About demerit points

Learn more about demerit points and how they’re recorded.

What are demerit points?

A ‘demerit point’ is a penalty point issued to you if you commit a driving related offence from anywhere in Australia. These points get recorded against your driving record and are commonly given to you through a Traffic Infringement Notice (TIN). 

How do I check my demerit points?

See Check your demerit points for more information. 

How many demerit points do I start with?

All drivers start with zero demerit points. If you haven’t committed any offences, you’ll have zero demerit points. Safe driving will help you avoid getting any points. The more offences you commit, the more demerit points you’ll accumulate. 

 

The number of demerit points you get depend on the offence committed. The limit to how many demerit points you get in a given period of time, depend on the type of licence or permit you have. The table below shows you the demerit point limit for each licence and permit. 

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 go over your limit your licence will be suspended, unless you choose to extend your demerit point period. When you go over your limit, we’ll send you a demerit point notice with details of your suspension period and information on how to extend your demerit point period.

If you choose to serve your suspension, your licence will be suspended for 3 months (plus 1 month for every additional 4 points above the limit).
If you choose to extend your demerit point period, you’ll get to keep your licence or permit, however, if you get any demerit points in that 12 month period (from the nominated extension date) you’ll need to serve a suspension period for twice as long as your original suspension. 

How do I extend my demerit point period? 

You’ll need to let us know if you want to extend. Refer to your demerit point notice for more information.

What happens if I don’t extend?

If you choose not to extend you won’t need to do anything. Your licence/permit will automatically suspend by the date on your notice.

For overseas licence holders and unlicensed drivers

If you go over your limit, we’ll send you a disqualification notice.

Being disqualified means that for the period of your disqualification, you can’t: 

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

If you go over your demerit point limit, you’ll be disqualified for 3 months (plus 1 month for every additional 4 points above the limit).

For P platers

If you get a licence suspension, your probationary period gets extended. The extended time is the suspension length, plus an extra six months. 

 

If your licence or permit is suspended or cancelled you won’t be allowed to drive any motor vehicle in Australia or overseas. 

It’s against the law to drive if your licence or permit is suspended or cancelled.

If you do, you’ll:

  • Be fined and/or
  • Be imprisoned and/or
  • Have your vehicle impounded.

Your vehicle insurance may also be invalid.

What if I have a marine licence?

Your demerit point suspension won’t affect your Victorian marine licence.

Do I need to return my licence or permit card? 

Yes, you’ll need to return your licence or permit to us within 7 days of your suspension start date.

You can return it at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre or by mail:
VicRoads Licence and Registration Services 
Locked Bag 7000, Kew VIC 3101

What if I don’t return my card? 

You could be fined if you don’t return your licence or permit to us within the given timeframe.

 

After your extension, suspension or disqualification period is over, the demerit points become ‘inactive’ on your driver record.

We’ll:

  • return your card by post (for demerit point suspensions) or 
  • send you a new card with your updated probationary period (for P platers)

What if I get a non-demerit point suspension?

If you’re already serving a demerit point suspension and you get a ‘non-demerit point suspension,’ during this time, you’ll need to serve this new suspension or cancellation in full.

Your extended demerit point period or suspension gets paused until you’ve served the new suspension. 

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

Licence/permit cancellations

You’ll need to reapply for your licence or permit if it’s been cancelled. Your demerit point suspension resumes when you’ve got your new licence/permit.

 

If you commit a driving offence, VicRoads gets notified and the demerit points and offence details get added to your licence/permit record. 

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

What if I don’t have a licence or permit? 

If you don’t have a licence or permit, and you commit a driving offence, we’ll create a new record with this information.

When do points become active?

Your demerit points become ‘active’ from the date of the offence (not the date we record it) as sometimes our records are delayed because of: 

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

How long do points stay active?

Demerit points  stay active 3 years from the date of the offence, unless they’ve all been used for:

  • an extended demerit point period or 
  • a suspension or 
  • disqualification (served in full).

Can demerit points be used again?

Demerit points can’t be used again if the points have already been used for a disqualification, suspension or extension (that’s been served in full). They can be used if the offence has been withdrawn and your suspension/disqualification/extension has ended or withdrawn. If this happens, the points remain active on your record and still count towards your current total.

 

If you’ve received a Traffic Infringement Notice, you’ll need to:

  • Pay the fine (which means you’re responsible for the offence and the demerit points gets recorded against your name) or
  • Nominate the offending driver if you weren’t driving at the time (Go to Fines Victoria to Nominate another driver or view the road safety camera image)

What about company and organisation fines?

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

 

If you’ve received a Traffic Infringement Notice, you’ll need to:

  • Pay the fine (which means you’re responsible for the offence and the demerit points gets recorded against your name) or
  • Nominate the offending driver if you weren’t driving at the time (Go to Fines Victoria to Nominate another driver or view the road safety camera image)

What about company and organisation fines?

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

 

When you can appeal

You can appeal your suspension or disqualification 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
  • a mistake has been made in how many demerit points you’ve incurred in the relevant period.

When you can’t appeal

You can’t make an appeal if it’s about:

  • Work or
  • Family or
  • hardship or
  • contesting an individual offence or infringement notice.

Before you appeal 

It’s a good idea to get some independent legal advice about making an appeal. This could help you avoid costs you’ll need to pay if you lose the appeal. 

Some helpful sites: 

How to make an appeal:

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

Step 1: Give a written notice of your appeal (External link) to a registrar of the Magistrates’ Court. Go to Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (External link) to complete the form.

Step 2: Ask the registrar to endorse a copy of the notice and give you a hearing date.

Step 3: Submit a copy of the endorsed notice to us at least 14 days before the hearing date.

Send your copy by: 

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

 

Your suspension or disqualification can be paused until your appeal has been heard and decided. This is called a ‘stay’. You’ll need to apply to the Courts for a stay as this isn’t given automatically when you make an appeal.

How to apply for a stay

Go to Notice of appeal (application for stay - demerit points) to complete the application.

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: You won’t be able to apply for a stay if you don’t have a licence.

What happens if I don’t apply? 

If you don’t apply for a stay, your disqualification/suspension period will automatically begin on your notified date even if you’re making an appeal.

 

Need more help?

Call:  13 11 71 and speak to one of our friendly staff who can help.

 

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