Obtaining License by False Statements
Under section 29 of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act it is an offence to obtain a driver licence by a false statement.
To convict you of an offence under this section the Police must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:-
- Obtained, renewed or possessed without lawful authority an Australia or external drivers licence; and
- This was done by the way of:
- A false statement;
- A misrepresentation; or
- Other dishonest means.
This section is quite broad in the sense that it captures any misrepresentation. The misrepresentation does not need to be one that is material to the application, nor does it have to be intended to deceive, or involve the misappropriation of the name of another person.
Examples of misrepresentations that would be caught by this section are be: using a fake name, providing an incorrect address, or declaring the wrong name of birth in an attempt to avoid certain age requirements contained in the licensing legislation.
Furthermore, the effect of subsection (2) is that a licence tainted by any misrepresentation is void from the outset. That is, you cannot, at any point, rely on that licence as a lawful authority to drive. That is the case even if you have passed all the other requirements (such as the driver competency tests) and even if you are not aware that your licence is void and of no effect.
There are also a number of possible flow-on implications to this. For example, there may be a possible lack of insurance coverage if you are involved in an accident and have a licence that is void under this section. There is also the possibility of being charged with additional offences of “drive whilst unlicenced” and/or “drive whilst never licence.”
The maximum penalty if you are convicted of this offence is a fine of 20 penalty units. However, it is possible for a person who obtains a licence by a false declaration may also be charged under the fraud provisions of the Crimes Act.
Regardless of how bad your traffic record is the court has discretion whether to record a conviction against you for the offence. If the court decides not to record a conviction, you will not be disqualified from driving. Section 17 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act allows a court that finds a person guilty of an offence the discretion not to impose a conviction against them.
WHERE TO NEXT?
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.