Print

Loss of entitlement to drive - demerit points

Description
 - Minimum number of points resulting in suspension or ineligibility 
 - Varying length of suspension or ineligibility 
 - Serving Notices of Suspension or Ineligibility 
 - Period of Good Behaviour 
 - Driving interstate 
 - Speed cameras 
 - Appeals

Description
Demerit points are accumulated by a driver when:

  • a driver accepts a traffic infringement notice for a demerit points offence by paying the relevant fine;
  • a driver enters into a Payment Variation to pay the fine by instalments with the Monetary Penalties Enforcement Service:
  • the alleged offender does not pay a traffic infringement notice fine for a demerit points offence within 28 days of service of the notice;
  • a court awards demerit points.

Note - when a person reaches their demerit point limit, they do not lose their licence until after they receive a notice of demerit point suspension.

Traffic Infringement Notices specify the:

  • offence
  • number of demerit points awarded
  • fine payable for the offence.

Demerit points can be accumulated due to offences committed either in Tasmania or on the mainland.

The Registrar of Motor Vehicles records the demerit points against the driver when the Police Department, Justice Department or interstate licensing authority advise the points have been accepted or awarded.

Depending on the number of demerit points accumulated, drivers may:

  • have their licence suspended
  • be ineligible to hold or obtain a driver licence.

A learner driver is only subject to the issue of a TIN for certain prescribed offences, including:

  • speeding and parking offences;
  • Parking offences(Parking offences do not incur demerit points);
  • Failure to display L-plates; and
  • Driving without an appropriate supervisory driver

Demerit points cannot be awarded to learner drivers for any other offence without a court conviction.

Demerit points are recorded as at the date of the offence.   The demerit points are taken into consideration, for a period of three years from the date of the offence, when calculating the total number of demerit points accumulated by a driver.  After three years from the date of the offence, the demerit points are no longer taken into consideration.

If a person accumulates or exceeds specified numbers of points, two things may occur:

  • if the person holds a licence - their licence will be suspended
  • if the person does not hold a licence - they will be ineligible to hold or obtain a driver licence for a specified period of time.

Minimum number of points resulting in suspension or ineligibility
Customers may check their number of accumulated points by contacting Service Tasmania Shops.

Unlicensed driver accumulates

  • 4 or more demerit points within any 12-month period (from date of first offence)
  • 12 or more demerit points within any 3 year period

This applies to a person who:

  • has never held a licence issued in Australia, or
  • does not hold a licence but would be issued with a learner or provisional licence.

Result - Ineligible to hold or obtain a driver licence for 3 months or greater

Learner licence holder accumulates

  • 4 or more demerit points within any 12 month period or less (from date of first offence)
  • 12 or more demerit points within any three year period

Result - driver licence is suspended for 3 months or greater
Note - accumulated points will be carried over to a provisional licence.

Provisional licence holder accumulates

  • 4 or more demerit points in a 12 month period or less (from date of first offence)
  • 12 or more demerit points within any three year period

Result - driver licence suspended for 3 months or greater

If the driver licence is suspended within the first 12 months of the provisional period, then the provisional period will recommence at the end of the licence suspension and any conditions also recommence.
If suspended after completion of at least 1 full year of provisional period and no alcohol condition then provisional period extended by period of suspension and also have the no alcohol condition.

Basic (Full) licence holder accumulates

12 or more points in a 3 year period or less (from date of first offence)
Result - driver licence suspended for 3 months or greater

Period of Good Behaviour holder accumulates

More than 1 demerit point within 12 month period of good behaviour
Result - driver licence suspended for twice the initial period of suspension

The period of licence suspension does not begin until after the holder has received a notice of licence suspension in the mail. This notice of licence suspension is not the traffic infingement notice.

Varying lengths of suspension
The length of suspension or ineligibility varies depending on the licence held and the period in which the demerit points were accumulated.

Points
in 3 years Licence suspension or
period of ineligibility
12 - 15 3 months
16 - 19 4 months
20 or more 5 months

This system applies to all drivers - including learners and provisionals who will continue to be subject to a 3 month suspension for 4 points accumulated within 12 months.

For a period of good behaviour - 2 points or more in any period - then the original period of suspension as shown in the table above is doubled.

Serving Notices of Suspension or Ineligibility
When a driver or licence holder has exceeded the number of demerit points for suspension or ineligibility, the driver will be served with a notice of suspension or ineligibility requiring the person to:

  • return the licence (if they have one) unless they are to enter into a period of good behaviour
    - in person at Service Tasmania shops or designated police stations.
  • make an application to enter into a period of good behaviour
    - through the mail or in person at Service Tasmania shops or designated police stations Tasmania shops or designated police stations.

Licence holders are permitted to drive until the earlier of:

  • 21 days after they receive the notice of licence suspension; or
  • when returning their licence after receiving the notice of licence suspension.

Customer provides

their licence (if they have one)
If returning their licence in person:

  • a receipt for the payment of the fine for their last known demerit point offence (if this is not recorded on the system)

Customer receives

  • Notice of Suspension or Ineligibility
  • receipt for the licence (if provided)

Period of Good Behaviour
A Period of Good Behaviour (12 month) can be applied for by:

  • a basic licence holder who has been served a notice of suspension or ineligibility.

A Period of Good Behaviour cannot be applied for:

  • by provisional or learner licence holders
  • or when the licence has expired for more than five years.

Accumulate more than one demerit point during the 12 month Period of Good Behaviour:

Result - the driver licence will be suspended for twice the period of original suspension.

Customer provides

complete the section on the notice of suspension or ineligibility
- in person at Service Tasmania shops or designated police stations.

Customer receives

basic licence with the condition - Period of Good Behaviour

Driving interstate
Tasmanian licence holders driving  in another State/Territory and awarded demerit points on the national schedule for offences:

Result - the Tasmanian Motor Registry will be notified and points recorded by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

Other State/Territory licence holders (or unlicensed drivers) driving in Tasmania and awarded demerit points on the national schedule for offences:

Result - the State/Territory licensing authority will be notified by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

Speed cameras
Speed camera offences committed before the service of the initial traffic infringement notice for a previous offence:

Result -  the Commissioner of Police may withdraw the points for the new offence.

Contact Traffic Liaison Unit, Liverpool Street, Hobart (03) 6230 2280.

Appeals
A court appeal may be undertaken in relation to demerit point offences.

Information on offences and demerit points