Appealing an RMS License Suspension
If the RMS suspend your license you’re usually not aware until you receive a letter from the RMS advising you your license is suspended (usually from 3 – 6 months), from a particular start date. (This is not to be confused with the police suspending you license, on-the-spot, for an offence, such as mid- or high- range drink-driving). This is about an RMS suspension – generally related to exceeding your demerit points.
If you move house, and haven’t updated your license address details, you may not know you have been suspended. Always update your change of address details with RMS. If you don’t know you have been suspended, and you continue to drive, “I didn’t know, I moved” is NOT a defence. It’s a huge hassle for you, because you could find yourself charged with driving while suspended, and the penalties can be a lot more severe. If you are charged with drive while suspended, this is now a police matter, instead of an RMS matter. You’ll be wishing you changed your address…
Here are some tips for appealing the suspension yourself, or you can contact us and we’ll handle your appeal.
Assuming you have the RMS Notice of Suspension, and you decide to appeal:
Step 1: Read the letter carefully. When does the suspension start? For how long is the suspension period? What offences led to the suspension (in the letter are the demerit points offences and dates, or other reasons, that led to the suspension). What does the letter say about what steps you need to go through to get your license back? If you appeal, when do you need to lodge the Application to Appeal (there are usually strict time lines around this date – don’t miss the deadline).
Step 2: Download, read, complete and lodge the Appeal Application online.
The Appeal Application requires you to fill out a myriad of details, but importantly you need to complete the Grounds For Appeal. This is important, and you need to be strategic, candid and clear about your Grounds for Appeal. The Magistrate reads this before hearing from you, in court. If your grounds for appeal and reasons for needing a license are insufficient, the appeal will likely fail.
Have your credit card ready – the filing fee for the Application to Appeal is in the vicinity of $93.
We find the online Court Registry portal the easiest method to file this .
Step 3: Wait for notification about your appeal application. Do you have a court date? Usually you can continue to drive until your appeal is heard in court (as long as your license has not expired – important note: if in doubt, go to the RMS with your license and ask the RMS if you can drive during the period between lodging the appeal, and your court date. (I said “usually” because I meant “usually”, not always. Go and ask if in doubt.)
By filing this form online, you are lodging a request to appear in the local court to have the appeal heard by a Magistrate.
Step 4: You will need to attend court, and make your case to the Magistrate, on the date you are given. Be prepared, and have a list of reasons why you need your license.
Step 5: There are sometime other hurdles you will need to go through, such as a Driver Knowledge Test or paying fees, just as an example. The RMS letter, or Magistrate, or a visit to an RMS office, will help you sort out if there is anything else you need to do.
If you successfully appeal a suspension, and there are no other hurdles, our clients often find they don’t spend a single day off-the-road due to the RMS suspension letter. All of our clients have driven for the period of time between the license suspension date (on the RMS letter) and their court date, and then we’ve succeeded at the appeal, and they’ve driven home. (Or where there has been a hurdle, such as the Driver Knowledge Test, our client has left court after a successful appeal, walked around to the RMS, sat the Driver Knowledge test, passed, got their license, and then they’ve driven home.)
Here’s a link that might help:
This is NOT legal advice. I repeat – it is not legal advice, and if you drive while suspended, or drive waiting for your appeal, or don’t get your license back at the appeal, please don’t look to this and say: “the Local Court Lawyers said I could”. This is written to demystify the process, but not as legal advice.
If you want us to represent you, the Local Court Lawyers are experts in all local court matters. We will handle RMS license suspension appeals in: Coffs, Grafton, MacLean, Ballina, Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Murwillumbah, Bellingen, Macksville, Tenterfield and Tweed local courts.