Change of Address or Name
Change of address
If you hold a driver’s licence, or have a vehicle licensed in your name, you must notify the Department of Transport (DoT) within 21 days if you change address.
When notifying DoT, include:
- your driver’s licence number and plate numbers of ALL vehicles licensed in your name. Also include details of any boat or firearm licences you hold.
- your full name, date of birth, current and previous residential address.
You will be forwarded a label that should be attached to the your drivers licence card.
Change of name
If you hold a WA driver’s licence or have a vehicle in your name and you change your name, notify the DoT ASAP. This must be done in person at a DVS centre or agent.
You will need to provide documentary proof of your previous and current identity.
You will need to provide one Category A document (e.g. birth certificate) and evidence of your new name (e.g. marriage certificate or change of name certificate). All docs presented must be original - copies certified as true copies will not be accepted.
Traffic Infringement Penalties
Penalties that can be imposed on drivers who commit traffic offences by Courts or infringement notices include fines, licence sanctions (e.g. demerit points, suspension or cancellation) and imprisonment. Penalties imposed by infringement notices are usually much less than those imposed by a Court. Not all traffic offences warrant infringement notices. Infringements include fines imposed for a range of traffic offences that are often significant and sometimes demerit points (in addition to fines).
You may also be disqualified from driving without incurring demerit points if you:
- are convicted of a drink/drug related driving offence
- offend repeatedly
- have a provisional licence, and are convicted of certain offences (You must re-apply for a licence after disqualification and may require further assessments).
Demerit Points Scheme
A national program in place in all Australian jurisdictions. Demerit points are a penalty imposed for a range of driving offences. The amount of demerit points accrued depends on the offence. Accumulating too many results in licence suspension.
Full Licence Holders
Under the Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Act 2008, a full licence holder who accrues 12 or more demerit points within 3 years period is liable for disqualification from holding or obtaining a licence.
Demerit points are recorded against a person not a licence on the DoT demerit point register. Points reflect the offence date, not the date the points were registered. The offence date determines which demerit points count towards the 12-point limit.
The disqualification period length is based on the points accrued within the 3 years.
More than 12 points in a 3-year period increases the length of the disqualification:
|Demerit points accrued||Disqualification period|
|12 to 15||3 months|
|16 to 19||4 months|
|20 or more||5 months|
Disqualification periods begin 28 days after an ‘Excessive Demerit Points Notice’ is served. If ineligible or you choose not to elect a ‘Double or Nothing’ good behaviour period you will be required to surrender your licence at a DVS centre or agent prior to the disqualification taking effect. Failure to comply may render you liable for a penalty.
In a double demerit point period, demerit points for many offences are… doubled.
Double or Nothing (Good Behaviour Period)
An option where eligible drivers can elect a Good Behaviour Period (GBP) before being demerit point disqualified. To elect a GBP you must be served an Excessive Demerit Points Notice (disqualification notice). By electing the ‘Double or Nothing’ a person commits to driving for a period of 12 months without committing any further offences.
If a driver accrues more than 1 demerit point during the GBP or they commit an offence that results in a disqualification, they will be disqualified for double the original period.
All WA driver’s licence holders can elect to undertake the ‘Double or Nothing’ unless:
- They do not hold a current WA driver’s licence
- They hold a provisional driver’s licence
- Their licence is already disqualified
- Their licence is invalid for any other reason
- Their licence is under fines suspension. (If the fines are paid to clear suspension within the 21-day election deadline, a driver may choose ‘Double or Nothing’)
- The ‘Double or Nothing’ replaces the demerit point disqualification.
- The ‘Double or Nothing’ is for a 12-month period.
- Committing an offence during the GBP will result in a breach period double the original disqualification period.
- Eligible drivers have 21 days from being served the Excessive Demerit Points Notice to elect to continue to drive by taking the ‘Double or Nothing’ option. Once the 21 days has lapsed, they cannot make an election to take the GBP.
- People disqualified for demerit point offences can no longer apply for an Extraordinary Licence. If a person is currently driving on an Extraordinary Licence and they get a demerit point disqualification they can still elect the ‘Double or Nothing’. However, the GBP will be moved until the disqualification period related to the grant of the Extraordinary Licence has expired.
Graduated Demerit Point System (Novice Drivers)
A Novice Driver Graduated Demerit Point System means Novice Drivers have reduced demerit point limits dependant on the length of time a Driver’s Licence has been held.
The system influences early stage (most effective time to motivate) driver behaviour to help Novice Drivers develop safe driving practices they will keep during their driving life. Plus, infringements as a Novice Driver are a good predictor of future crash involvement.
In the system a person is a novice driver until they have held a driver’s licence for period/s adding up to 2 years. These drivers can include:
- the holder of a first time learner’s permit
- the holder of a provisional driver’s licence
- a driver from overseas who has not held a driver’s licence for at least 2 years
- the holder of an extraordinary driver’s licence
Novice Driver Types
There are 2 types of novice drivers.
- Type 1 (4 demerit point limit) - A person is Type 1 until they have held a driver’s licence for periods adding up to 1 year. Type 1 also includes first time Learner’s Permit holders and people who have never held a licence. Type 1s are disqualified for a minimum of 3 months if they accrue 4 or more demerit points.
- Type 2 (8 demerit point limit) - A person who has held a driver’s licence for periods adding up to at least 1 year, but less than 2. Type 2s will be disqualified for a minimum of 3 months if they accrue 8 or more demerit points.
How do I know which limit applies to me?
If a Novice Driver exceeds the demerit point limit they will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a minimum of 3 months. Holders of a provisional licence will have their licence cancelled and will need to re-apply once the disqualification has expired, this includes taking another Computerised Theory Test and Practical Driving Assessment. Learner’s Permit holders will not have their permit cancelled but will still be disqualified for 3 months.
Novice Drivers disqualified for exceeding the demerit point limit are not be eligible to apply for an Extraordinary Licence and will not be able to choose the ‘Double or Nothing’ good behaviour period.
In a double demerit point, the demerit points attached to many offences are… doubled. This makes it easy for a Novice Driver to exceed the lower demerit point limits and be disqualified. If you are disqualified for exceeding your demerit point limit you will not be able to lawfully drive at all, even if it is critical for work or study.
Regulations for Your Car
Your car must have the equipment shown:
Your car may have a hand-held spot lamp or search lamp that may be lit only when:
- the vehicle is stationary
- the lamp is used for examining or making adjustments or repairs to the vehicle
- the light from the lamp is projected not more than 6m from its source
- the vehicle is outside a built up area
- it is used only for the purpose of reading a road sign
Your car must not have:
- any ornament or fitting which may cause injury in a crash
- any toy or mascot attached to the windows, mirrors, dash or any other part of the vehicle, that may obstruct the driver’s view or cause distraction
- a rear-shining light (except reversing and number plate) that is not red or amber
- any red light showing to the front
Regulations for Your Motorcycle
Your motorcycle must have the equipment shown:
Your motorcycle must not:
- any ornament or fitting that may cause injury in a crash
- any lights (except indicators) shining to the rear that are not red
- any red light showing to the front
Regulations for Your Trailer or Caravan
You must not drive a vehicle with an insecure load.
Your trailer or caravan must have:
- the correct coupling
- at least 1 safety chain up to 2.5t GVM and 2 safety chains for between 2.5 and 4.5t GVM. Chains must be cross-hitched to ensure security if coupling breaks
- rear lights and reflectors
- a light illuminating the rear number plate
- side lights - if the vehicle is more than 2.1metres wide
- a braking system (e.g. override brakes) if the gross trailer mass (GTM) is from 750kg to 2t and a breakaway braking system if the trailer is over 2t GTM
Brakes are not required if the trailer/caravan has a GTM less than 750 kg.
Ensure your vehicle has good exterior mirrors so you can see behind you when towing.
No one is allowed in a semi-trailer, trailer or caravan while being towed, unless the trailer has been approved and licensed for passenger carriage and is being driven in accordance with any conditions.
Towing limits are determined by the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014.
Simply stated, the regulations mean that:
The loaded mass of the trailer you are towing must not exceed the lesser of the:
- manufacturer-specified towing capacity of your vehicle’s towing apparatus
- manufacturer-specified maximum loaded mass of a trailer to be towed
Where vehicle manufacturer’s specifications are not known, the maximum weight to be towed is either 1.5 times the loaded mass of the vehicle (if the trailer has brakes) or the unloaded mass of the vehicle (if the trailer has no brakes).
Towing Another Vehicle
Unless a licensed recovery vehicle or tow truck tows a vehicle, a licensed driver must be in charge of the towed vehicle.
If you are towing a vehicle, the space between the 2 vehicles must be less than 4m.
If the vehicle being towed is a motorcycle, the space must be 2.5m or less.
The towing connection must be secure and safe. If the rope/chain/wire used to tow is longer than 2m you must attach a flag to the rope/chain/wire to ensure its visibility.
Do not exceed the manufacturer-approved towing capacity and regulatory towing limits
You may only tow a vehicle at night if it has appropriate lighting and the lights are on.
The use of ‘A’ frame trailers require approval from the DoTs Vehicle Safety Branch.
Horse and Animal Traffic
The appropriate lights must be fitted to a horse-pulled cart driven at night.
If you are riding an animal, you are not allowed to lead more than one additional animal.
If you are in a vehicle, you are not allowed to lead an animal.
Do not tie an animal to a motor vehicle to exercise it in any way.
You cannot drive cattle or sheep along a town road without written DoT permission.
Be courteous when approaching and passing people on horseback.
Do not sound your horn or accelerate, as this may frighten the horse.
If you see livestock on the road ahead, slow down and be prepared to stop.
Continue reading the Drive Safe: A Handbook for WA Road Users Summary:
5. The Law and You
Check out the other resources available to help you pass the Learner's Test WA and get your learner permit (L plates):