When will I be disqualified for having too many demerit points?
If you receive 12 or more demerit points within a three year period, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles will suspend you for:
- 3 months if you have 12-15 demerit points
- 4 months if you have 16-19 demerit points
- 5 months if you have 20 or more demerit points
[Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 98BC]
If you commit an offence which incurs demerit points, the offence date and number of points will be recorded on your licensing record. If your licensing record shows the incursion of 12 or more demerit points over a three year period, you will be liable for disqualification.
How do I know how many demerit points I have incurred?
You can check your demerit points by contacting Service SA either by phone (13 10 84) or in person. You can also check your points online if you have a mySA GOV account.
When you have incurred 6 demerit points, you should receive a written notice, effectively a warning, from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles advising you that you have incurred 6 points.
How will I know I am disqualified?
The disqualification notice is served in the first instance by ordinary post to your last known address. Once received you are required to the attend personally at the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure to acknowledge receipt of the notice and pay the Registrar an administration fee.
What will happen if I don’t get the notice or fail to respond to it?
If you fail to comply with the notice another notice will be issued personally by a process server, the cost of which will be met by you.
If personal service is unsuccessful you will be prohibited from transactions with the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure until you provide acknowledgement of receipt of the notice and pay the administration and service fees.
When does the disqualification begin?
The disqualification takes effect 28 days from the date specified in the notice or 28 days from the date the notice was served. If you are already disqualified for another reason (for example, as part of a penalty imposed by a court), the demerit point disqualification begins once the other period of disqualification ends.
What happens to the points once I am disqualified?
All of the demerit points that led to the disqualification will be erased once the disqualification takes effect. Also erased will be any demerit points resulting from other offences committed prior to the disqualification, whether or not you had been convicted of, or expiated, those offences when the disqualification took effect.
What happens if I accumulate further points after receiving notice of disqualification but before I commence the disqualification?
If you accumulate further points after a notice has been served advising of your disqualification but before you actually commence the disqualification period, these points will not be erased. If in the ensuing three years from that date, you incur 12 or more demerit points, you will be liable to disqualification.
What happens if I accumulate further points after serving the disqualification period?
If, after the disqualification period, you commit an offence which incurs demerit points, the date of the offence and the points will be recorded on your licensing record. If in the ensuing three years from that date you incur 12 or more points, you will be liable for disqualification.
Is there any way I can keep my licence if I have exceeded the maximum demerit points?
You can keep your licence by choosing to take a ‘good behaviour’ option instead of serving a demerit points disqualification. The good behaviour option is offered with the demerit points disqualification notice. Instead of surrendering your licence you make a formal application to accept a 12 month good behaviour option. This must be done within 21 days of receiving the notice [Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 98BE(2)].
What is the effect of the good behaviour option?
By taking the good behaviour option, you can continue to drive but your licence will be subject to the condition that you do not incur 2 or more demerit points during the 12 month good behaviour period. If you incur 2 or more points you will be disqualified for double the original disqualification period [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 98BE (2a)].
For example if you incurred 14 points, your licence would be disqualified for 3 months. By accepting a good behaviour option, you would face 6 months disqualification if you incurred 2 or more demerit points during the 12 month period. Once the period of the conditional licence commences all the demerit points previously recorded are erased.
What if I have served a court ordered disqualification for an offence and demerit points also apply?
If you have served a court ordered disqualification period you will need to renew your licence once the disqualification period has been served. If you fail to do so this will mean that you are not eligible for the good behaviour option if demerit points also apply for the original offence.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.