A quick review of the Good Behaviour Licence in NSW

Posted by Luke Mitchell on 18 September 2014

We often get asked by potential clients who find themselves in to trouble with their licence, whether they can get a licence to drive to and from work or some other restricted purpose. In short the answer is – no. However, there is sometimes the option of obtaining a ‘good behaviour licence’.

The Good Behaviour Licence (GBL) election that is available to some NSW Drivers Licence holders. If you receive a suspension notice from the Road and Maritime Service (RMS) you may notice that you have the ability to make this election.

NSW Drivers have an opportunity to enter the GBL scheme if they have lost their unrestricted licence due to demerit point infringements and they hold an appropriate Licence. 

Who can apply for a Good Behaviour Licence?

GBL’s are only available to NSW drivers on an unrestricted licence. This means that people on provisional or learner licence classes can not apply for the GBL.

An unrestricted licence holder who is given a suspension notice due to the accrual of demerit points must apply within the time indicated on the suspension notice. You must elect to enter the scheme before the suspension period starts.

What the Good Behaviour licence scheme means for participants?

If you apply and are granted a GBL from the RMS, you are placed on the licence for the period of 12 months. If you accrue 2 or more demerit points during that 12 month period you are automatically disqualified for double the original disqualification period. 

It is important to realise this fact because you have very few options available to you if you accrue 2 or more points on a GBL. We have had several clients who have chosen to utilise the Good Behaviour Licence who have later regretted their decision due to committing further (often innocuous offences) which caused them to be banned from driving for a much longer period..

What can I do if I lose two or more points on a Good Behaviour Licence?

If you accrue two or more demerit points while on a GBL the RMS are required by law to suspend your licence. The only recourse you have is to appeal the offence which caused you to accrue the further demerits whilst on the GBL via an application to the Court. Further, the only Court outcome that will overturn the accrual of demerit points (and hence avoid infringing the terms of the GBL) is either:

  1. A Court sentence under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999; or 
  2. A finding by the Court that you are not guilty of the offence.

If you receive a suspension notice and require advice before making a decision about how to proceed please contact our litigation team.