Demerit points in Western Australia are penalties which are imposed on you if you commit any of a range of traffic or driving offences. For some traffic offences you may receive up to 6 demerit points, or double in holiday seasons, as well as a fine.
The laws that govern licensing and demerit points in Western Australia are in the Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations 2014.
If you reach or exceed the number of demerit points allowed for your class of licence you will get a demerit point suspension and you are not allowed to drive for a certain period of time. The only way to overturn a demerit point suspension is to have one or more of the offences which led to the suspension removed from your record.
To find out how many demerit points are on your record, you can call the Demerit Point Hotline on 1300 720 111 or do an online Demerit Point Check . You will need your driver’s licence details to do a check.
If you dispute the number of points that have been imposed on you, you should contact the Department of Transport on 13 11 56.
Where you have been licensed to drive under a full licence for more than 2 years and you receive 12 or more demerit points over a 3 year period, you may be given a demerit point suspension. This means that your licence has been suspended and you must not drive for the period of time indicated. The suspension period depends on how many points you have accrued.
If you have accrued 12 to 15 points you will be suspended for 3 months. If you have accrued 16 to 19 points you will be suspended for 4 months and for 20 points or more you will be suspended for 5 months.
You will be served with an excess demerit point notice and your suspension will start 28 days after you receive the notice.
If you are a novice driver, different limits of demerit points apply.
You are classed as a Novice Driver Type 1 until you have held a driver’s licence other than a learner’s licence for at least one year (in total). The holder of a learner’s permit is also a Novice Driver Type 1. During this time, you are only able to have 3 demerit points recorded against you. If you exceed that, you will be disqualified from driving for at least 3 months and your licence will be cancelled.
A Novice Driver Type 2 is someone who has held a driver’s licence over 1 year but under 2 years. During that time, you are only able to have 7 demerit points recorded against you. If you get more, you will receive a demerit point suspension notice and your licence will be cancelled for a minimum of 3 months. This means that:
- you are disqualified from driving for that period, and
- you must also pass your theory and practical driver’s licence tests again before you can drive.
There is no other option available to you.
If you are on a full licence and reach or exceed 12 demerit points in Western Australia, ‘double or nothing’ is an option that allows you to keep your licence.
If you reach your limit, you will be served with an Excessive Demerit Points Notice. To take advantage of the double or nothing option, you must choose it within 21 days of the date that you receive the notice. It means that you undertake, for a period of 12 months, to be of good behaviour, and, if you comply, you will not lose your licence.
Being of good behaviour means that, for the entire year, you must not:
- get more than one demerit point, or
- commit any offence that results in you being disqualified from driving.
Any breach of the good behaviour period means that your licence will again be suspended, but this time for double the period that it would have had you not made the election.
You will also be penalised for the offence or offences which led to you breaching the good behaviour period, and this may also include another period of licence suspension.
If you want to choose the ‘double or nothing’ option when you have exceeded your limit of demerit points in Western Australia, you must lodge an election form. A copy of this form is included with the Excessive Demerit Point Notice sent to you.
If you do lodge it by post, you should call to confirm that it has been received and accepted before you continue to drive.
This article reflects the state of the law as at 17 December 2015. It is intended to be of a general nature only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require legal assistance, please telephone 1300 636 846 or request a consultation at gotocourt.com.au.