201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
99 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601
Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
In NSW, vehicles must be registered with the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) before they can be driven on a road or road related area. It is an offence to operate an unregistered vehicle.
It is not uncommon to see motorised or motor assisted scooters, bicycles or other "vehicles" on the roads (and footpaths) of NSW. It is commonly believed that such "vehicles" are not required to be registered, and that their drivers need not be licenced. In the vast majority of cases this belief is mistaken and as a result there are many people, particularly suspended and disqualified drivers, who are unwittingly committing serious traffic offences.
If Police believe you are operating an unregistered vehicle, they have the option of doing any of the following:-
The legislation relating to vehicle registration is complex. In summary:
It is a defence to 'drive unregistered vehicle' if the vehicle being operated falls within one of the three categories specifically exempt by the RMS from registration. These are:-
Electric Power-Assisted Pedal Cycles
To fall under this category the bicycle must:
To be exempted from registration under this category, the pedalec must comply with the requirements of European Standard EN 15194. That is: -
Motorised Wheelchairs and Similar
To be exempted from registration under this category, the wheelchair or other conveyance must:-
The vehicle cannot travel at a speed greater than 10km/hr.
There are certain vehicles that are prohibited vehicles and cannot be registered. If a vehicle cannot be registered because it is a prohibited vehicle, they must not be used on roads or in any public areas. For example, footpaths, car parks and parks.
Vehicles under this category include but are not limited to:-
The following penalties apply:
If you are charged with an offence the first thing to do is ascertain if you were in fact using an unregistered registrable vehicle. This can be a complex question and is best answered by a lawyer with expertise in NSW traffic legislation.
If you have committed an offence and are required to attend court then, particularly if you are a suspended or disqualified driver, you should seek legal representation. You will not be able to defend the charge on the basis that you made an honest mistake (ignorance of the law is no defence), but a lawyer may be able to convince the court that you should not be penalised and should instead have your charge dismissed pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act NSW 1999. If you go to court unprepared the court may convict you and minimum disqualification periods of up to 2 years may apply.
In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.