Joshua Blom Lawyers

Your Guide to the Good Behaviour Licence

Unrestricted licence holders aren’t able to appeal against demerit point suspensions. Their only avenue to continue driving and avoid suspension is to elect to be of good behaviour and go on a Good Behaviour Licence. Good behaviour licences are colloquially known as ‘double or nothing’. We’ve got everything you need to know in this complete guide.

What is a Good Behaviour Licence

A good behaviour licence (GBL) is an alternative to serving a suspension period for:

  • unrestricted licence holders
  • who exceed 13 demerit points
  • in a 3 year period

If a full licence holder elects to take a good behaviour period instead of serving a suspension they will get an extra 2 demerit points for a period of 12 months.

While on the good behaviour licence if a penalty notice is received and paid that has 2 demerit points or more attached, the licence holder will be suspended for double the initial suspension period.

How long is the suspension?

The length of the doubled suspension depends on the length of the initial suspension, and the number of demerit points you had accrued before being offered the GBL.

13-15 3 6
15-19 4 8
20+ 5 10

How do you get a Good Behaviour Licence?

A full licence holder who exceeds their demerit point threshold will be offered a good behaviour licence in lieu of a suspension.

GBLs are offered at the discretion of the Authority (currently Transport for NSW). To apply for a Good Behaviour Licence you’ll need to have an unrestricted licence and your notice of suspension.

There are strict time frames around applying for these licences. Once you miss the date, nothing can be done about it.

Breaching a Good Behaviour Licence

If during the 12 month GBL period you pay a penalty notice which has 2 or more demerit points attached, then you will receive a notice of suspension for double the length of the initial period.

You cannot appeal the suspension at court if you don’t want to go on the GBL. It is an automatic consequence of breaching the demerit point threshold.

The only avenue to attempt to avoid the double suspension period is to elect to take the penalty notice to court and attempt to have the matter dismissed with a Conditional Release Order (formerly known as a section 10) or with a finding that you are not guilty. If the court deals with the matter by acquitting you or without conviction after a finding of guilt, then you will not be fined and the demerit points will not apply. If the demerit points do not apply, you are therefore not in breach of the good behaviour licence.

Time frames to elect to go to court are limited and electing to go to court can mean that you are convicted or have your fine increased. It’s imperative to speak to an expert traffic lawyer before you elect to go to court, as an election to court cannot be withdrawn and can have serious consequences.

Demerit Points


Can I get a work licence?

Work licences and restricted licences do not exist in New South Wales. You either have a licence, or you don’t.

If you breach a good behaviour licence you won’t be able to get a licence that allows you just to drive to and from work, or for the purposes of work – or anything else.

If you drive after you have been suspended then you are committing a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for driving while suspended is a period of imprisonment and disqualifications from driving.

Can I go to another State and get a licence?

Everyone has a friend of a friend who has gone to another state and got a new licence to avoid their suspension/disqualification period.

This does not work. Most states will ask if you have any pending or current suspension or disqualification periods in other states or territories. Lying on licence applications forms is a criminal offence which can lead to prosecution and even imprisonment.

What to do if you breach a good behaviour licence:

Speak to one of our expert traffic lawyers as soon as possible before paying the ticket or electing to go to court to get some specific and tailored advice.

If you have a question that we haven’t covered, get in touch with us today and ask.

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