If you commit a traffic offence you may gain demerit points. You don’t lose demerit points, you acquire them. All drivers start with zero points. If you accrue 12 or more demerit points within a 3 year period you will be liable for disqualification.
When do points expire?
Demerit points will apply from the date of the offence. They are recorded against a driver once the expiation has been paid, or finalised through a court process.
Demerit points expire three years after the date of the offence. For example, if an offence was committed on 18 May 2015 those points expire on the 18 May 2018.
Demerit point offences
The number of demerit points incurred depends on the type of offence and how likely it is to cause an accident.
The table below provides a brief summary of common driving offences that incur demerit points. For a full list of offences, see the demerit point brochure.
|Red Light||fail to stop for red traffic light||3|
by less than 10 km/h|
by 10 km/h or more but less than 20 km/h
by 20 km/h or more but less than 30 km/h
by 30 km/h or more but less than 45 km/h
by 45 km/h or more (excessive speed)*
|General road traffic offences||
using a mobile phone while driving|
failing to wear seatbelt - driver
failing to stop at a stop sign or line at an intersection
driving with no 'P' or 'L' plates affixed
drive an unregistered vehicle on the road
drive at night or in hazardous weather without effective lights
*this offence will also incur an automatic loss of licence for six months. Police may also wheel clamp or impound an offender's vehicle.
Demerits warning notice
If you accrue six or more demerit points, you will receive a notice warning that you are close to being disqualified from driving (unless you have an interstate address).
The warning notice shows:
- offence details
- the date each offence was committed
- the number of demerit points for each offence.
Disqualification from driving
If you accumulate 12 or more demerit points in a three-year period you may be disqualified from holding a driver's licence.
If you hold a learner’s permit or provisional licence and accrue four or more demerit points you will be disqualified from driving for six or 12 months (depending on your circumstances).
See Disqualifications and suspensions for more information on:
- reasons your licence can be disqualified or suspended
- what to do if you receive a disqualification notice
- disqualification types, how long you will be disqualified for and appeal options.
- For a camera offence, the expiation notice is issued to the registered owner of the vehicle. If they accept the expiation, the demerit points will be allocated to them.
The registered owner can nominate another driver if they were not driving the vehicle when an offence is detected. Demerit points will not be recorded against a driver until the expiation is paid. Find out more about SAPOL expiation notices.
- Demerit points are not incurred for parking infringements, driving an unregistered vehicle, or driving without a valid licence. However, financial penalties still apply for these offences.
- Demerit points can be incurred for some offences committed interstate.
- Double demerit points for a single offence do not exist for offences committed in South Australia.
- Using your mySA GOV account, you can pay a fee and get an official driver licence report showing:
- licence status
- licence classes
- demerit points
- offences for the past 10 years.
Contact Service SA
Only send general enquiries online. Service SA will respond within three working days.
If the matter is urgent or is specifically about your current licence or registration, please phone or visit a customer service centre instead.
Call Service SA Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays on:
Service SA Customer Service Centre locations and opening hours.