Driver licence suspension

Driver licences can be suspended for a variety of reasons, including:

If your licence is suspended, the suspension applies to all categories of vehicle on your licence, including but not limited to:

  • car
  • rider
  • heavy vehicles.

You do not need to reapply for your licence at the end of a suspension period, provided the licence has not expired during the suspension period.

Disqualification of your licence is different to suspension. Disqualification is imposed by the court, and you need to reapply for a driver licence at the end of the disqualification period.

Notice of suspension from Transport for NSW (TfNSW)

You can receive a suspension notice from TfNSW as a result of:

  • camera-detected offences
  • exceeding your demerit points limit
  • not completing a deferred eyesight test within 8 weeks from when you renewed your driver licence online. 

The notice will tell you when the suspension starts and on what day you can begin driving again.

Appealing a TfNSW suspension

If you appeal the suspension, it will be paused, and you can continue driving until your court date. You must file your appeal at least one day before your suspension is due to begin.

You can appeal the suspension online, or lodge your application notice at any local court registry.

Note: If you are on a full licence and get 13 demerit points or more, you cannot appeal the suspension. You may be able to apply for a good behaviour period.

Notice of suspension from Police

A police officer can choose to suspend your licence:

  • on the spot – if this happens the suspension begins immediately, and you will not be able to drive away. Someone else will need to pick up your vehicle.
  • within 48 hours of your being charged or receiving a penalty notice.

Depending on the offence:

  • the suspension may be an automatic suspension period of 3 months or 6 months, or
  • if you are charged with an offence, the suspension will remain in place until your case is heard by a court. The court will take into account the time you have already spent on suspension when it makes its judgement.

Appealing a suspension by a police officer

If you choose to appeal:

  • you must file your appeal within 28 days of the date you were suspended
  • you remain suspended and must not drive until the court date.

Before appealing a police suspension, you should always get legal advice.

The court cannot lift the suspension or vary the length of the suspension unless there are exceptional circumstances to justify doing so.

It can be very difficult to show exceptional circumstances.

You can appeal the suspension online, or lodge your application notice at any local court registry.

Good behaviour period

If you have an unrestricted licence and receive a suspension notice, you may be eligible to apply for a behaviour period. You need to apply before your suspension starts and meet the conditions of the good behaviour period for 12 months.

  • If you need to take a Driver Knowledge Test, the good behaviour period will start after you have passed. If you do not pass before your suspension starts, all your licences will be suspended until you have passed.
  • If you get 2 or more demerit points during the 12 months, all your licences will be suspended for double the original suspension period.
  • After the 12 months, the demerit points on your suspension notice will be cleared from your licence, unless you:
    • get 1 demerit point during the 12 months
    • have other points not listed in your suspension notice.

      If these points take you over 13 demerit points, you may receive a new suspension notice.

When you can drive again

The notice of suspension you receive will tell you when you can legally drive again. 

If you have lost the notice of suspension or wish to confirm when you can legally drive again you can purchase a driving record online. Alternatively, you can confirm by calling 13 77 88 or visiting a Service NSW Centre.

The date the suspension ends may change if any of the following apply:

  • you successfully appeal the suspension
  • you defend the offence in court and are found not guilty
  • you go to court and are found guilty, but no conviction is recorded
  • you applied for the good behaviour period but have not passed a driver knowledge test (if applicable).

If you drive while you're suspended there are severe penalties including:

  • licence disqualification
  • large fines
  • imprisonment.

What to do with your vehicle

You cannot legally drive while suspended. Depending on the period of suspension, you may be interested in the following:

Related information

Last updated: 30 May 2024

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