The Demerit Points System is a national program that allocates penalty points for a range of driving offences. The scheme is designed to encourage safe and responsible driving by imposing financial penalties on drivers who drive outside the law.
How do demerit points work?
The demerit point scheme is administered by the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services.
It allocates penalties which are known as demerit points. If you accumulate a specified number of demerit points within the 3-year period, your license will be automatically suspended.
If you have an unrestricted licence, you are allowed up to 13 points within a 3-year period. This increases to 14 points for professional drivers (such as truck drivers or bus drivers).
Each time you commit a driving offence, you will receive a notification in the mail along with the penalty notice. Points will be added to your license, and if it reaches the maximum number of points, you will receive a notice of suspension which will specify how long your drivers’ licence will be suspended.
Although demerit points are no longer counted after 3 years, they remain on your driving record permanently.
What are the demerit point limits?
The limits are:
- Unrestricted licence: 13 points
- Professional drivers: 14 points
- P2 licence: 7 points
- Learner licence: 4 points
What are the suspension periods?
For unrestricted licence holders, the period of suspension depends on the number of points you accumulate:
- 13 to 15 points: 3 months suspension
- 16 to 19 points: 4 months suspension
- 20 or more points: 5 months suspension
For both learner, P1 and P2 licence holders, the suspension period is 3 months.
What are the double demerit periods?
Double demerit points apply for speeding, failure to wear a seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and use of mobile phones during all holiday periods such as long weekends, Christmas, New Year and Easter.
How do you find out your demerit points balance?
You can check your demerit points balance online on the NSW Roads & Maritime Services website (click here).
What happens if you do not pay your penalty notice fine?
If you fail to pay your penalty notice fine by the due date, you will be issued with an enforcement order. You will also face the penalty of additional demerit points for a failure to pay the fine.
Your driver licence can also be suspended under the Fines Act 1996 if you do not pay your outstanding penalty notice.