Learner licence demerit points
Penalties for learner drivers - commenced 1 March 2012
- Demerit points increased from one to four for learner drivers who drive while unaccompanied. The monetary fine for this offence is $176 with a maximum court imposed penalty of $2200.
This will apply to anyone of any age learning to drive any vehicle (for example a car, truck or motorbike) on a road. When learning to drive or ride, you must be accompanied by a person who holds and has held an open licence for the class of vehicle you are learning in, for at least one year.
- Car learner licence holders who accumulate four or more demerit points within a 12 month period will be suspended from driving for a period of three months. They do not have the option of choosing to drive under a good driving behaviour period.
This means a car learner licence holder who drives unaccompanied will be suspended from driving for a period of three months and their eligibility to apply for a provisional licence will be delayed.
Learner licence holders (class C)
If four or more demerit points are recorded against your traffic history within a continuous one year period and you hold a Queensland class C learner licence, you will be sent an 'Accumulation of Demerit Points Notice of Driver Licence Suspension'.
This notice will be sent to your residential address and your driver licence will be suspended for a mandatory three month period.
What does this mean to you?
You cannot drive a motor vehicle during the period of your driver licence suspension. You are not required to hand in your driver licence. If at the end of your driver licence suspension period your driver licence has not expired, your driver licence will be automatically reinstated. If your driver licence has expired, you will need to renew it before you start driving again.
If at the end of your driver licence suspension period your driver licence is cancelled or suspended for any other reason, such as a court disqualification, or licence suspension for a speeding offence or unpaid fines etc., you must not drive.
What happens if I drive while my driver licence is suspended?
If you are found driving during your driver licence suspension period, you will be charged with unlicensed driving and you will be required to appear in court. If the charge is proven, the court will disqualify you from holding or obtaining a driver licence for six months as well as imposing a fine of up to $4400 or one year imprisonment. If you are subsequently found driving while disqualified, the court will disqualify you for a further period of at least two years to a maximum of five years, as well as imposing a fine of up to $6600 or 18 months imprisonment.
What is the effect of a driver licence suspension?
If you are required to hold a class or type of driver licence for a required period before upgrading to another class or type of driver licence, any period that your driver licence is suspended will not count towards the required holding period. You will not be eligible to upgrade your driver licence until you have served the required holding period. For example – to be eligible to upgrade to a class C provisional driver licence, a class C learner must be held for at least one year.
What if I want to change the start date of my driver licence suspension?
You may elect to begin your driver licence suspension period before your start date, as shown on the 'Accumulation of Demerit Points Notice of Driver Licence Suspension', however, that date cannot be before the current date.
If you do not notify the department that you want your driver licence suspension period to begin on an earlier date then your driver licence will be suspended from the start date shown on the notice.
How do I notify the department that I want to begin my driver licence suspension earlier?
You may notify the department that you want your driver licence suspension to begin on an earlier date by completing the section shown on the 'Accumulation of Demerit Points Notice of Driver Licence Suspension' notice and either:
How do the new penalties affect me, if I am learning to drive a higher class of vehicle?
If you hold a Queensland provisional or open licence, you are authorised under that licence to learn to drive a vehicle in the next higher class of licence.
If you learn to drive or ride a vehicle while unaccompanied, you will incur a fine of $176 and four demerit points.
For information about how these demerit points may affect you, please follow the link to the appropriate web page for your licence type: