About demerit points

Learn more about demerit points and how they work.

What are demerit points?

A ‘demerit point’ is a penalty point issued to you if you commit a driving related offence that has associated demerit points. These points are recorded against your driving record

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 which incur demerit points, 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. Your demerit point limit depends on what type of licence or learner permit you have.

Type of licence (if held) Details of demerit point limits
  • Full licence
  • Full car licence and a motorcycle learner permit
  • Full motorcycle licence and a car learner permit
  • 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
  • P1 or P2 licence
  •  5 points in any 12 month period
    OR
  • 12 points in any 3 year period
  • Overseas licence (or no Victorian 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 held), driver is 22 years of age or older
  •  12 points in any 3 year period

If your licence/learner permit is current, we’ll send you a notice saying that your licence/learner permit will be suspended unless you choose the extended demerit point period. 

If your licence/learner permit is already suspended or cancelled for another reason, you won’t have the option of extending your demerit point period; instead, your licence/learner permit will be suspended. 

What's an extended demerit point period? 

It’s a 12-month period where you’re allowed to keep driving, but your licence/learner permit will be suspended for double the suspension length that was originally offered if you: 

  • have your licence/learner permit suspended or cancelled for a driving offence, or 
  • commit an offence which has demerit points. 

This is designed to help you adopt safer driving practices.

How do I extend my demerit point period? 

You’ll need to let us know if you want to choose the extended demerit point period. Your demerit point notice will have instructions on how to do this.

What happens if I don’t extend?

If you don’t choose the extended demerit point period by the due date on your notice, your licence/learner permit will be suspended. It’s illegal to drive while your licence/learner permit is suspended; serious penalties apply if you do. 

How long will I be suspended for?

The suspension will be for 3 months (plus 1 month for every 4 points above the limit)

Return your licence/learner permit card

If your licence or learner permit is suspended, you must return your card to VicRoads within 14 days of the suspension starting. 

If your card’s been lost or stolen, we need a statutory declaration confirming this. 

Return your card (or statutory declaration) by: 

For P platers

If your licence is suspended while you’re on your Ps, your P1 or P2 period will be extended by the suspension length.  

What happens when the extended demerit point period finishes? 

If you chose the extended demerit point period, you don’t need to do anything once the period ends – the normal demerit point limits apply to you again (see above).

What if I have an overseas licence, or no licence at all?

If you reach or 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

The disqualification will be for a minimum of 3 months.

If your licence or permit is suspended 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.

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. 

 

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

If you were suspended, (presuming that you returned your card when you needed to), we’ll:

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

Overseas driver licence holders

If you hold an overseas driver licence and you’ve been here for less than six months, you can continue driving on your overseas driver licence. If you hold an overseas driver licence and you’ve been here for more than six months, you’ll need to get a Victorian driver licence. 

Go to Overseas drivers to learn more.

VicRoads is notified if you commit a driving offence. The demerit points (if applicable) and offence details are added to your licence/learner permit record. 

VicRoads records demerit points in accordance with the Road Safety Act 1986 and Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019.

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

If you don’t have a Victorian licence or learner permit, and we’re notified that you committed a driving offence, we will still record offence details and demerit points (if applicable) on your record. 

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.

Can demerit points be used again?

Demerit points can’t be used again if the points have already been used for an extended demerit point period or a disqualification or suspension (that’s been served in full). 

They can be used if an offence has been withdrawn and your extended demerit point period/disqualification/suspension has ended prematurely. If this happens, the points remain active on your record and still count towards your current total.

 

VicRoads can’t change or remove demerit points unless another agency directs us to. If you believe you weren’t the driver for an offence, contact Fines Victoria (External link)

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
  • An error has been made in the addition of the number of demerit points you’ve incurred in the relevant period.

These are the only grounds on which you can make an appeal. 

You can’t make an appeal because being suspended would cause you undue hardship, or to contest individual offences/demerit points. 

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]
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; 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 if:

  • the Court believes your appeal has a reasonable chance of success, and
  • You haven’t had your licence/learner 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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