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Demerit points for different drivers

demerit points

If you break certain traffic rules, you get demerit points on your licence. Most drivers are suspended if they get 13 or more demerit points in 3 years. However, demerit limits depend on whether you are on Ls or Ps, unrestricted or you work as a professional driver.

Demerit point limits

Not all traffic offences incur demerit points. The most common ones are speeding, going through red lights, using a mobile phone – especially in school zones. However, the number of demerit points you can get before you lose your licence depends on what kind of licence you hold:

  • Unrestricted licence – 13 points
  • P2 licence – 7 points
  • P1 licence – 4 points
  • L licence – 4 points
  • Professional drivers – 14 points.

Find out how demerit points and suspensions apply to your licence.

Demerit points on your unrestricted licence

  • Unrestricted licence – 13 points in 3 years

If you have an unrestricted licence, the limit within 3 years is 13 points or more. When you reach that limit, your licence will be suspended.

The period of suspension depends on the number of demerit points you incur:

  • 13 to 15 points – 3 months suspension
  • 16 to 19 points – 4 months suspension
  • 20 or more points – 5 months suspension.

Demerit points on your learner licence

  • Learner licence – 4 points in 3 years.

If you are a learner, you can incur only 4 demerit points in 3 years. As many offences carry two demerits, or they occur during double demerit periods, it’s very easy to lose your licence. The suspension period is 3 months, no matter how many demerit points you have. You can’t choose a good behaviour period either.

Demerit points on your provisional licence

  • P2 licence – 7 points in 3 years
  • P1 licence – 4 points in 3 years

If you hold a P1 licence, your demerit point limit is the same as a learner – only 4 points in 3 years. As you are now unsupervised and inexperienced, it’s very easy to forget the basic road rules.

As a P2 holder, you have a 3-year limit of 7 demerit points. It’s not difficult to reach this threshold. For example, if you drive a restricted vehicle, you can incur 7 points in one go. Double demerit periods also demand particular attention to driving. If your licence is suspended, you have to stay on your P2 for a further 6 months.

For both P licences, the suspension period is 3 months no matter how many demerit points you get. You can’t choose a good behaviour period either.

Demerit points for professional drivers/rideshare

  • Professional driver/rideshare – 14 points in 3 years

A professional driver is a someone who transports goods or drives a bus, taxi or hire car. You must also be paid to drive for over 20 hours a week, which would include some rideshare drivers. If you have 13 points on your licence and receive a suspension letter, you have to let Service NSW know you are a professional driver with a higher limit.

Good behaviour periods

  • 2 or more points – lose licence for twice the suspension time

Drivers with an unrestricted licence who receive a suspension notice may find loss of licence too onerous for their work or home commitments. They can choose a 12-month good behaviour period, rather than lose their licence. However, If you get 2 or more demerit points during this period, you lose your licence for twice the original suspension time.

If you exceed your demerit limit twice within 5 years, you have to resit the Driver Knowledge Test that learners have to take.

Double demerit periods

During double demerit periods, you can quickly lose your licence for traffic offences that carry demerit points, such as speeding, mobiles and seatbelts. This is particularly true for learners and P platers, who can quickly exceed low demerit point limits.

Check your demerit points.

Find out the real cost of demerit points.

author image

Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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