The demerits points scheme is a national standard applied across all States and Territories in Australia. Contrary to what many people believe, rather than “losing points” for driving offences, drivers actually start with zero points and accumulate points (up to a certain threshold) over a period of time.
How do demerit points work?
Each time you commit a traffic offence – whether that is for speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, using your mobile phone or not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle – you attract a demerit point. In fact, often these penalties attract multiple demerit points. They can quickly accumulate and reach your license threshold. If they do, your license can be suspended.
The intention of the demerit points scheme is to encourage safe and responsible driving on our roads.
What are the demerit thresholds?
Depending on the status of the driver, the threshold (or the number of demerit points you are allowed to accumulate) varies. The table below outlines the demerit point limit that the different drivers are allowed to accumulate over a certain period of time.
|Licence type||Demerit point limit|
|Learners Licence (Ls)||4 within 1 year|
|Provisional Licence (Ps, inc. P1, P2 and P)||4 within 1 year|
|Open Licence||12 within 3 years|
|Good Behaviour Licence||2 within 1 year|
What if I exceed my demerit point threshold?
These points remain against your license for up to three years. If a driver is exceeding their threshold of demerit points in this time period listed above, their license can be suspended and/or additional restrictions may be applied to the licence.
In addition to receiving demerit points for a traffic offence, drivers are almost always given a fine as an additional penalty.
In the case that a driver has accumulated too many points, but believes they are required to drive for their work or other serious family reasons, they can apply for a special hardship order to continue driving on a restricted licence. This application is lodged with the Magistrates Court within 21 days of receiving the license suspension, along with supporting evidence.
While demerit points do lapse over a period of time and are removed from your license, they will always remain on the history of your driving record along with the traffic offences they relate to.
How do I check my points?
There is a link on the Queensland Government website that allows you to see how many points you have accumulated, over what period of time and the status of your licence.
Visit demerit points online service to find out more.
More information on demerit points and traffic law
Our team of experienced dui solicitors are available to help you if you have accumulated too many demerit points or have had your licence suspended. Give us a call to discuss your situation and book an appointment with us today.