The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is the authority for NSW Driver licences. RMS has the power to suspend licences in some situations. A licence suspension is an order imposed by the RMS which means you cannot drive for the period of the suspension. The main difference between a licence suspension and a licence disqualification is that one is imposed by the RMS (suspension), the other is by the Courts (disqualification).

If you’ve received a licence suspension notice you may be eligible to appeal the suspension. This appeal is instigated by having the matter elected to be heard and determined at Court.


If your licence is to be suspended by RMS, you will generally be informed through the mail. In this case, only certain matters can be appealed through the Courts.

  • You have been issued with the disqualification by RMS after speeding in excess of 30 or 45 kph.
  • You have a provisional rather than a full licence.
  • You have a full licence, but wish to plead not guilty to the offence that led to the demerit point suspension.
  • You were given an on-the-spot suspension by police for excessive speeding, or a mid to high-range drink driving offence.
  • You want to plead guilty to the offence that led to the demerit point suspension, ask for a non-conviction order from the magistrate.

Unfortunately, if you are on an unrestricted driver’s licence and receive a notice of suspension for exceeding the demerit point limit, you cannot lodge a licence suspension appeal.


If you wish to lodge a licence suspension appeal 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.

If you are facing suspension or disqualification, and you want to appeal, it is important to seek advice from experienced traffic lawyers.


The court will generally have regard to the following factors when considering a licence suspension appeal:

  • the circumstance of the offending;
  • your driving record;
  • whether you are a fit and proper person capable of holding a licence; and
  • your need for a licence.


It is always a sensible decision to consult an experienced traffic lawyer in order to strengthen the prospects of a successful appeal. Usually, an experienced lawyer will be able to provide you with advice on the preparation of the following materials in order to increase the chances of a successful appeal. These materials include:

  • Letter of Apology;
  • Character references;
  • Letter from employer;
  • Employment contract;
  • Completed Traffic Offenders Rehabilitation Program.


Pursuant to section 268(2) of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) the Local Court may determine an appeal in the following ways:

(a)  by setting aside the decision, or

(b)  by varying the decision, or

(c)  by dismissing the appeal, or

(d)  by making such other order as seems just to the Court in the circumstances.

On the day that your licence appeal is listed in Court, you will need to bring along all the evidence that you’ve prepared and be ready to explain to the Magistrate why you should keep your licence. This process requires careful preparation and strong submissions in Court.


If you have paid a traffic fine and received an RMS suspension appeal, contact us today to see if you are eligible for a suspension appeal. Our team of experienced Criminal and Traffic Lawyers at National Criminal Lawyers will guide you through the process. We understand how stressful the thought of losing your licence can be. We can no greater satisfaction than assisting our clients through difficult times and obtaining great results.

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