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Driving without a Licence

Driving Without a Licence is an offence under Section 53 of the Road Transport Act 2013.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You drove a motor vehicle
  2. You did not hold a driver licence at the time, and
  3. You did not have a licence in Australia for the past 5 years

If it is your first major traffic offence in the last 5 years the maximum penalty is a fine issued by the police or RMS or, if the case is decided in court, a fine of $2,200.

If it is your second or more major traffic offence in the past 5 years the maximum penalty is:

  1. 6 months in prison
  2. A 12 automatic licence disqualification, which can be reduced by a court to 3 months, and
  3. A fine of $3,300

However, there will be no criminal record, licence disqualification or fine where the court deals with you by way of:

  1. A Section 10(1)(a) dismissal, or
  2. A Conditional Release Order without a conviction

The main defence to the charge is that you made an honest and reasonable mistake about the fact that:

  1. You did not have a licence when you drove, or
  2. You did not have a licence within the past 5 years

Other defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self-defence

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