About demerit points

Demerit points are designed to encourage you to drive more carefully and to change poor driving behaviour.

Demerit points are designed to encourage you to drive more carefully and to change poor driving behaviour.

If you commit certain driving offences, the appropriate number of demerit points will be recorded against your driver licence/learner permit.

Visit demerit point offences for more information on the common offences that incur demerit points.

How do I get demerit points?

It’s a common misconception that everyone starts with 12 demerit points, and that you lose points for committing driving offences. In fact, it’s the other way around.

  • All drivers start with zero demerit points.
  • Drivers can get demerit points for committing driving offences anywhere in Australia.
  • The number of points you get will depend on the driving offence. 
  • If you get too many points in a certain period you could lose your licence/permit (or be unable to get one for a period of time) – see ‘Demerit point limits’ below for details.

How can I check my demerit points?

To find out how many demerit points you have, simply:

  • call 1300 728 977 (24 hours, 7 days a week) and have your licence/learner permit details ready
  • visit a VicRoads centre with your Evidence of Identity.

Both of these services are free of charge.

Please note: if you have an overseas licence (or no licence) you won’t be able to use this service. Please call 13 11 71 and speak to one of our staff.

For more detail about your driver history, order a Driver History Report (fees apply).

If you want to find out more information about an individual offence visit Fines Victoria.

If you reach or exceed the demerit point limit for your type of licence/permit, you’ll be sent a demerit point notice and you could lose your licence/permit.

Your demerit point limit depends on the type of licence/permit you have. Limits also apply for driving with an overseas licence or without a licence/permit at all (remember, driving without a licence/permit is illegal!). See the table below for details.

Type of licence (if held) Details of demerit point limits
Full licence
  • 12 points in any 3 year period
Learner permit only
  • 5 points in any 12 month period
    OR
  • 12 points in any 3 year period
Probationary P1 or P2 licence
  •  5 points in any 12 month period
    OR
  • 12 points in any 3 year period
Overseas licence holder or no licence, driver is less than 22 years of age
  • 5 points in any 12 month period
  • OR
  • 12 points in any 3 year period
Overseas licence holder or no licence, driver is 22 years of age or older
  •  12 points in any 3 year period

Please note: if you have a full licence AND a learner permit, the full licence demerit point limit will apply.

If you have a Victorian driver licence or learner permit, you’ll get a demerit point notice from VicRoads stating that your licence/permit will be suspended for a period of time (3 months + 1 month for every additional 4 points on your notice) – unless you elect to extend your demerit point period.

This is an important decision to make. If you elect to extend your demerit point period, you’ll need to modify your driving behaviour or risk a longer suspension period

If you don’t want to extend your demerit point period, you don’t need to do anything. Your licence/permit will be suspended automatically by the date on your demerit point notice.

Extend your demerit point period

Your demerit point notice will give you the chance to keep your licence/permit, but if you get any more points in the next 12 month period, you’ll be suspended for twice as long as the original suspension period. This is known as an extended demerit point period.

If you want to extend your demerit point period, you’ll need to let us know (see your demerit point notice for instructions).

If we don’t hear from you, your licence/permit will be suspended automatically on the date specified on your notice.

Overseas licence holders and unlicensed drivers

If you get too many points you’ll get a disqualification notice from VicRoads. While you’re disqualified, you’re not allowed to:

  • drive on Victorian roads
  • get a Victorian driver licence or learner permit.

The amount of time you’re disqualified for will depend on how many demerit points you have (3 months + 1 month for every additional 4 points on your notice).

Information for P platers

If your P1 or P2 licence is suspended because of demerit points, your probationary period will be automatically extended.

Your new probationary period will be your existing probationary period PLUS your suspension period PLUS an additional 6 months.

Making an appeal to the Magistrates’ Court

Find out more under ‘Making an appeal’ on this page

While your licence/permit is suspended or cancelled, you’re not allowed to drive any motor vehicles on the road .

It’s against the law to drive anywhere in Australia or overseas while your licence/permit is suspended or cancelled, and if you do, you could be fined, imprisoned or your vehicle could be impounded. Your vehicle insurance could also be invalid.

Please note: a driver licence/ learner permit demerit point suspension doesn’t affect your Victorian marine licence.

Returning your licence/permit card

If your licence/permit is suspended, you’ll need to return your licence/permit card to VicRoads within 7 days of your suspension start date to:

VicRoads Licence and Registration Services
Locked Bag 7000, Kew VIC 3101

If you don’t return your card you could be fined or prosecuted. If your card has been lost or stolen you’ll need to provide a Statutory Declaration to confirm this.

VicRoads records demerit points in accordance with the Road Safety Act 1986 and Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2009.

If you’ve committed a driving offence, we’ll add the details of the offence and associated demerit points to your licence/permit record as soon as we’ve been notified. If you don’t have a Victorian licence/permit, we’ll create a record and keep this information

Your demerit points are applied (or active) from the date of the offence (not the date that we record it), as sometimes our records are delayed for reasons like:

  • court proceedings
  • late payments of a traffic infringement notice.

Your demerit points will stay active for 3 years from the date of the offence (unless they’ve all been used for an extended demerit point period, suspension or disqualification that you’ve served in full).

On some occasions (e.g. where court proceedings are involved) it may take some time for VicRoads to be notified of the offence. This means that demerit points older than 3 years may still be active if they fall within any 3 year period and the demerit point limit is exceeded.

Once you’ve served your extended demerit point period, suspension or disqualification period in full, the associated demerit points will become inactive on your record.

If your licence/permit was suspended, we’ll return your card to you by post. If you had a P1 or P2 licence suspended, we’ll send you a new card with your updated probationary period (so long as you sent your original card to VicRoads).

If you’ve been sent a Traffic Infringement Notice, you need to either pay the fine or nominate the offending driver if you weren’t driving at the time of the offence.

If you pay the fine you’ll be held responsible for the offence, and the associated demerit points will be recorded against your name.

To nominate another driver or view the road safety camera image, visit fines.vic.gov.au.

Company and organisation fines

If a company or organisation receives a Traffic Infringement Notice for a driving offence, it must nominate the responsible driver. Failure to do this could result in significant penalties.

If you commit a non-demerit point driving offence that results in the suspension or cancellation of your licence/permit, your suspension or extended demerit point period will be paused while you serve this new suspension/cancellation in full.

Please note: if you’re on an extended demerit point period, this only applies to demerit point notices issued from 1 July 2015.

Non-demerit point suspensions

If your licence/permit was suspended, your demerit point suspension will resume once you’ve served this new suspension in full (so long as you still have a current licence/permit).

Licence/permit cancellations

If your licence/permit was cancelled you’ll need to re-apply for your licence/permit. Once you’ve got your new licence/permit, your demerit point suspension will resume.

If you want a review of your traffic infringement you’ll need to contact the agency that issued the infringement (e.g. Civic Compliance Victoria). If your offence is withdrawn, the associated demerit points will also be withdrawn. Visit fines.vic.gov.au to find out more.

You can make an appeal to a Magistrates’ Court under Section 46H of the Road Safety Act 1986 if you believe that:

  • VicRoads recorded demerit points other than as required by law
  • an error has been made in the addition of the number of demerit points you incurred in the relevant period.

You cannot make an appeal for any other reasons (including work, family, hardship or other commitments).

If you want to contest an individual offence or infringement notice, do not make an appeal. You’ll need to ask for a review of your traffic infringement instead. Find out how in the section above.

How to make an appeal

If you believe we’ve made an error in recording or adding your points you can appeal your suspension/disqualification. If you choose, you can seek independent legal advice about lodging an appeal. This could help you avoid possible costs if you lose the appeal.

Your appeal must be in the 28 days after your suspension or disqualification start-date (as shown on your demerit point notice).

To make an appeal you need to:

  1. Give written notice of your appeal to a registrar of the Magistrates’ Court – the necessary form will be provided by the Magistrates’ Court and is available on the Magistrates’ Court website 
  2. Ask the registrar to endorse a copy of this notice and provide you with a hearing date 
  3. Provide a copy of this endorsed notice to VicRoads at least 14 days before the hearing date.

Send your copy of the endorsed notice by one of the following methods:

Email: [email protected]
Fax: (03) 9854 2399
Post: VicRoads, Licence and Registration Services, Locked Bag 7000, Kew, Vic 3101

Pausing your suspension/disqualification during your appeal

If you’re making an appeal, you can apply to the Courts to have your suspension or disqualification paused until your appeal has been heard and decided. This is called a ‘stay’.

A stay is not automatically granted when you make an appeal. If you don’t apply for a stay, your disqualification/suspension period will automatically begin on your notified date even if you’re appealing it.

The court may stay (i.e. pause) your suspension or disqualification period if you meet both of the following conditions:

  • Your appeal has a reasonable chance of success
  • You haven’t had your licence/permit suspended or cancelled in the 3 years before your application.

Please note: drivers that don’t have a licence are not eligible to apply for a stay.

What happens if you lose or abandon your appeal

  • withdraw your appeal less than 4 days before your hearing date
  • don’t appear at your hearing
  • lose your appeal
  • adjourn (put off the case until a later date) your hearing date without contacting VicRoads beforehand – Note: the best contact details are on the appeal form.

How can I check my demerit points?

To find out how many demerit points you have, simply:

  • call 1300 728 977 (24 hours, 7 days a week) and have your licence/learner permit details ready
  • visit a VicRoads centre with your Evidence of Identity.

Both of these services are free of charge.

Please note: if you have an overseas licence (or no licence) you won’t be able to use this service. Please call 13 11 71 and speak to one of our staff.

For more detail about your driver history, order a Driver History Report (fees apply).

If you want to find out more information about an individual offence visit Fines Victoria.

Can demerit points be used again?

If your points have been used for a disqualification, suspension or extension (that’s been served in full) they can’t be used again.

If your driving offence is withdrawn and your suspension/disqualification/extension is cancelled, your associated demerit points have not been “used”. This means they’ll remain active on your record and will count towards your demerit point total.

How long do demerit points last for?

Your demerit points will be active on your record for 3 years from the date of the offence (unless they’ve been used for a suspension/disqualification/extension that’s been served in full).

If your demerit points have been used (in full) for a suspension/disqualification/extended demerit period, they can’t be used again.

On some occasions (e.g. where court proceedings are involved) it may take some time for VicRoads to be notified of the offence. This means that demerit points older than 3 years may still count if the offence date falls within any 3 year period and the demerit point limit is reached.

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