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Electing to extend the demerit point period

Information about the option notice people get when they have too many demerit points.

When a fully licensed driver has accumulated 12 or more demerit points in the demerit register over a 3 year period, VicRoads will send an option notice with instructions on how to elect to extend their demerit point period. Option notices are sent to the current address according to the VicRoads register.

When a driver gets an option notice they can either:

  • elect to extend their demerit point period by one year—driver must not get any more demerits (or lose their licence) for the next 12 months
  • do nothing and accept the 3 month suspension (plus one month for every 4 demerit points over 12).

Note: Drivers are responsible for notifying VicRoads when they change their address. They can be fined if they forget to do this.

See r. 68—Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window) s. 36—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If driver licence is already cancelled or suspended

If VicRoads has already cancelled or suspended a person's driver licence for another offence, VicRoads will not send this option notice. So the person is not given the option of extending their demerit point period for another 12 months. If the driver is fully licensed, VicRoads must suspend the driver's licence for 3 months plus one extra month for every 4 demerit points over 12 that have been recorded against the driver's licence.

Instead of an option notice, VicRoads will send the driver a notice of suspension telling them when the demerit point suspension takes effect.

See ss. 36(1A) and 41A—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Demerit point suspensions served concurrently

From 29 October 2019 demerit point suspensions will be served concurrently with other licence suspensions or cancellations. The only exception to this is where the other licence suspension or cancellation is due to excessive demerit points.

This applies retrospectively, irrespective of when the offence that led to the licence suspension or cancellation happened.

See s. 42—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

The law is different for L and P plate drivers

Novice drivers (L & P drivers) will also get a notice if they get 5 or more demerit points in a 12 month period. This also applies to international drivers who are driving in Victoria.

See Demerit points and novice drivers and Overseas drivers in Victoria.

Avoiding suspension by opting to extend the demerit point period

To avoid having a licence suspended, the driver must respond to the notice within 21 days from the time they get the option notice.

See s. 38—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

A reminder notice will be sent

After sending out a combined election to extend/suspension notice, VicRoads will send a reminder notice approximately 14 days before the suspension period is due to begin.

This notice is designed to remind drivers:

  • they have about 7 days left, if they wish to take the 12 month demerit point extension, and
  • to hand in their licence if they choose to have their licence suspended
  • about their limited right to appeal.

If the driver does not respond

If a driver does not respond to the notice within the time limit, VicRoads will presume that the driver was properly served with the option notice will be presumed to have been correctly served 7 days after the notice is issued. The driver's licence will be suspended for 3 months plus one month for every 4 demerit points over 12.

The notice will state when the driver licence will be suspended. This date will be at least 21 days after the notice is sent but it could be longer.

See Calculating demerit suspension periods and s. 36—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Getting a second notice

If a driver gets enough demerit points to be eligible to have their licence suspended again, between the date that the first notice is sent but before the date when the licence suspension is due to begin, VicRoads may send a second notice.

This second notice will advise the person when their second period of licence suspension is due to begin. This date must not be earlier than the date when the first notice is due to expire, or if the driver's licence has already been suspended, the date of this next period of suspension will not start until the first suspension has ended.

The driver has the same option to extend their demerit point period or to choose to have their licence suspended. Either way their demerit point extension or licence suspension have to be taken cumulatively (one after the other). This means that the driver will have to serve 2 periods of licence suspension.

See s. 37—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Delay of licence suspension if notice is returned to sender

Sometimes VicRoads may delay the suspension period. They may do this:

  • if the notice is returned to VicRoads (usually marked 'return to sender') or
  • if for some other reason VicRoads is satisfied that the notice was not served on the driver.

If VicRoads delays the suspension, they will send another demerit point extension election/suspension notice when the driver:

  • applies for or renews their licence or learner permit
  • applies to register a motor vehicle that they own or operate
  • advises VicRoads of their current address.

If the period of licence suspension is delayed, the original suspension period must be cancelled and a new suspension date will be written in the new demerit point extension/suspension notice.

See ss. 41(3), 42, 43—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • Part 4—Demerit points
    • s. 35—demerits register
    • s. 34—interpretation section for demerit points
    • s. 24—cancellation, suspension or variation of licences and permits by corporation (VicRoads)
    • s. 36—when VicRoads must serve a demerit point notice
    • s. 37—further demerit points notice
    • s. 38—extending the demerit point period
    • s. 39—if person elects to extend and gets no more demerits during extended period
    • s. 40—penalty if driver incurred further demerit points after opting to extend demerit point period
    • s. 41—licence suspended if person fails to extend the demerit points period (and length of suspension)
    • s. 42—suspension starts from a date decided by VicRoads
    • s. 43—cancellation of suspension if service was ineffective
    • s. 44—demerit suspension is stayed if driver licence suspended or cancelled under another provision of the Act

See Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic)

  • r. 68—obligation to notify VicRoads of personal particulars (including change of name, phone number, address) within 14 days

See Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated