go to top

Demerit Points

What are demerit points for?

The idea of demerit points is to encourage safe and responsible driving within the law. You need to know about demerit points to help keep your green slip price low.

The Australian demerit points scheme was introduced as early as 1969, before Europe and the US.

The scheme allocates penalty points or demerits for offences in five categories. These categories are parking, speeding, heavy vehicles, school zones and general offences. Penalties are higher in school zones and during holiday periods.

Double demerits apply for seatbelt, speeding, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences during public holiday times. 

Demerit point offences›

What are demerit point limits?

When do double demerits apply?

What is a Notice of Suspension or Refusal?

What are good behaviour periods?

How long do demerit points stay on your record?

How do demerit points affect greenslip prices?

Demerit point offences

Here are some common traffic offences that incur demerits, from low range to very severe:

Offence Demerits
Drive in bus or tram lane 1
Park in disabled space 1
Make illegal left or right hand turn at intersection 2
Overtake when unsafe 2
Not stopping at traffic lights 3
Not giving way when required 3
Use mobile phone when not permitted 5
Drive with 2 or more unrestrained passengers 6
Travel at excess speed over 45kmh 6
P1 or P2 holder drives restricted vehicle 7
Discard fire-risky object from vehicle during fire ban 10

 TfNSW provides a full list of all offences that incur demerit points.

What are demerit point limits?

Some people refer to “losing points” on their licence. This is not strictly true, as everybody starts off with zero points on their licence. You then accumulate demerit points with each offence.

Drivers accumulate demerit points on their licence until they reach a limit within a 3-year period. This period is measured from the first to the latest offence. The points limit for refusal or suspension of licence within that period is usually 13 points. It depends on your driver status or licence type:

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

Most drivers are suspended if they incur 13 or more demerit points in a 3-year period.

When do double demerits apply?

During double demerit periods, you get twice the usual number of demerits for speeding, seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and mobile phone offences. Double demerits apply from midnight of the start date to midnight on the finish date. Typically, a public holiday weekend includes Friday and Monday.

Double demerit periods for NSW each year are:

  • Australia Day
  • Easter
  • Anzac Day
  • Queens Birthday
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas and Boxing Days
  • New Years Eve.

During double demerit periods, you can very quickly lose your licence if caught committing a traffic offence.

What is a Notice of Suspension or Refusal?

Service NSW sends a Notice of Suspension or Refusal once you reach or exceed your demerit threshold. Service NSW also sends a warning letter if too many demerit points are starting to accumulate.

For unrestricted licences, the period of suspension depends on the number of demerit points:

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

For P and L licences, the suspension period is 3 months no matter how many demerit points accumulate.

What are good behaviour periods?

When faced with a Notice of Suspension or Refusal, some drivers choose the option of a 12-month good behaviour period rather than lose their licence. (This is not possible for P or L drivers). If they get 2 or more demerit points during this period however, they lose their licence for twice the original suspension time.

You have to apply online for a good behaviour period at least 2 business days before suspension begins. If later, you must visit Service NSW or motor registry with driver licence and suspension letter.

Drivers who exceed the demerit limit twice within 5 years, have to resit the Driver Knowledge Test as well.

How long do demerit points stay on your record?

Demerit points are part of your driving history. While demerits do age, they still remain on your driving record with the offences that incurred them.

After 40 months, the offence stays on your driving record but the demerit points come off your total.

Note: The NSW government ran a 12-month trial for motorists with at least one demerit point at 17 January 2023. If they maintained a clean record for 12 months to 17 January 2024, one demerit point would be removed from their licences from mid-April 2024. This trial has been extended another year.

How do demerit points affect greenslip prices?

When you get a greenslips.com.au calculator quote, insurers ask for the number of demerit points currently on your NSW licence. This shows them your willingness to drive safely and within the rules and, to some extent, your risk of having an accident.

There can be a big difference in price for a driver with demerits compared to a driver without demerits. Some vehicle owners can save a full $300 on their CTP greenslip premiums if they do not have any demerit points on their licence.

Check your demerit points here.

Get the cheapest price for your green slip here.

How it Works - more info

Youngest driver >

Youngest driver explained and how to reduce premiums. read more

Pensioner concessions >

What kinds of concessions you can claim as a pensioner. read more

Mythbusters >

Quickly separate the facts from fiction about CTP green slips. read more

Interesting statistics >

Statistics about motor vehicle accidents in the past year. read more

An explanation of the Fund Levy >

Cost of the Fund Levy and what it pays for. read more

Complaints >

How to make a complaint about your CTP insurer or SIRA. read more

Geographical zones >

Greenslip prices set using geographical zones by postcode. read more

Third Party Insurance Scheme >

The Third Party insurance scheme in NSW explained. read more

Lifetime Care and Support Scheme >

The Lifetime Care and Support scheme in NSW explained. read more

Injury claims >

What to do if you want to make a claim from your CTP insurer. read more

CTP Care >

Further benefits for NSW CTP claimants after 5 years. read more

State Insurance Regulatory Authority >

Government authority responsible for the NSW CTP scheme. read more

Scheme changes 2009 and 2010 >

History of major changes to the NSW CTP scheme. read more

Motor Accident Authority >

Previous authority responsible for the NSW CTP scheme. read more

CTP insurance >

Why you need CTP insurance and how it works. read more

What is a greenslip? >

Find out exactly what is meant by a green slip in NSW. read more

Who and what is covered? >

Who and what is covered by your CTP green slip. read more

At-Fault Driver Cover >

What is At-Fault Driver Cover and which insurer offers it. read more

Setting prices >

How green slip prices are set and how you could reduce them. read more

Discounts >

Discounts and ways to reduce costs on other insurance products. read more