How do demerit points against your driver's licence work in Victoria? Do they get cleared on the anniversary date of when you accrued them or do they all get wiped on January 1? So, for example, if I accrued 3 points on 30 December, would they get cleared on the 30th of December or at the start of the year?
Thanks for the question! Demerit points can be tricky if you don't understand how they work. I had to do a bit of research into this because I'm not a driver, so here is what I found:
In Victoria we have a system of demerit points. When I was younger I thought there were actual points on your licence and the police would punch them out with a hole puncher when you accumulated them, a bit like frequent coffee cards. No- that's not how it works. Demerit points are a type of penalty you get for a traffic offence like driving through a red light, for example.
How Many Points Is Too Many Points?
That depends on the type of licence you have. If you have a full licence if you have any more than 12 points in a three year period you may lose your licence. If you have a Learner's Permit or a Probationary Licence and you accumulate five points or more in a twelve month period or more than 12 points in a three year period you may lose your licence.
When Does The Time Start Ticking From?
The law at the moment states that the points accumulate within a three year period for a full licence and twelve months for a L or P plater. This means exactly what it sounds like, it's within three years or one year. So for example if I had a full licence and I accumulate 3 demerit points on 2 June 2014, they would get wiped on 2 June 2017 and not at the start of the third year.
Well, because then it's not a three year penalty! Demerit points are a penalty, they are applied by the law not just for your safety but for the safety of everyone else using the road. If the demerit points were wiped at the start of the year on 1 January 2017; then I wouldn't be receiving a full three year penalty if for example I accrued the demerit points on 31 December 2014.
Can I Find Out How Many I Have?
Of course, just contact VicRoads or Civic Compliance Victoria: http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Licences/DemeritsAndOffences/DemeritPointsAndFines/Demeritpointinformation.htm
Demerit points are wiped on the anniversary of you receiving them, not at the start of the calendar year.
Of course this goes without saying that I can't give you legal advice. I'm a lawyer, I'm just not your lawyer. If you need legal advice about a particular issue find a lawyer that is yours to keep and own!