Your guide to Demerit Points in Queensland

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Common Offences

In Queensland the most common offences that attract demerit points are:

  1. Failing to obey traffic signals or markings (traffic lights, stop signs and road markings);
  2. Speeding;
  3. Driving under the influence of alcohol; and
  4. Using a mobile telephone or device while driving.

The full list of offices that attract demerit points in Queensland can be found here.

There are three (3) circumstances that you will have demerit points applied against your licence:

  1. If you have been issued with an infringement notice for a traffic offence that carries a penalty including demerit points and you make payment of the fine prior to the due date;
  2. If you have received an infringement notice and are unsuccessful in contesting the notice in a Court of law or you are convicted following a notice to appear for traffic offences that attract demerit points;
  3. If you have been issued with an infringement notice for a traffic offence that attracts demerit points, you fail to make payment prior to the due date and your infringement is referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER).

Demerit Points and your Licence

A common misconception is that you “lose points” from your licence. This is not the case. In Queensland demerit points are allocated to your licence in certain circumstances. This means that when you are issued with a Queensland drivers licence you have a clean slate and you accumulate points with each traffic infringement or conviction.

There is a maximum number of demerit points that you are permitted to accrue against your licence in Queensland. If you reach or exceed this number you may have your licence suspended and/or additional restrictions may be applied to your licence.

The limit of demerit points that may be accrued against your licence before it is suspended in Queensland will depend on the type of licence that is held by you.

Learner Licence

If you have been issued with a learners licence (L) for a class C vehicle the limit is 4 points. If you have 4 or more points accrued against your learners licence, your licence will be suspended for a period of 3 months. You will not be permitted to drive during this time and your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period.

Provisional or Probationary Licence

If you have been issued with a provisional or probationary licence (P, P1, P2) the limit is 4 points per year. If you have 4 or more points accrued against your provisional or probationary licence within a continuous 1 year period you will be given the opportunity to select between a 1 year good behaviour period and a 3 month suspension.

Good Behaviour

If you select a 1 year good behaviour period you will be permitted to continue driving. However, during this time, if you accumulate 2 or more demerit points, your licence will be automatically suspended for a period of 6 months. This is double the suspension period you would have received initially. You will not be permitted to drive during this time and your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period.

Suspension

If you select a 3 month suspension your licence will be suspended for a period of 3 months from the date indicated on your notice, however you may elect to have your suspension commence early. You will not be permitted to drive during this time. Your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period.

Fail to Choose

If you fail to make a selection within the time provided for your nomination, your licence will be suspended for a period of 3 months. You will not be permitted to drive during this time and your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period.

Open Licence

If you have been issued with an open licence the limit is 12 points every 3 years. If you have 12 or more points accrued against your provisional or probationary licence within a continuous 3 year period you will be given the opportunity to select between a 1 year good behaviour period and a suspension based on the number of points accrued.

Good Behaviour

If you select a 1 year good behaviour period you will be permitted to continue driving. However, during this time, if you accumulate 2 or more demerit points, your licence will be automatically suspended for a period of 6 months. You will not be permitted to drive during this time and your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period.

Suspension
  • If you elect a suspension period and have accumulated at least 12, but not more than 15 demerit points your licence will be suspended for a period of 3 months from the date indicated on your notice, however you may elect to have your suspension commence early. You will not be permitted to drive during this time and your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period;
  • If you elect a suspension period and have accumulated at least 16, but not more than 19 demerit points your licence will be suspended for a period of 4 months from the date indicated on your notice, however you may elect to have your suspension commence early. You will not be permitted to drive during this time and your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period;
  • If you elect a suspension period and have accumulated 20 or more demerit points your licence will be suspended for a period of 5 months from the date indicated on your notice, however you may elect to have your suspension commence early. You will not be permitted to drive during this time and your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period;
Fail to Choose

If you fail to make a selection within the time provided for your nomination, your licence will be suspended for the period of time applicable to the number of demerit points accumulated. You will not be permitted to drive during this time and your licence will be automatically reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period.

Special Hardship Order

If a suspension of your licence will cause you or your family extreme financial hardship or severe and unusual hardship that is not of a financial nature, you may be able to apply for a “Special Hardship
Order”.

These orders allow you to continue driving under certain circumstances and subject to any restrictions the Court considers appropriate. If your licence has been suspended and you would like to make an Application for a Special Hardship Order you only have 21 days from the commencement of you suspension in which to bring an application in the Magistrates Court of Queensland. You should seek legal advice without delay.

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