Appealing a Licence Suspension



Your driver licence can be suspended either by the Police or the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

If you commit a serious driving offence, the Police can suspend your licence on the spot, charge you and order you to attend Court. Generally, this will occurr if you commit the following driving offences:

– serious speeding offences (exceeding speed limit by 30km/h or more)

– breaching your licence conditions

– some offences involved drink or drug driving

– negligent driving that involves serious injury or death

– street racing and burnout offences

The RMS can suspend your licence in the following circumstances:

– if you are photographed exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h, your licence will be suspended for 3 months

– if you are photographed exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h, your licence will be suspended for 6 months

– exceeding your demerit point limit

– unpaid fines

In these circumstances, the RMS will send you a letter suspending your licence, noting when the suspension takes effect and when it will conclude.



You can appeal against the suspension of your licence to the Local Court if you are suspended:

1. for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h;

2. for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h;

3. for exceeding your demerit point limit ONLY IF you hold a learner licence or provisional P1 or P2 licence; or

4. on the spot by a Police Officer.

You must lodge the appeal at your local court within 28 days of receiving your Notice of Suspension from the RMS or receiving your on the spot suspension from a Police Officer.

Note: If you hold an unrestricted licence which has been suspended as you have accumulated too many demerit points, whilst you cannot appeal the suspension you can apply to the RMS for a good behaviour licence (this option is not available for learner or provisional licence holders). This will allow you to serve a 12 month good behaviour period instead of the suspension whereby for 12 months you will retain your licence with 2 demerit points. If you exceed this 2 point limit within the 12 months you will be automatically suspended for a period twice as long as your original suspension.



Lodging the Appeal

You can obtain a copy of the Appeal Form from your Local Court registry or online from the Local Court website. There is a different form for each of the circumstances where you are appealing against a police suspension or an RMS suspension. You can either complete the form yourself or contact our office to have one of our teams assist you.

The complete form must be filed at your Local Court registry or online together with the filing fee of $89.00 (as of August 2015).


Preparing documents to support your appeal

You will then need to prepare your case which will later be heard at a Court hearing before a Magistrate by putting together your supporting evidence. First and foremots, it is essential that you obtain a copy of your driving record from the RMS. The other supporting material required will depend on the circumstances your case.

If you wish to plead to the Court to allow your appeal on the grounds that you are of good character, you should put together a couple of character references illustrating your good character.

If you wish to base your appeal on grounds of necessity for work or family reasons, you could provide to the Court:

– a letter from your employer stating your need for a licence for the work you do;

– a medical certificate stating that you a somebody’s carer and require a licence to facilitate that care; or

– evidence illustrating the difficulties of accessing public transport and the distance between either your work and home or your children’s school and home.


Attending the Court hearing

Upon lodging the appeal, you will be given a Court date to attend a hearing at the Local Court where the appeal was lodged, or if online (your Local Court as indicate on the Appeal Form). At the hearing, a representative from the RMS will also be present or a police prosecutor in the case of an appeal against a police suspension. Both you or your legal representative and the other party will have an opportunity to be heard by the Magistrate.



The prospects of your appeal will depend on your circumstances and how well you have prepared your case. The Magistrate will take into consideration a number of factors, including:

– the seriousness of your offence(s)

– your driving record and character

– the reason you were speeding or incurred the demerit points

– your need for a licence

In the case of a police suspension, the Magistrate will only make an order lifting or varying the suspension if it can be shown that there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ justifying the appeal be allowed.



The Magistrate’s decision at the conclusion of the hearing is final and binding upon both parties – it cannot be appealed. After hearing the case, the Magistrate can either:

1. dismiss the appeal – in which case the suspension will remain in force;

2. allow the appeal – in which case the suspension will be lifted; or

3. “make any such order in the circumstances as the Court sees fit” – practically this means the Magistrate can also reduce the suspension.


Appealing a licence suspension is not simple and we highly recommend you contact our office immediately if you have recently received a Notice of Suspension from the RMS or have had your licence suspended on the spot by a Police Officer. One of our lawyers will be able to advise you on the prospects of your appeal and ensure that your case is prepared correctly giving you the best possible chance of having your appeal allowed.


Author Johnsons Law Group

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