How long does demerit points last? In New South Wales, demerit points are a system that track and punish drivers who break the road rules. For every offence, you’ll attract a certain number of points. If you accumulate too many points, you could lose your driver licence.
How Long Does Demerit Points Last in NSW?
Starting from the date of the offence, demerit points are visible on your licence for a period of three years. After three years, your licence will no longer show any active penalty points, and any additional points you acquire will not add to the total.
However, even after the three-year period, all demerit points you acquire remain on your driving record. The judge may take old ones into account when determining the harshness of your punishment if you continue to disobey the law.
How Long Does Demerit Points Last in NSW: The 40-month Rule
The majority of offences are documented together with their demerit points within four months after the offence date. An offence and demerit points associated with it might not always be recorded within that time. This could be because of appeals or additional delays.
Transport NSW will not apply demerit points that are older than 40 months (3 years and 4 months) towards a suspension so that you are not unjustly harmed by an old offence.
Kinds of Traffic Offences NSW
There are over 600 kinds of demerit point offences which are categorised into:
- Discard fire risk object
- General driving
- Heavy vehicles
- Intersections, lanes and zones
- Licence & registration
- Safe-t-cam/avge speed zone
- Seat belt & restraints
- Sound system
- Traffic light & signs
- Vehicle standards
For more detailed information about these offences, check out this list.
How to Check Your Demerit Points?
New drivers always start with zero demerit points. However, your driving record will be updated if you are found guilty of an offence that has a demerit point penalty. Moreover, your licence will be suspended or not renewed if you accrue more penalties than are permitted under the terms of your licence within a three-year period.
Any active demerit points added up in the previous three years and four months will be shown in the demerit point check. This is to give any unpaid fines or fines that have been postponed because of an appeal process time to be added to your driving record.
Here’s how to check how many demerit points you have accumulated or any demerit points accrued:
- Log in to your MyService NSW account.
- If your account is newly registered, you’ll need your NSW driver licence details or you vehicle’s plate number.
- Accept the terms and conditions.
- Review your demerit points record.
Most demerit points expire and are removed from your licence after four years.
What to Do if You Have Too Many Demerit Points?
- Check your demerit point balance. You can do this online or by calling Service NSW.
- Consider taking a defensive driving course. This can help you reduce the number of demerit points on your licence.
- Be more careful when you drive. Avoid speeding, driving under the influence, and other risky behaviours.
- Be aware of the demerit point limits for your licence type. Learners and provisional drivers have lower demerit point limits than full licence holders.
- If you are close to reaching your demerit point limit, you may want to consider applying for a Good Behaviour Licence. This will allow you to accumulate demerit points more slowly.
If you do reach your demerit point limit, you may face a licence suspension. The length of the suspension will depend on the number of demerit points you have accumulated and the type of offences you have committed.
If you are suspended from driving, you will need to reapply for your licence once the suspension period has ended. You may also be required to complete a driver improvement course.
It is important to note that demerit points stay on your licence for three years. This means that if you accumulate demerit points now, they could still affect your licence even if you do not commit any further offences for several years.
Apply for a Good Behaviour Licence
In New South Wales, you can drive with a temporary licence even if you have too many demerit points. A GBL, however, comes with restrictions. You must adhere to traffic laws and refrain from racking up extra demerit points. You risk losing your licence entirely if you violate the terms of the GBL.
The Road Transport Act 2013 provides for the requisites:
- The person must incur at least 13 or, in the case of a professional driver 14 demerit points, within the three (3) years after the day one has last committed an offence and these points have been recorded against the person.
- The person has receuived a notice of licence suspension.
- The person received a notice of licence ineligibility.
Note that you must not breach your Good Behaviour Licence. If you receive a violation citation for speeding, running a red light, or using your phone while driving in violation of the provisions of your good behaviour permit, you will lose your driving privileges for twice as long as the initial suspension period.
In addition, you cannot ever appeal a a suspension resulting from a violation of a good behaviour licence.
Got a Problem With Your Demerit Points Record?
If you are concerned and you want to know more, it is important to speak to a traffic offence lawyer as soon as possible. Our team at JB Solicitors can:
- Advise you on your legal rights and options. If you have a charge of a driving offence that carries demerit points, we can help you understand the charges against you and the potential penalties you could face. We can also advise you on minor offences that do not attract demerit points.
- Represent you in court. If you need to appear in court to answer a charge of a driving offence, a lawyer can represent you in court. We can present your case to the court and argue for a reduction in the number of demerit points you receive.
- Help you apply for a Good Behaviour Period. If you are concerned about your demerit point balance, we can help you apply for a Good Behaviour Period. A GBP allows you to accumulate demerit points more slowly, which can help you avoid licence suspension.
Contact us today.