License Appeals

License and Speeding Appeals

The following decisions of the RMS (RTA) and police CAN be appealed in the Local Court:

A decision by the RMS (RTA) to suspend your licence for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 or more than 45 kilometres an hour
A decision by the RMS (RTA) to suspend a P1 or P2 provisional driver’s licence for loss of demerit points
A decision by the police to suspend your licence (on the spot) for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 kilometres an hour

Notice of Suspension

Once you have paid a fine following the issue of a Penalty Notice for speeding (over 30 or 45 km/h), the RTA will then normally issue you with a separate Notice of Suspension advising that your licence will be suspended for 3 or 6 months. The Notice will also advise when your licence suspension will commence.
If you are a provisional licence holder, once you have paid the fine for the offence that takes you over your demerit point limit, a similar Notice of Suspension will be issued.

Lodging an Appeal

If you wish to appeal that decision to the Local Court, you then have 28 days to lodge the appeal in the Local Court. It is important that the appeal is lodged within 28 days as there is no provision for an extension of time.

Court Hearing

Once the appeal has been lodged, you will be given a future date to attend the Local Court and have your appeal heard before a Magistrate. On that date, there will also be a representative from the RTA attending the Local Court. You or your lawyer will be given an opportunity to explain to the court why your licence should not be suspended.

What can the Court do?

The Court has wide powers and can confirm the decision of the RTA to suspend your licence, disallow the suspension, or vary it. It can also “make any such order in the circumstances as the Court seems fit”. This means that the court can quash the suspension, reduce it down to as little as one day, or confirm the suspension and dismiss the appeal. The court’s decision is final. There is no appeal against a decision of the court.

Will my appeal by successful?
Whether or not you have good prospects of having your suspension reduced or quashed will depend on a number of factors, but primarily:
  • the reason you were speeding or, in the case of a provisional licence, incurred the demerit points
  • your driving record
  • your need for a licence
The weight given to each factor will vary, and you shouldn’t assume that just because you have a substantial need for a licence, the court will uphold your appeal. The court will consider all of the factors relevant to the application.
Police Suspensions

In the case of a suspension of your licence by a police officer, it must be demonstrated that there are “exceptional circumstances” before the suspension will be varied or lifted by a court.

Our lawyers have appeared in countless licence suspension appeals. For initial advice about your suspension, contact one of our experienced lawyers.