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RMS Suspension Appeals

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RMS Licence Suspension Appeals

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) are the driver licencing authority in New South Wales. They issue and suspend licences, and keep records relating to infringements and demerit points. The RMS can issue a notice of suspension for a number of reasons. If you’ve received a licence suspension notice it is important to check that you can appeal. It is also important to act quickly as there are limited time frames to lodge an appeal. Marsh Blom Lawyers can help you get back on the road sooner. We are traffic law experts and regularly appear in licence suspension appeals in courts all over New South Wales. The decision of the court in these appeals is final and cannot be appealed any further. Make sure you give yourself the best chance of success and contact us today.

Which licence suspensions can be appealed?

Learner, Provisional P1 or P2 drivers

  • RMS licence suspensions for exceeding the demerit point limit
  • RMS licence suspensions for speeding 30km/h or 45km/h over the limit (camera detected only)
  • If you have been issued a suspension notice by the police you need to follow the process for immediate police suspensions.

Unrestricted drivers

  • RMS licence suspensions for speeding 30km/h over the limit
  • RMS licence suspensions for speeding 45km/h over the limit (camera detected only)
  • If you receive a notice of suspension for exceeding the demerit point limit or breaching a good behaviour licence you cannot lodge an appeal. See our FAQ below for further information. If you have been issued a suspension notice by the police you need to follow the process for immediate police suspensions.

What is the time limit for an appeal?

Suspension notices issued by the RMS are subject to a very strict timeframe of 28 days. The 28 day period begins when the notice of suspension is posted to you at the most recent address record on the RMS records. This date can be found on the top left corner of your suspension notice.

If you attempt to file an appeal outside of the 28-day timeframe, it will most likely be rejected. If you are able to file the appeal, the court may determine that it has no jurisdiction for the court to hear the matter and dismiss your appeal.

Steps in an RMS licence suspension appeal

The licence appeal process can be a difficult one if you are unprepared. It can be broken down into the following steps:

  1. Receive an infringement notice for an excessive speed and/or an infringement which will result in you exceeding your demerit point threshold
  2. Pay the infringement in full or enter into a payment plan. Or if you elected to have the matter heard by a court and were convicted. It is at this time the RMS will send you a notice of suspension.
  3. Receive notice of suspension from RMS indicating that the RMS have made a decision to suspend your drivers licence
  4. Draft and lodge an appeal against the decision of RMS to suspend your licence within 28 days. A court location and date will be allocated.
  5. Attend court and proceed with the licence appeal hearing. After your case is heard the Magistrate will deliver their decision immediately.

There is no avenue of appeal if you are unhappy with the court’s decision. Retaining a lawyer to assist you with your appeal will help to give you your best chance, in all of the circumstances.

How is an RMS licence suspension appeal determined?

RMS licence suspension appeals are heard in the Local Court of New South Wales. Traditionally, they are heard at the closest Local Court to the address on your drivers licence. It is imperative to be prepared before the court hears your appeal. Being unprepared may result in the court dealing with the matter unfavourably and dismissing your appeal.

When you appeal the decision of the RMS to suspend your drivers licence, the court considers many things including whether or not you are a fit and proper person to hold a drivers licence, your traffic record and whether you have a need for a licence. The court can also consider the circumstances of the offences which have caused the suspension however they cannot redetermine your guilt or innocence.

This list is not exhaustive, and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure.

Possible outcomes of an RMS licence suspension appeal

The Local Court has ability to exercise the same powers that the RMS had when they made the decision to suspend you. The 3 main outcomes of a licence appeal are:

That the appeal is allowed:

This means that you do not spend any time off the road, at all. If you are a provisional licence holder or learner appealing a demerit point suspension, the demerit points remain on your record, and they have the ability to count towards future suspensions.

The appeal is dismissed and varied:

This means that the court has seen fit to impose some period of suspension. The court can vary the period of suspension as much or as little as it deems appropriate.

If you are a provisional licence holder or learner appealing a demerit point suspension, the relevant demerit points are reset after the period of suspension imposed and will no longer they have the ability to count towards future suspensions.

The appeal is dismissed:

This means that the court has not seen fit to show leniency to you. You will be required to serve the period of suspension indicated on your notice of suspension (usually either 3 or 6 months). The suspension period will commence immediately, unless the court specifically orders otherwise.

The RMS and court will not send you another notification warning you that your licence is suspended. If you are caught driving after being suspended, you will not be able to defend the matter on the basis that the RMS did not send you another letter notifying you of the suspension period.

Remember, there is no avenue of appeal if you are unhappy with the courts decision. Retaining a lawyer to assist you with your appeal will help to give you your best chance, in all of the circumstances.

Driver knowledge tests

If you have had two or more suspensions in the last 5 years, regardless of the length of that suspension, the RMS may require you to sit the Driver Knowledge Test before you are able to recommence driving.

Warning of this will usually come on your second (or subsequent) suspension notice, as is relevant, during the 5 year period.

You will not be reminded after court, and if you are caught driving without having done the Driver Knowledge Test you won’t be able to defend the matter successfully on the basis that you didn’t know you had to do it.

Extension of provisional periods

At a minimum, everyone must hold a P2 licence for 24 months. Every suspension period you receive (either from the RMS or Police) will add an extra 6 months to that 24 month period.

This means, if your licence is suspended twice whilst you hold your P2 licence, you will be required to hold that P2 licence for 36 months before you can progress to your unrestricted licence.

Similarly, any time your P1 or P2 licence is suspended, the period of suspension is not counted towards the total minimum time required for that class of licence.

This means, that if you are a P1 licence holder is suspended for 6 months, that 6 month period does not count towards the 12 month total minimum period that you have to hold that licence.

Why choose Marsh Blom Lawyers

Marsh Blom Lawyers are experts in traffic and criminal law. All of our lawyers are experienced in RMS licence suspension appeals. Our lawyers will take the stress out of an unfamiliar and complex process. We will work with you to prepare your matter and then represent you at court. We ensure that every relevant matter is brought to the attention of the court to maximise the likelihood of a successful appeal. Take advantage of our obligation free case assessment and find out how we can get the best outcome for your matter.

Frequently Asked Questions