12 / 7 / 2023

Appealing NSW Licence Suspensions at Court

Driver’s licence suspensions can have a significant impact on your life, affecting your ability to work, study, and take care of your family.

If you have had your licence suspended in NSW and believe you have the right to appeal the decision in court, it is crucial to act quickly and obtain legal advice as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of success.

In New South Wales, a driver licence can be suspended by NSW Police or Transport for NSW.  You can appeal to the Local Court against a licence suspension if you have received:

  • An immediate licence suspension from NSW Police; or
  • A letter from Transport for NSW informing you that your licence has been suspended for the following reasons:
    • Demerit point accumulation if you hold a Learner or Provisional licence;
    • Health reasons;
    • Exceeding the speed limit by 30km/h;
    • Exceeding the speed limit by 45km/h.

The appeal process

If you wish to appeal a licence suspension in NSW, you must do so within 28 days of receiving the notice of suspension.  It is important to note that if your licence has been suspended by the police, lodging an appeal does not automatically stay the suspension and your licence will remain suspended until the outcome of your appeal.

What the Court will consider

If you are appealing against an immediate suspension by the NSW Police, the test is much higher than appealing against a suspension from Transport for NSW.  To be successful in your appeal, you must satisfy the Court that there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ justifying a lifting or variation of the suspension.

If you are appealing against a suspension by Transport for NSW, the Court will consider a range of factors, including:

  • your driving record;
  • the reasons for the suspension; and
  • your personal circumstances and need for a licence, including any evidence you present to support your case.

To prepare for your appeal, gather all relevant evidence that supports your case such as character references and medical reports.  You may also wish to write a letter to the Court yourself outlining your circumstances and need for a licence.  It’s important to have legal representation at your appeal, to help you understand the legal process and to present a strong case on your behalf.

If your appeal is successful, the Court may set aside the suspension or reduce its duration.  If your appeal is unsuccessful, the suspension will remain in place, and you will be unable to drive for the duration of the suspension period.

Sian O’Shaughnessy, Lawyer