1. How do demerit points work?
If you are charged with a traffic offence in Australia, demerit points may be applied and recorded on your traffic history. The number of demerit points you get varies depending on the type of offence.
The common offences that result in demerit points include but are not limited to the following offences:
- Speeding offences
- Seatbelt offences
- Traffic light offences
- Using a mobile telephone or device while driving
2. When will I get demerit points?
Demerit points apply from the date you commit an offence.
They will be recorded on your traffic history when one the follow occurs:
- The fine has been paid or referred to State Penalty Enforcement Registry (SPER)
- You are convicted by a court
- You have been issued with an order for an interstate offence
3. When will I get double demerit points?
In Queensland, double demerit points apply whole year around, not just during holiday periods.
People who repeatedly commit specific offences will receive double demerit points for the second or subsequent offence if the later offence was committed within 12 months of an earlier offence. The offence includes:
- Offences for speeding more than 20km/h over the speed limit
- Mobile phone offences
- Driver seatbelt offences
- Motorcycle helmet offences
You do not have to commit the same offence a second or subsequent time to receive double demerit points. The offence only needs to be within the same offence group.
4. What is the demerit point limit for my driver licence?
The number of demerit points you can get before you receive a sanction depends on your licence type.
Type of licence
Demerit Points limit
4 points within 1 year
4 points within 1 year
12 points within 3 years
Good behaviour licence
2 points within 1 year
If you exceed the demerit points that your licence type allows, your licence may be suspended or you may need to serve a Good Driving Behaviour Period.
Please note that your points do not reset when you progress from one license type to another.
5. What if I am a holder of an interstate or overseas licence?
If you are driving on an interstate or overseas licence and you get too many demerit points, the Department of Transport and Main Road will send you a notice telling you that your authority to drive in Queensland will be withdrawn.
The length of your suspension period will depend on the type of licence you held when you committed the demerit point offences.
6. How can I check my demerit points?
You may check the number of demerit points accumulated to your drive licence type by using the free online service.
However, you may not be able to use this service if:
- You have never had a driver licence
- You did not hold a valid driver licence in the past 5 years
- Your driver licence is cancelled
- Your driver licence has been transferred to another state or territory in Australia
- You are currently serving a Good Driving Behaviour Period or a Special Hardship Order
7. What happens if I have exceeded my demerit points limit?
- Learner Licence
- Your licence will be automatically suspended for 3 months
- Provisional/Probationary/Open Licence
- You will receive a document called “Accumulation Demerit Points – Notice to Choose”
- You may elect to serve a Good Driving Behavior Period for the next 12 months or to have your licence suspended for 3 months
- If you fail to respond, you will be deemed to have automatically elected to have your licence suspended
8. My license is suspended, but I need to drive!
If your license is suspended but you need to drive for work, you may apply for a Special Hardship Order. A Special Hardship Order is a court order that allows a driver with suspended provisional or open license to continue driving under restricted and specific conditions.
You may be eligible to apply for a Special Hardship Order if the license suspension would cause either:
- Extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of your means of earning a living
- Severe and unusual hardship to you or your family, other than by depriving your of your means of earning a living
For more information about Special Hardship Order, please click here.
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Special notice: This article is for informational purposes only and cannot be regarded as legal advice. Please contact us for specific advice tailored to your situation.