Traffic Law

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Why am I charged with Unlicensed Driving?

In Queensland, it is an offence to drive without holding a valid driver licence. You may be charged with unlicensed driving due to various reasons:

You have never had a driver licence
Your driver licence expired and you forgot to renew the licence
You are holding an inappropriate class of licence (For example, you are driving a motorcycle without a valid motorcycle licence, you are holding a Learner’s licence and you drove without the supervision of an open licence driver)
You are medically unfit to drive
Your driver licence has been suspended or disqualified
Traffic Law

What are the penalties for Driving without a Licence?

Generally, unlicensed driving may attract a penalty or licence disqualification. For offenders who have not had a prior related offence in the past 5 years, the police have the discretion to issue an infringement notice only.

In the event you are charged with the offence, the court will consider the seriousness of the circumstances when deciding the penalty:

OffenceCircumstancesMandatory licence disqualificationMaximum Penalty
Unlicensed drivingFirst time offender with no history of licence disqualification or suspensionDisqualification is not mandatory40 Penalty Units or 1 year imprisonment
Never held a driver licence3 months40 Penalty Units or 1 year imprisonment
Demerit points suspension6 months40 Penalty Units or 1 year imprisonment
High speed (exceed speed limit by more than 40 km/h) suspension6 months40 Penalty Units or 1 year imprisonment
SPER suspension1 – 6 months40 Penalty Units or 1 year imprisonment
Prior conviction of unlicensed driving in the past 5 years1 – 6 months40 Penalty Units or 1 year imprisonment
Disqualified drivingDisqualified by court order2 – 5 years60 Penalty Units or 1 year imprisonment
Disqualified due to drink driving under s79B2 – 5 years40 Penalty Units or 1 year imprisonment

*Please click here to find the current value of the penalty unit.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Your driver licence may be suspended if you:

  • failed to pay a SPER fine
  • have exceeded your demerit point limit
  • have exceeded a speed limit of more than 40km/hour

If you drive a motor vehicle in Queensland while your licence is suspended due to the above reasons, you may be dealt with by a court for unlicensed driving.

Your driver’s licence may be disqualified if you are convicted in one of the following offences:

  • drink driving
  • drug driving
  • dangerous driving
  • A criminal offence involving the driving or using of a motor vehicle

If you drive a motor vehicle in Queensland when your driver licence is disqualified, you will be charged with disqualified driving.

Unfortunately, people charged with unlicensed driving cannot apply for a work licence or special hardship licence.

The answer to this question will inevitably be “Yes”. Losing your driver licence can be troublesome as it may affect your daily routine and work. Keep in mind that you cannot get a work licence or special hardship licence if you are charged with unlicensed driving.

The consequences of not having a lawyer far exceed the cost of hiring one. It is better to have a lawyer at the beginning to minimise the penalty.

Engaging Ascent Lawyers gives you the best chance to obtain the lowest disqualification period and fine. If you are currently facing a charge, please do not hesitate to seek legal advice from our experienced traffic lawyers.

Engaging traffic lawyers at Ascent Lawyers gives you the opportunity to obtain the lowest disqualification period and a fine as low as possible. Some of the benefits include:

  • We can help you throughout the whole process
  • In most cases you will not have to say anything in court
  • The court will understand that you are taking your charges seriously by engaging Ascent Lawyers
  • We know what to say to give you the best outcome
  • Your matter will be heard early and before the self-represented offenders
  • You will be fully informed of what happened in court
  • We will explain the penalties to you in details

At Ascent Lawyers, we appear frequently in courts with people charged with unlicensed driving. It is the experience that allows us to get the absolute best result for you.

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Don’t let the unlicensed driving charge
affect your future driving privilege.

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