What is a demerit point suspension?
For some traffic offences, together with a fine you may receive demerit points.
If you have held a driver's licence for over 2 years and you accumulate a total of 12 or more demerit points within any 3 year period, a demerit point suspension can be imposed on you, which means your driver's licence is suspended and you are not allowed to drive for a certain period. This period depends on how many points you have accumulated. For less than 16 points you will receive 3 months suspension, for 16 to less than 20 points you will receive 4 months suspension and for 20 points or more you will receive 5 months suspension.
When 12 or more demerit points are accrued within the 3 year period, an excess demerit point notice is created and personally served on you.
If you are a novice driver or a p-plater, different demerit point limits apply to you. For information about graduated demerit points for novice drivers and p-platers see the Department of Transport's website.
How can I check how many demerit points I have against me?
You can call the Department of Transport Demerit Point Hotline on 1300 720 111. This is an automated service and you will need your driver's licence details in order to check how many demerit points you have against your licence.
Alternatively, you can do an online Demerit Point Check on the Department of Transport website. Once again, you will need your driver's licence details.
When does a demerit point suspension begin?
A demerit point licence suspension begins 28 days after the excess demerit point notice is personally served on you.
Is there any way of avoiding a demerit point suspension?
Yes, there is a process called “double or nothing” that allows you to avoid losing your licence when you reach 12 points or more.
How does the “double or nothing” process work?
This process allows you to elect to be of good behaviour for a period of 12 months and if you succeed, you will not lose your licence.
What does “good behaviour” mean?
Being of good behaviour means that during the 12 month period you must not:
accumulate more than one demerit point; or
commit an offence which results in disqualification.
What happens if I breach the good behaviour period?
If you breach the good behaviour period, then your licence will be suspended for double the length of time that it would have before you made the election.
In addition, you will receive the penalty for the offence or offences which breached the good behaviour period, which may include an extra period of licence suspension.
Is there a time limit for electing “double or nothing”?
Yes, you must make the election within 21 days from the date you were given the excess demerit point notice.
I am a p-plater, can I elect “double or nothing”?
No, you cannot elect to follow this process if you are a provisional licence holder (“p-plater”).
As a p-plater, if you receive a demerit point suspension notice, your licence is automatically cancelled. This means that you must not only wait for the period of suspension to end but must also re-sit your driver’s licence test, before you can drive again.
What do I do if I want to elect “double or nothing”?
If you want to elect "double or nothing" you must submit a Good behaviour period election form (Form E18) to the Director General for Transport within 21 days. A copy of this form is provided to you at the same time as your excess demerit point notice. Otherwise you can get a copy from any Licensing Centre, regional licensing agent or from the Department of Transport website, under My licensing resources/Licensing forms by A-Z.
You must submit the form at any Licensing Centre, regional licensing agent or by post to the Department of Transport, GPO Box 8090, Perth BC, WA, 6849. If you choose to submit it by post, you should confirm that the form has been received and accepted before continuing to drive after the date your demerit point suspension was due to begin.
You can also submit the election online through the Department of Transport website, under Good behaviour period election (online).
What happens after the period of suspension ends?
At the end of all suspension periods, your demerit point tally will go back to zero.
Can I apply for an extraordinary driver’s licence if I am under a demerit point suspension?
No, it is not an option for you to apply for an Extraordinary Driver’s Licence if you are under a demerit point suspension. This is the case whether the demerit point suspension was imposed immediately, or after you failed to complete the good behaviour period.
Click here for more information about Extraordinary Driver's Licence applications.
What if I dispute the demerit point suspension?
The only way to dispute the demerit point suspension is to dispute one or more of the offences which led to demerit point suspension being imposed on you. The offence which led to demerit points being imposed on you may have arisen through the court recording a conviction or by an infringement notice.
For more information about disputing offences see:
Pleading not guilty in the Magistrates Court
If you dispute the number of points imposed on you, contact the Department of Transport on 13 11 56. Where can I get more information?
For more information see the Department of Transport website under Demerit points, which includes a document titled Rules and penalties: Frequently Asked Questions, under the heading Demerit points: Documents.
Last reviewed: 03/06/2015