Clarity Law

Specialist Traffic Law Firm Queensland
Tuesday, 19 December 2023 13:56

What to do if you receive a notice to choose?

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Drivers in Queensland who exceed their demerit point limit will be sent a notice to choose.  It is critical that you understand the consequence of the choices set down in that notice to choose.


Demerit Points: The Basics

In Queensland, accumulating demerit points is not about losing points but rather starting with zero and adding points for specific traffic offenses. The demerit point system aims to promote responsible driving behaviour and ensure road safety.


What is a Notice to Choose?

If you accrue 12 or more demerit points within a three-year period on your Queensland open licence, or 4 or more on a provisional licence you will receive an 'Accumulation of demerit points – notice to choose' from Qld Transport and Main Roads (“TMR”).

This notice to choose presents you with two options:

  1. License Suspension: You can opt to have your open licence suspended for a requisite period.

  2. Good Driving Behaviour Period: Alternatively, you can agree to continue driving under a period of good driving behaviour for one year.


What is a Good Driving Behaviour Period?

It is in essence a 2nd chance.  Even when you have gone through your demerit points the government has allowed you to elect a one year period where you can drive as you have but with an important restriction being that you only have 1 demerit point for that year.


Why Choose a Good Driving Behaviour Period?

If you find yourself nearing the demerit point limit, opting for a good driving behaviour period allows you to keep your license. It's a second chance to rectify your driving habits.  Its critical to understand however if you accrue 2 or more demerit points on a good driving behaviour period then your licence will be suspended.


Why not Choose a Good Driving Behaviour Period?

Generally people choose not to elect a good driving behaviour period as they don’t think they can drive for 12 months without incurring more demerit points and would rather serve a shorter suspension now and “get back” their full demerit points now.


What if I Don’t Make the Choice by the Due Date?

Failure to choose between suspension and a good driving behaviour period by the specified date results in automatic license suspension. The duration of the suspension depends on the incurred demerit points.

  • 12–15 points: 3 months

  • 16–19 points: 4 months

  • 20 or more points: 5 months (for open license holders)


How do I Elect a Good Driving Behaviour Period?

To choose the good driving behaviour period (or suspension) , wait for the "Accumulation of demerit points – notice to choose" from TMR

You can elect it by;


Duration of the Good Driving Behaviour Period

The good driving behaviour period lasts for 12 months, during which you're allowed only 1 demerit point. Exceeding this limit results in generally a 6-month license suspension but can be longer if you incurred a lot of demerit points on your good driving behaviour period.


I Went Over my Demerit Points on a Good Driving Behaviour Period!

If you breach your good driving behaviour period but need to continue to drive, a special hardship order might be an option.

A special hardship licence allows you to drive for certain reasons specified by the court during your licence suspension.

Eligibility criteria include not having your licence suspended or disqualified in the last 5 years and demonstrating severe and unusual hardship, such as loss of income.

  • Restrictions may include driving only for work-related activities or personal reasons allowed by the court

  • The court may impose additional conditions, like maintaining a logbook.


An application for a special hardship order must be made in the closet Magistrates Court to where you live.

We have a full guide to special hardship orders that you should read as it goes into all the details you need to know about special hardship orders.


Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don't make a choice?

Failure to choose by the specified date leads to automatic license suspension.


What if I haven't received the notice to choose?

Contact TMR immediately to avoid unintended suspension.


Can I change my choice later?

Contact TMR promptly if there's a valid reason for not receiving the notice but likely there is nothing you can do.


Where is my closet TMR office?

You can find your closet TMR office by clicking here.


Can you help us with Demerit Points?

No, we cannot give advice or help in regards to demerit points.  This guide was just to help drivers better understand the consequences of receiving a notice to choose.

If however you exceed 1 demerit point on a good driving behaviour period we can assist you in applying for a special hardship order if you qualify.


We have a range of articles on Special Hardship Orders on our blog.  Some of the most recent have included:

Last modified on Wednesday, 20 December 2023 18:39
Steven Brough

Steven Brough is the Founder of Clarity Law.  He is one of the most experienced traffic lawyers in Queensland having appeared in court many thousands of time throughout Queensland since 2010.  He has authored over 100 articles about every aspect of traffic law in Queensland.

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