South Africa’s new demerit system – How you lose points on your licence

South Africa’s new demerit system

The National Assembly has passed the latest Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences amendment bill.

The bill aims to introduce new road traffic violation rules, removing the courts from the AARTO process and replacing them with a dedicated authority.

The bill will now be directed to the National Council of Provinces for adoption, after which it will be signed by the President.

One of the major features of the bill is the implementation of a demerit points system, which will become active once the legislation has been adopted.

How the demerit system works

This system penalises drivers for traffic infringements using demerit points – with a demerit limit of 12 points.

If a driver’s total demerit points exceed 12, their licence is suspended for three months for every demerit point over 12.

Once a driver’s licence is suspended for the third time, it is cancelled and destroyed.

Drivers who continue to drive after their licence has been suspended are liable to a fine or imprisonment of up to one year.

The amount of demerit points a driver has accrued will reduce by one for every three months in which no demerits are incurred.

Demerit points

The applicable fines and demerits for traffic infringements are detailed below.

It is possible to accrue multiple demerit points in a single incident, as the points are awarded per violation.


InfringementFine amountDemerit points
Licences and miscellaneous
Driving an unregistered vehicleR5001
Driving an unlicensed vehicleR5001
Driving a vehicle with licence plate not visibleR5001
Driving without a driving licenceR1,2504
Driving without a seat beltR2500
Driving under influence of intoxicating substanceNot set6
Driving while holding and using a cellphoneR5001
Failing to stop
Skipping a stop sign (light vehicles)R5001
Skipping a stop sign (buses, trucks)R7502
Skipping a red light (light vehicles)R5001
Skipping a red light (buses, trucks)R7502
Failing to yield to a pedestrianR5001
Overtaking and overloading
Overtaking across a barrier line (light vehicles)R5001
Overtaking across a barrier line (buses, trucks)R7502
Overloading a vehicle with max 56,000kg combination mass by 12-13.99%R1,5005
81-85km/h in a 60km/h zoneR7502
100km/h+ in a 60km/h zoneNot set6
106-110km/h in an 80km/h zoneR1,0003
120km/h+ in an 80km/h zoneNot set6
121-125km/h in a 100km/h zoneR7502
131-135km/h in a 100km/h zoneR1,2504
140km/h+ in a 100km/h zoneNot set6
131-135km/h in a 120km/h zoneR2500
141-145km/h in a 120km/h zoneR7502
151-155km/h in a 120km/h zoneR1,2504
160km/h+ in a 120km/h zoneNot set6

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