose of transport
- Your driving is only to transport yourself to a place of work or education