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You can appeal to the local court against a licence suspension if you are suspended:
You can also appeal against a suspension if you are a provisional or learner licence holder and Transport for NSW (TfNSW) (formerly
known as Roads and Maritime Services or RMS) suspended your licence because you had too many demerit points.
If you are on your full licence and get 13 demerit points or more, you will be suspended and you cannot appeal this suspension. Instead, you may apply for a good behaviour period. For more information, see Apply for a good behaviour period on the Service NSW website.
If you are suspended by TfNSW, you will be sent a letter telling you the date your suspension period starts and how long you are suspended for.
If you appeal, the suspension will be paused. You can continue driving until your court date.
You have until the day before a TfNSW issued licence suspension or cancellation commences to lodge your appeal in the Local Court.
If you do not file your appeal in time,
even if the court accepts your application, the magistrate will not be able to
hear your case.
You should get legal advice before appealing.
if you have been suspended by police and choose to appeal the suspension, you remain suspended and must not drive until the court date.
The court cannot lift the suspension or vary the length of the suspension unless there are exceptional circumstances to justify doing so. It can be very difficult to show exceptional circumstances.
You must file your appeal within 28 days from the date 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.
Before appealing a police suspension, you should always get legal advice.
If you are appealing against the decision of the police to suspend your licence, you will need the following form:
If you are appealing against the decision of TfNSW to suspend your licence, you will need the following form:
TfNSW was previously known as RMS and the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA). The RMS application form should be used if you are appealing a TfNSW suspension.
You can get copies of these forms from:
You can also complete and file these forms online using the NSW Supreme, District and Local Courts Online Registry.
Instructions: Instructions for filling out application notice - police suspension
Sample: Sample application notice - police suspension
Instructions: Instructions for filling out Application Notice - Transport for NSW Licence Appeal
Sample: Sample Application Notice - Transport for NSW Licence Appeal
You can file your application at any local court registry. There is an $102.00 fee (as at 1 July 2022) that you have to pay when you file an appeal form.
You will need to provide evidence to support your licence suspension appeal. The court may decide that your licence should not be suspended where:
If you want to show the court that you are of good character, it is a good idea to have two or three people write references for you.
Instructions: Instructions for preparing a character reference
Sample: Sample character reference
If you need your licence for work or for family reasons, you could provide the magistrate with:
When you go to court, you should take the original and three copies of any documents you intend to show the court. The original will be kept by the court. You will need to give one copy to the prosecutor, keep one for your records and have a spare.
When you file your licence suspension appeal form at the local court, the date that your appeal will be heard will be written on the form and a copy given to you. The date that your appeal will be heard may be several weeks or months away.
If you do not attend court on this date the court may dismiss your appeal or hear it without you being there.
It is possible that you could be at the court for a few hours, and sometimes for most of the day, so you should make arrangements with your work or childcare if necessary.
Get to the court half an hour earlier to find out which courtroom your case will be heard in. If you think you are going to be late, you should ring the court registry and let them know. If you are not there the court can decide your case without you.
There are often many cases listed on the same day and you have to wait until your name is called. You can take a seat in the courtroom or if the courtroom is full you can wait outside. Make sure you are close enough to the courtroom to hear the court officer call your name. If you leave, or are not there when you are called, your case can be decided without you.
The magistrate or registrar may close (adjourn) the courtroom for morning tea (usually around 11:30am) and for lunch (usually from 1:00pm to 2:00pm). You will have to leave the courtroom during these breaks. You can check what time the courtroom will reopen with the court officer or the registry.
Remember to turn off your mobile phone before going into the courtroom.
When your name is called, go and stand at the bar table (where the lawyers sit). The magistrate may ask you if you have anything to show them to support your appeal. If you have brought references and other documents, you should give these to the court officer to give to the magistrate. The prosecutor may look at them first.
The magistrate will then ask you to explain your case. This is also called making submissions. You could start by explaining to the magistrate:
If you are appealing against the decision of the police to suspend your licence, you will have to show the court that there are exceptional circumstances justifying lifting or reducing the suspension. In appeals against police suspensions, the court cannot take into account any of the circumstances surrounding the offence.
Some magistrates may want you to give evidence and you will be asked to go into the witness box. You will have to take an oath or affirmation (promise to tell the truth). The magistrate will then ask you questions. The prosecutor or the person representing TfNSW may also ask you some questions. After the magistrate has heard from you and from the prosecutor they will make their decision.
The magistrate may cancel a suspension completely or reduce the amount of time that your licence is suspended. In some cases, it is also possible for the magistrate to increase the period of suspension (however, this is rare). You cannot appeal from the decision of the magistrate. If the magistrate decides not to allow your appeal to keep your licence, there is nothing else you can do and your licence will remain suspended.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, TfNSW may ask the magistrate for an order that you pay their legal costs for attending court, although this is very rare. For more information, see
Paying costs in the 'After court' section of this topic.
If the police suspend your licence on the spot and you successfully appeal that suspension, you may still receive a notice of suspension from TfNSW after you have paid the fine for the offence or been convicted by the court. It is also possible to appeal that TfNSW suspension. Before appealing the suspension, you should get legal advice.