How demerit points work
Find out about demerit points, demerit point limits, and how long demerits last.
What are demerit points?
Demerit points are penalty points that you receive if you commit certain offences. All drivers and riders start with zero demerit points. If you drive safely and do not break any laws, you continue to have zero demerit points.
If you commit an offence while driving or riding, you may have demerit points added to your record. Offences that attract demerit points also come with a fine.
If you reach your demerit point limit, your licence can be suspended.
Demerit points can be accrued while driving anywhere in Australia. If you commit an offence outside NSW, the number of demerit points that the offence attracts in NSW may still be applied to your licence.
Demerit point limit
Your demerit point limit is the number of demerit points you can accumulate before Transport suspends, or refuses to renew, your licence. If this happens, we will send you a Notice of Suspension or Refusal. The notice will include the date your suspension or refusal period begins.
Your demerit point limit depends on the type of licence you have:
How long do demerit points last?
Demerit points stay on your driving record; they are never removed.
Demerit points for driving offences are added to your record when the fine is finalised. This is when:
- a person pays a fine, or
- the fine is enforced by Revenue NSW, or
- if the court issues a conviction for an offence.
An offence can take time to be recorded on a driving record. For example, if a fine goes to court, it can be months before it is finalised and recorded with Transport.
Demerit point offences used in a licence suspension or refusal must be committed within 3 years of each other. The law does not specify a time-limit on the 3 year period that the offences must have occurred in. Transport doesn’t think it’s fair to penalise a person too long after committing an offence, therefore won’t consider offences older than 40 months towards a suspension. This ensures drivers are only suspended for recent offences.
A licence suspension is in addition to any demerit points and fines attached to an offence. For more, see Licence suspension and cancellation.
Use the demerit point check to see if you have any demerit points on your licence.
Double demerit periods
School zones and demerits
Some driving and parking offences can attract additional demerit points if you commit them in a school zone.
School speed zones operate on all school days, including school development days, when teachers may be at the school.
Double demerits can also apply in school zones during holiday periods. You can lose your licence if you commit an offence in an operating school zone during a holiday period. The larger number of demerit points that would apply to the school zone will be doubled.
For information about when school zones are operating, see the Centre for Road Safety website.
Repeatedly exceeding your demerits limit
If you repeatedly exceed your demerit point limit, increased penalties will apply to you.
Unrestricted licence holders
If you exceed your demerit point limit twice within 5 years, you will not be able to drive again until you:
- pass the Driver Knowledge Test
- complete a driver education course such as the Traffic Offender Intervention Program, delivered by a Transport-approved provider. You pay to do the course.
View or download the complete list of all approved providers.