Drive Whilst Disqualified

It is an offence under section 30 of the Road Safety Act to drive whilst disqualified.

To be found guilty of an offence under this section, the police must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:

  1. Drove a motor vehicle on a road or road related area;
  2. Whilst being disqualified from obtaining a driver’s licence.

An offence is committed against this section regardless of whether you were disqualified from obtaining a licence by a court or by VicRoads.


Penalties for the offence of Drive Whilst Disqualified depend on whether it is a first or a repeat offence. The court may record a conviction against you.

For a first offence: the maximum penalty is 4 months imprisonment or a fine of 30 penalty units.

For a repeat offence: the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment or a fine of 240 penalty units.

In addition, the court can cancel your licence (if you still have one) and disqualify you from getting a licence for a further period of time. There is no limit on this period. You cannot get a licence to drive to work or some other special permit.

The court can also order VicRoads to cancel the registration of the vehicle that the offence was committed in, and not register the vehicle for a further period of time.

Possible defences

The most common defence for this offence is the defence of honest and reasonable mistake of fact. You must give evidence that you were unaware at the time of driving that you were disqualified. For example, this might be because you were not notified by VicRoads. In order to successfully raise the defence you have to prove that your belief that you were not disqualified from driving was both honest and reasonably held.

In Victoria, the court can still disqualify you even if it is satisfied that you did not know you were disqualified at the time of the offence and finds you not guilty. The court may order that you serve the entire original period of disqualification or the period until you became aware you were disqualified, whichever is earlier.


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.


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