How Do ‘Demerit Points’ Work With Your Driver’s Licence In Australia?

May 7, 2024    Traffic lawyers Perth
How Do ‘Demerit Points’ Work With Your Driver’s Licence In Australia?

The demerit points system in Australia has been introduced to the general public to limit traffic rules from being broken by penalising them. But the best traffic lawyers in Perth can help you if you have any issues with demerit points. Also, the demerit points for rough driving vary from state to state for the same or similar traffic offence. Understanding the workings of demerit points by drivers is essential to maintaining their driving licence and ensuring road safety.

In this website blog, we will discuss how demerit points work with your driver’s licence in Australia.

What are the demerit points?

Demerit points are the penalty points given to drivers caught breaking the traffic rules. It is done to limit the chances of accidents occurring due to someone’s reckless driving or disobedience to the traffic rules.

Every driver begins with a zero demerit point. However, with each increased traffic offence, your penalty points increase. Once it reaches the limit, your driving licence will most likely be suspended or cancelled. Some offences that lead to demerit points include speeding, not wearing helmets or seatbelts, speaking over the phone while driving, and many more.

What are the demerit point limits for each licence type?

The demerit points limit refers to the maximum penalty points received before your licence gets suspended or your licence renewal is cancelled. The demerit limit is different for different licence types. Listed below are a few of the licence type and their demerit limit:

  • 13 points for an unrestricted licence
  • 7 points for Provisional P2 licence
  • 14 points for Professional drivers
  • 4 points for a Learner licence
  • 4 points for Provisional P1 licence
  • Unrestricted licence during a good behaviour period – 2 points

It is to be noted that you will not be penalised with one demerit point for every offence, but it depends on the severity of the offence.

Do demerit points go on a permanent record?

Yes, demerit points go on a permanent period. While demerit points are believed to remain active for three years, they are not. Drivers need to be made aware that these negative remarks about their driving are permanently recorded in the system, and it does not matter if they are inactive, i.e., outside the three years.

If you are called to the court for any driving offence, the opposing traffic offence lawyers can request that the court view your past or inactive recorded demerit points to meet a more severe punishment. Hence, it is suggested that you try not to receive any demerit points for breaking the road rules.

Demerit points by traffic offence

Based on the severity of the offence and the licence type you hold, you will receive different demerit points and penalties.

Below are some demerit points one can receive for different traffic offences under the demerit point check Perth, including speeding offences, illegal mobile usage offences, and many more. Learner and Provisional Drivers are charged with higher demerit points penalties than Unrestricted Licensed Drivers in Australia.

1. Offence for Unrestricted Class A

  • You receive 1 demerit point and charged with $128 if you exceed a speed of 10 km/h and under,
  • You receive 2 demerit points and are charged $211 if you exceed 10 km/h in the school premises,
  • If you exceed in speed over 10 km/h, you will receive a fine of $295 and 3 demerit points,
  • If caught driving without care alone or carrying passengers, you will receive a penalty of $362 and 3 demerit points,
  • If you do not explain the complete details to the injured person, owner of the damaged property, or police in the event of a vehicle accident, you will receive 3 demerit points and be fined $362,
  • If caught using mobile phones while driving, you will be fined $362 and receive 5 demerit points,
  • Finally, not applying indicators for passengers while moving and disregarding traffic light signals will result in a $362 fine and receiving 3 demerit points.

2. Motorcyclist Offences

  • If caught riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet or the passenger riding with you not wearing a helmet, you will be fined $362 and receive 3 demerit points.

3. Class B and Class C Vehicle Offences

  • Large and long vehicles not maintaining appropriate distance leading to traffic jams will be fined $1,393 and receive a penalty of 4 demerit points,
  • Not driving to the left of the centre of the two-way road will let you receive a fine of $1,393 and 4 demerit points,
  • If you drive on/over a continuous white edge line, you will be fined $1,393 and receive 4 demerit points,
  • Not switching on the car lights while driving during the night or dark has a fine of $1,393 and 4 demerit points.

Managing Demerit points

Drivers must understand the consequences of accumulating excess demerit points for driving recklessly. Most Australian states offer online platforms like Check My Demerit Points WA, where drivers can keep track of their demerit points, avoid further additions, and verify if there are any offences directed to their licences.

To solve the increasing demerit points, few jurisdictions offer defensive driving courses that drivers can pass to decrease their accumulated demerit points. These measures can educate drivers about road safety and encourage positive driving behaviours. You can go to the official websites to learn how to check demerit points in WA.

Challenging Demerit Points

If the drivers in Australia believe that they have been wrongly accused and imposed with demerit points, they can complain to the relevant authority with sufficient proof. However, the process is complex and time-consuming. To make it easy, seek legal advice from Perth Traffic Lawyers. In certain cases, responsible drivers choose to accept their demerit points and strive to improve their driving habits to prevent receiving further penalties.

Impact on Insurance and Future Driving

Refrain from believing the immediate implications of receiving demerit points are the only drawbacks. There are instances where if an insurance company notices you have over-limit accumulated demerit points, they will decide to refuse coverage or increase premiums. Hence, you must constantly check driver demerit points to keep it under control.

Furthermore, with a bad demerit points history, you can receive backlash while looking for employment opportunities, especially for roles involving driving. You might be asked to submit a driver history report during hiring, which could influence the employer’s decision.


The demerit point system in Australia plays a vital role in keeping drivers frequently violating traffic rules in check and also in promoting and encouraging healthy driving behaviours. By understanding how demerit points work, you can strive to keep it under control by improving your driving habits. Also, if you feel that you have been wrongly issued demerit points, you can seek legal advice from traffic infringement lawyers to file a complaint.

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