Demerit point suspension

A demerit point is a penalty given for a traffic offence and is recorded against your driver’s licence or learner's permit. The points can vary anywhere from one to six points depending on the type of offence. At some times of the year (during long weekends and holiday seasons), the demerit points for certain offences are doubled.

You risk having your licence suspended when you get too many points. How many points you are allowed to get depends on how long you have had your licence. You may be able to avoid a demerit point suspension by doing ‘Double or Nothing’.

This information will help you understand:

  • What a demerit point suspension is
  • How to check how many demerit points you have
  • What ‘Double or Nothing’ is
  • What to do if you don’t agree with your demerit point suspension

What is a demerit point suspension?

A demerit point suspension means your driver's licence is suspended because you get a certain number of demerit points within any 3 year period. The suspension time depends on how many points you get. It will be at least 3 months, and could be up to 5 months. 

How many points you are allowed before you are given a demerit point suspension depends on how long you have had your licence.

Novice drivers are not allowed to get as many points. From when you get your learner's permit until you have had your P-plates for 1 year, you will lose your licence/permit if you get 4 or more demerit points. If you are in your second year of your P-plates, you will lose your licence if you get 8 or more demerit points.

If you have an ordinary licence, you will get a demerit point suspension if you get 12 or more demerit points over 3 years.

When you get more demerit points than you are allowed, an Excessive Demerit Points Notice will be personally served on you. The demerit point suspension will start 28 days after the notice is given to you. At the end of your suspension, your demerit point tally will go back to zero.

You cannot apply for an Extraordinary Driver's Licence if you are under a demerit point suspension.

What is ‘Double or Nothing’?

Double or Nothing gives you the chance to keep your licence if you are served with an Excessive Demerit Points Notice. You have to be of good behaviour for 12 months, which means you must not: 

  • get more than one demerit point, or
  • commit an offence which results in licence disqualification.

If you breach the good behaviour period, then your licence will be suspended for double the original term (plus any other disqualification from a court). If you get through the good behaviour period, your demerit points are reset to zero and you don't have to serve the demerit point suspension. 

You have 21 days from the date you were given the excess demerit point notice to elect the Double or Nothing option. You need to submit a Good behaviour period election form (Form E18) within the 21 day period. You can do this at any Licensing Centre or apply through the Department of Transport website.

If you are a novice driver you cannot elect to do Double or Nothing. As well as having your licence suspended, it is automatically cancelled and you will need to reapply for a licence once the suspension period has ended.

What if I don’t agree with my demerit point suspension?

If you don’t agree with the number of demerit points that the Department of Transport says you have, contact them on 13 11 56.

If you don’t agree with the demerit point suspension itself, the only way you can dispute this is to challenge one or more of the offences that led to the demerit point suspension. This can be done by challenging the infringement notice or court conviction for which you received demerit points.

How can I check how many demerit points I have?

You can check online on the Department of Transport website or call the Demerit Point Hotline on 1300 720 111. You will need your driver's licence details to check how many demerit points you have recorded against your licence.

If you need a record of your WA traffic infringements, you can get one from the WA Police.


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More information

Department of Transport

Reviewed 10 June 2024


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.