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Open licence demerit points

Open licence holders

If you hold a Queensland open licence you may receive a warning letter when you gain at least 7 demerit points in a 3 year period.

If 12 or more demerit points are recorded against your traffic history in a 3 year period, you will be sent an 'Accumulation of Demerit Points – Notice to Choose'. 

The 'Accumulation of Demerit Points – Notice to Choose' will advise you to choose between:

  • having your open licence suspended for a requisite period
    or
  • agreeing to continue driving under a period of good behaviour for 1 year.

You may notify the department of your choice by either:

If you choose to continue driving under a period of good driving behaviour for 1 year, you may keep your current licence provided that you do not accumulate more than 1 demerit point during the 1 year period.

If you accumulate 2 or more demerit points during this period, your licence will be suspended for double the requisite suspension period that would have applied had you taken the licence suspension in the first place.

What is the requisite period of suspension for an open licence?

The requisite period of suspension for an open licence is calculated as follows. If you accumulate:

  • at least 12 but not more than 15 demerit points – 3 months
  • at least 16 but not more than 19 demerit points – 4 months
  • 20 or more demerit points – 5 months.

What do I have to do if I receive an 'Accumulation of Demerit Points – Notice to Choose'?

You may choose 1 of the options stated on the 'Accumulation of Demerit Points – Notice to Choose'.

You may only choose a good driving behaviour period if you nominate this option by the due date stated on the 'Accumulation of Demerit Points – Notice to Choose'. If you do not nominate an option by the due date, your licence will be automatically suspended for 3 months starting on the day after the due date.

You may notify the department of your choice by either:

If I choose a licence suspension period, when will the period commence?

If you nominate your choice of a licence suspension by the due date, the suspension will start from the date you have selected. The selected date must fall between current date and the due date.

If you do not select a date before the due date, your licence suspension will start on the day after the due date.

If you are found driving during your licence suspension period, you will be charged with unlicensed driving and will be required to appear in court.

If I choose a good driving behaviour period, when will the period commence?

If you nominate your choice of a good driving behaviour period by the due date, your good driving behaviour period will start from the date you have selected. The selected date must fall between the current date and the due date

If you do not nominate a good driving behaviour period by the due date, your licence will be suspended for the stated period the day after the due date.

What if 2 or more demerit points are recorded on my traffic history during my good driving behaviour period?

If 2 or more demerit points are recorded against your traffic history for offences that you committed during your good driving behaviour period, your licence will be suspended for double the suspension period that would have applied had you chosen the licence suspension in the first place.

For example, if your original licence suspension was going to be 4 months but you chose the good driving behaviour, your new licence suspension will be 8 months.

What if my licence is suspended, but I need to continue driving?

If the suspension of your Queensland driver licence will cause extreme hardship to you and your family (for example, depriving you of the means of earning a living) you may apply for a special hardship order if:

  • you gained 2 or more demerit points while driving under a period of good driving behaviour for 1 year
    or
  • your licence has been suspended for a high speed offence; driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit.

What is a special hardship order?

A special hardship order is a court order that authorises a person to continue to drive a motor vehicle under a Queensland driver licence in stated circumstances.

How do I apply for a special hardship order?

If you need to continue driving, you may apply for a special hardship order, but only if your licence suspension would cause:

  • extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of your means of earning a living
    or
  • severe and unusual hardship to you or your family, other than by depriving you of your means of earning a living.

You have 21 days from the start of your licence suspension to lodge a special hardship order application and your supporting evidence to the Magistrates Court in the district where you live. You will also need to lodge a copy of your application and supporting evidence with the department at least 7 days before the date of your court hearing.

A fee is payable when lodging your application with the Magistrates Court. For more information about this fee, please contact the Magistrates Court in the district where you live. Please note that there is no fee for lodging a copy of your application with the department.

Note: Section 107 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010 states that a person may only apply for a special hardship order to a relevant court for the person. A relevant court includes:

  • if the person resides in the Brisbane Magistrates Courts District – a court in the division of the Brisbane Magistrates Courts District in which the person resides
  • otherwise – a court in the Magistrates Courts district in which the person resides.
For more information about the special hardship order process, eligibility criteria and how to apply, download the Special Hardship Orders information sheet (S4854) or call the department on 13 23 80b.

bOperates Monday to Friday 8am-5pm EST (GMT +10) excluding public holidays. Local call charge in Australia. Check with your service provider for call costs. For international callers phone +61 7 3405 0985 this service operates Monday to Friday 8.30am–5pm EST (GMT +10) excluding public holidays.

Last updated
17 July 2017