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Demerit Points (Vic)

Updated on Sep 01, 2023 4 min read 1376 views Copy Link

Michelle Makela

Published in Dec 07, 2015 Updated on Sep 01, 2023 4 min read 1376 views

Demerit Points (Vic)

In Victoria, driving offences can attract demerit points as well as other penalties. Demerit points are recorded against a driver’s licence and if more than the maximum number of points is accrued, the driver may have their licence suspended. This system exists to encourage drivers to be careful when driving and to discourage irresponsible driving behaviour.

In Victoria, VicRoads manages the demerit points system. Its website has a list of  offences and the points applied to each.

If a person is driving in Victoria but has a licence issued by another state, then their home state’s driving authority will record demerit points against their licence as if the offence had been committed in their home state. The points are also recorded against the driver in Victoria. Likewise, if a person is driving interstate on a Victorian licence, accrued demerit points are recorded against the driver in that other state, as well as in Victoria.

Demerit point limits

The number of demerit points a driver can accumulate before VicRoads suspends their licence depends on the type of licence that they hold. This information is set out in the table below.

Type of licenceDemerit point limit
Full licence12 points in any 3-year period
Learner permit5 points in a 12-month period or 12 points in a three-year period
Probationary P1 or P2 licence5 points in a 12-month period or 12 points in a three-year period
Overseas licence holder where the driver is less than 22 years of age5 points in a 12-month period or 12 points in a three-year period
Overseas licence holder where the driver is 22 years of age or older12 points in a 3-year period

Australian licences and learner permits

If an Australian licence or learner’s permit holder reaches the maximum number of demerit points allowed, VicRoads will send them a Demerit Point Notice advising the automatic suspension of the person’s driver licence and the duration of the suspension. It will also provide a choice of two options.

Suspension period

The first option is to accept a three-month licence suspension with an additional one month suspension for every four points incurred in excess of the 12 that are allowed. If this option is selected, VicRoads will then send an additional letter advising the dates between which the suspension will apply. Once the disqualification period is served without further incident, the driver’s licence is returned with the demerit points removed.

Extension of demerit point period

The second option is to extend the demerit point period by a further 12 months during which they must demonstrate responsible driving and must not incur any further demerit points. Should a driver who chooses to extend their demerit point period incur a single demerit point during this 12-months, their licence will be automatically suspended for twice as long as the original suspension that would have applied.

If a licence holder does not respond to a Demerit Point Notice within 21 days, their licence will automatically be suspended from the date stated on the notice. This cannot be appealed.

Unlicensed and overseas drivers

Drivers who are unlicensed or who are driving on an overseas licence do not have a licence that can be suspended. However, they can be disqualified from driving on Victorian roads, and from obtaining an Australian licence for a period of at least three months, plus an additional month for each additional four demerit points accrued.

These drivers will not be offered the option of extending the demerit point period. A Disqualification Notice will be sent advising the driver of when their disqualification period begins and its duration.

What can I do about a licence suspension?

If a driver accepts that they have committed an offence that attracts demerit points, they have no recourse to reducing or cancelling the licence suspension. The court does not have jurisdiction over demerit points as these are managed by VicRoads.

Under section 46H of the Road Safety Act 1986, a driver can appeal decisions about demerit points in court on only two bases:

  1. VicRoads has recorded demerit points other than as required by law; or
  2. VicRoads has made an error in the addition of demerit points.

An appeal on one of these bases must be lodged within 28 days of a licence being suspended. At the appeal, the court can consider only whether the driver’s points have been assigned and recorded correctly.

If a person wants to plead not guilty to an offence that leads to demerit points, they must do so at the time they receive the infringement. Once the points have been recorded, it is very difficult to reverse this.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.

Published in

Dec 07, 2015

Michelle Makela

National Practice Manager

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 
Michelle Makela

Michelle Makela

National Practice Manager

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 

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