Losing your licence
You may lose your licence if you commit a serious offence, if you are caught speeding, if you get all your demerit points or if you don't pay your fines.
You may lose your licence on the spot after you are stopped by police or you may get a Notice of Suspension from Transport for NSW (TfNSW) (formerly
known as Roads and Maritime Services or RMS) that states the date on which you will lose your licence.
A suspension is different to a disqualification. A suspension can only be imposed by the Police or TfNSW, but a disqualification is imposed by the court. You may be disqualified if you are convicted by a court of a serious driving offence. If you have been disqualified from driving, this section does not apply to you. If you have been disqualified, you will need to reapply for a licence at the end of the disqualification. For more information about your options after your licence has been disqualified by the court, see
On the spot suspensions
If you commit a serious driving offence, the police can charge you, give you a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) and suspend your licence on the spot. Some examples of serious driving offences include:
- negligent driving, where someone is seriously injured or dies
- serious speeding offences
- some offences involving driving and drugs or alcohol
- street racing and burnout offences
- if you breach your licence conditions, for example if you are a learner driver and you drive without a supervising driver.
If the police have not suspended you on the spot, TfNSW can suspend you following a notice of suspension.
Transport for NSW suspensions for speeding
TfNSW can suspend your licence if you are photographed driving more than 30 km/hr over the speed limit by a speed camera. The amount of time your licence is suspended will depend on how fast you were going. For example:
- over 30 km/hr and up to 45 km/hr over the speed limit, your licence will be suspended for 3 months
- over 45 km/hr over the speed limit, your licence will be suspended for 6 months.
TfNSW will send you a letter suspending you from driving. The letter will tell you when the suspension will start and how long it will last. TfNSW may send you a letter suspending you from driving:
- after you pay a speeding fine, or
- when the deadline for electing to go to court has passed, if you did not pay the speeding fine or elect to go to court.
Your licence can also be suspended because of demerit points or unpaid fines.
For more information, see
Licence suspensions in the Fines section of this website.
When can you drive again?
If your licence is suspended, you will not be able to drive until:
- the end of the suspension period for the offence,
- you have appealed the suspension to the local court and had your suspension lifted,
- you go to court and defend the offence and are found not guilty, or
- you go to court and are found guilty but the court records no conviction.
There are serious penalties for driving while you are suspended, including licence disqualification, large fines and imprisonment. If your licence has been suspended and you are caught driving, you should get
You do not need to re-apply for your licence at the end of the suspension period. You can start driving again straight away, as long as you still have your licence and it hasn’t expired.
If the police took your licence, you must contact TfNSW to replace your licence before you start driving again.
If your licence expired while you were suspended, you must renew it before you start driving again. Appealing the suspension
If your licence has been suspended, in some cases it is possible to appeal to the local court against the suspension.
The court will not look at your guilt or innocence for the offence at that stage.
You must file your appeal within 28 days of receiving the TfNSW Notice of Suspension or within 28 days from when you received the 'on the spot' suspension. If you do not file your appeal within 28 days, even if the court accepts your application, the magistrate will not be able to hear your case.
If you received the TfNSW Notice of Suspension by post, the law assumes that you received the notice four working days after it is posted.
For more information, see
Appealing the suspension in the Fines section of this website.
Before appealing the suspension, you should get legal advice.
For more information about what happens after you have been charged with an offence, see
Responding to a charge.