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Unlicensed driving offences

If you are charged with an offence of ‘unlicensed driving’ it means that police allege that you drove a car without having a licence or permit that says you are allowed to drive.

It is prohibited for a person to drive without a license. The Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1998 – Section 25 mandates that a person must not drive a motor vehicle without a licence for that purpose or employ or permit an unlicensed person to drive a motor vehicle. A person who drives without a license may be placed in two categories:

  • the person has not had a driver’s license within the immediate last five years; and
  • the person had a driver’s license for the previous five years but has failed to renew the license. The penalties will thus differ, especially if you are a habitual offender in the second category.

This is a list of some of the more serious offences at as 1 July 2013:

Unlicensed driving offences

Penalties

First offence

Second or subsequent offence

Driving whilst disqualified, cancelled*, suspended* or refused

Maximum court-imposed fine

$3,300

$5,500

(*excludes suspension or cancellation under the Fines Act 1996)

Maximum gaol term

18 months

2 years

 

Disqualification - minimum

12 months

2 years

 

Disqualification - maximum

Unlimited

Unlimited

 

Disqualification - in the absence of a specific court order

12 months

2 years

Driving whilst cancelled or suspended under the Fines Act 1996

Maximum court-imposed fine

$3,300

$5,500

 

Maximum gaol term

18 months

2 years

 

Disqualification - minimum

3 months

2 years

 

Disqualification - maximum

Unlimited

Unlimited

 

Disqualification - in the absence of a specific court order

3 months

2 years

    

Never licensed

Penalty Notice

$796

Not applicable

 

Maximum court-imposed fine

$2,200

$3,300

 

Maximum gaol term

Not applicable

18 months

 

Mandatory disqualification and without any specific court order

Court Decision

3 years

    

Not appropriate licence class - Class of vehicle driven falling in class C, R, LR or MR

Penalty Notice

$519

$796

    

Not appropriate licence class - Class of vehicle driven falling in class HR, HC, or MC

Penalty Notice

$623

$1,245

Driver held licence in other State or Territory but lived in NSW for 3 months

Penalty Notice

$519

$796

Driver held a licence that had expired less than 2 years before

Penalty Notice

$519

$796

Driver held a licence that had expired 2 years or more before

Penalty Notice

$623

$1,245

Holder of a provisional rider licence drives a motorcycle with engine capacity greater than 660 ml or a power to weight ratio greater than 150 kilowatts per tonne

Penalty Notice

$519

$796

Traffic offences are considered "Major Offences" under the law and thus attract heavy fines, periods of licence disqualification and possibly terms of imprisonment. It is important that you seek legal advice.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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