So, what exactly are Demerits, you ask?

Fines are only one way the Government uses to penalise drivers for driving infringements, however fines often remain unpaid as there is little incentive to do so, therefore they only accrue and need paying off in the end.

Demerit Points however are the second form of penalty, where the impact of ignoring them increases rapidly.

If any driver accrues 100 or more active demerits inside a 24 month period the driver is automatically suspended for 3 months.

What are Demerits?

NZTA Demerit Points

Demerit points are given for all speeding infringements (except those recorded by speed camera), some traffic offences and for breaching licence conditions, eg a learner driver unaccompanied by a supervisor or a restricted driver carrying unauthorised passengers. Demerit points also apply to some alcohol-related infringements and offences, for example, points can also be allocated in conjunction with a court disqualification where the court chooses to disqualify a person for less than six months.

How long do Demerits stay on your licence?

Demerit points remain active for 2 years after the offence was committed that incurred them. Once 2 years elapses the points attached to that offence go inactive (fall off) and they no longer can have a direct impact on your driver's licence.

How do I get allocated Demerits?

Demerit points are only allocated to your offence once "Liability" is determined. That is done when you pay the fine for the offence or when it is not paid and it progresses to court - and the offence is not defended by you. The points are then allocated and back dated to the date of the offence.

Drivers Licence Demerit Suspension

If you accumulate 100 or more active demerit points within any two-year period, your licence will be suspended for a period of three months and you will not be entitled to drive. The suspension period begins as soon as the demerit suspension notice is served on you by the Transport Agency, the police or an authorised agent of the Transport Agency. Any active demerit points recorded on your licence record at the time will be cancelled and will no longer contribute to your demerit point total.At the end of your demerit suspension, you’ll be unlicensed and not entitled to drive until you’ve reinstated your licence.

Demerit Points for speed related offenses

(Excluding Speed Camera Offences)
10
Exceeding the speed limit fixed by not more than 10 km/h
20
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 km/h but not more than 20 km/h
35
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 km/h but not more than 30 km/h
40
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 km/h but not more than 35 km/h
50
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 35 km/h
25
Using, in a motor vehicle, equipment that interferes with operation of speed measuring device
25
Possessing, in a motor vehicle, equipment that is designed to interfere with operation of speed measuring device
20
Exceed speed for stopping distance
20
Exceed speed for stopping distance on road not marked in lanes

Demerit Points for mobile phone related offenses

20
Driver uses mobile phone while driving a vehicle

Demerit Points for drivers licence related offenses

35
Drives motor vehicle contrary to the GDLS conditions of his or her driver licence (excluding the requirement to display L plates)
35
Drives in breach of conditions applying to stage 2 of licensing process
25
Failure to display L plate as required
35
Drives in breach of conditions applying to stage 3 of licensing process
25
Drives a motor vehicle contrary to the non-GDLS conditions of his or her driver licence

Demerit Points for vehicle related offenses

20
Operating unregistered motor vehicle by driving or using it on road in contravention of section 242(1) of the Land Transport Act 1998
15
Operating unlicensed motor vehicle by driving or using it on road in contravention of section 242(1) of the Land Transport Act 1998
20
Operating motor vehicle on road without plates affixed
20
Using trade plate when not eligible
25
Operating motor vehicle displaying plates or licence not authorised for that motor vehicle
25
Operating motor vehicle displaying object or design likely to be mistaken for plates or licence authorised for that motor vehicle
20
Operating motor vehicle with temporary exemption granted under regulation 20 of the Land Transport (Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing)
25
Failure to operate a motor vehicle with an exhaust system that complies with relevant noise output standards
25
Operate vehicle that creates excessive noise
25
Create excessive noise within or on vehicle

Demerit Points for alcohol and enforcement officer related offenses

50
Failure or refusal to remain for evidential breath test or blood test
50
Person younger than 20 driving or attempting to drive with excessive breath alcohol or blood alcohol concentration
50
Driving or attempting to drive with breath alcohol exceeding 250 micrograms but not exceeding 400 micrograms
50
Driving or attempting to drive with blood alcohol exceeding 50 milligrams but not exceeding 80 milligrams
50
Driving or attempting to drive with blood alcohol exceeding 50 milligrams but not exceeding 80 milligrams and failing or refusing to undergo an evidential breath test
50
Failure or refusal to wait for the result of a breath screening test or an evidential breath test
35
Failure to stop on request or signal of an enforcement officer, or on being followed by motor vehicle displaying flashing blue, or blue and red, lights or sounding a siren
35
Failure to remain stopped for an enforcement officer
35
Driving or attempting to drive when forbidden by an enforcement officer
50
Failure or refusal to accompany an enforcement officer when so required
25
Person fails to produce zero alcohol licence
50
Holder of an interlock licence or zero alcohol licence contravenes specified breath or blood alcohol level