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Good behaviour licences

What is a Good Behaviour Licence? Receiving a notice of suspension due to an excess of demerit points can often be a frustrating experience for drivers. This is particularly...

Justin Wong

What is a Good Behaviour Licence?

Receiving a notice of suspension due to an excess of demerit points can often be a frustrating experience for drivers. This is particularly so if you are reliant on your licence for work purposes. Regrettably, in NSW, there is no such thing as a “work licence” if you exceed your demerit points.

However, if you hold an unrestricted driver’s licence then you may be eligible to apply for a good behaviour licence. A good behaviour licence will allow you to continue to drive despite exceeding your demerit point limit.

Am I eligible and how do I apply?

If you choose to apply for a good behaviour licence you must apply before your suspension period begins. You may also, depending on your circumstances, have to complete a Driver Knowledge Test before you are eligible to enter into the good behaviour period.

You can either apply for a good behaviour licence online through the RMS website, or in person at any Service NSW centre. You will need your NSW driver licence details and your notice of suspension.

How long am I on the good behaviour licence?

The good behaviour licence runs for 12 months.

Critically, if you accumulate 2 or more demerit points within that 12 months your licence will be suspended for double the original suspension period.

I have committed a traffic offence whilst on my good behaviour licence, and I do not want my licence to be suspended, what do I do?

If you have committed a traffic offence whilst on your good behaviour licence there are two options available to you to avoid having your licence suspended:

  1. You can request a review with the RMS; or
  2. You can elect to have the penalty determined in Court.

Requesting a Review

When you receive the penalty notice for a traffic offence, there are details on the penalty notice as to how you can request a review with the RMS.

If you do choose to request a review, it is best to explain why it is that you are seeking leniency from paying this particular fine and to provide as much supporting documentation as possible.

The RMS will then advise you if the penalty still stands, if the penalty is to be waived because of your explanation, or if the penalty is to be cancelled.

Electing to have the penalty notice determined in Court

You can also decide to have your penalty notice determined in Court. If you choose this option, you will either have to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the offence.

As specialist traffic lawyers, it is best to contact one of our lawyers should you decide to elect to have your penalty determined in Court. This is because you may run the risk of receiving a harsher penalty than had you originally paid the fine.

Generally, if you have elected to go to Court and are ‘entering a plea of guilty with an explanation’, the Court will consider the following:

  1. Your explanation as to why you committed the offence
  2. Your current circumstances including your need for a licence
  3. Your traffic record
  4. How long you have been on the good behaviour licence
  5. Whether you have completed a traffic offender’s program

Choosing to go to Court in these circumstances can often be a difficult decision. If you are deciding whether to court elect on a traffic offence you have committed during your good behaviour licence it is best to seek advice from one of our specialist traffic lawyers before you decide to have your penalty determined in Court.  

Photo by Mike Bird