Don’t have a drivers license because you have not paid your fines to the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) ?
Did you know that you can be prevented from getting your drivers license for not paying fines and penalties owed to the State?
This can include fines that have nothing to do with your driving.  For example, you could owe fees for owning the state for damaging property or for Court fees.

Have you paid your SDRO Fines CASE example:

Noah has failed to pay fines for 8 years since he was 22 years old. Noah was involved with a damage property incident causing him to pay a fine of $1800.
Noah had not paid these fines.
Within 2 years Noah drove without a license while helping his mate who was drunk. Noah grew up into a fine young man and opened a business. He had met a young lady, got married and had 1 child. Noah let his wife drive and was used to her driving so he never got his license.
One night Noah was at the Verandah Bar in Sydney’s hottest night in the city and his good friend drank too much and he knew he couldn’t drive.
Noah had also been drinking, but he didn’t drink too much and thought he was okay to drive.
The police pulled Noah over for an RBT check and Noah returned a breath test of 0.07 (just over the lowest limit of a drink driving offence).
Noah was arrested and charged with 2 charges: 1. Low range drink drive 2. Driving unlicensed
Noah was charged for being unlicensed because he was unable to get his license, due to not being able to pay for his fines.

The maximum penalty for not having a license and driving is 3 years disqualification (meaning Noah was not able to get his license for 3 years from the date he was sentenced at court).
Fortunately Noah was represented by a lawyer and he secured a section 10A for this offence and was not penalised from being able to acquire his license for 3 years.
Noah was however disqualified from driving for 3 months for his drink driving offence

Relevant laws include – section 53 and section 54 of The Road Transport Act NSW

Section 53: Driver must be licensed

(cf DL Act, s 25 (1)-(4) and (6)-(8))

(1) A person must not, unless exempted by the statutory rules:

(a) drive a motor vehicle on any road without being licensed for that purpose, or

(b) employ or permit any person not so licensed to drive a motor vehicle on any road.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to or in respect of a light rail vehicle.

(3) A person who has never been licensed must not, unless exempted by the statutory rules, drive a motor vehicle on any road without being licensed for that purpose.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units (in the case of a first offence) or 30 penalty units or imprisonment for a period of 18 months or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence).

(4) If a person is convicted of an offence against subsection (3) (being a second or subsequent offence), the person is disqualified by the conviction (and without any specific order) for a period of 3 years from holding a driver licence. The disqualification is in addition to any penalty imposed for the offence.

Note : Section 207 provides for the effect of a disqualification (whether or not by order of a court).

(5) For the purposes of subsection (3), a person has never been licensed in connection with an offence if the person has not held a driver licence (or equivalent) of any kind in Australia for the period of at least 5 years immediately before the commission of the offence.

Section 54

(3) Driving or making licence application while licence suspended (other than for non-payment of fine) A person whose driver licence is suspended (otherwise than under section 66 of the Fines Act 1996 ) must not:

(a) drive on a road a motor vehicle of the class to which the suspended driver licence relates, or

(b) make an application for a driver licence during the period of suspension for a motor vehicle of the class to which the suspended driver licence relates and in respect of such an application:

(i) state the person’s name falsely or incorrectly, or

(ii) omit to mention the suspension.

Maximum penalty: 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months or both (in the case of a first offence) or 50 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence).

(4) Driving or making licence application after licence refusal or cancellation (other than for non-payment of fine) A person whose application for a driver licence is refused or whose driver licence is cancelled (otherwise than under section 66 of the Fines Act 1996 ) must not:

(a) drive on a road a motor vehicle of the class to which the cancelled licence or the refused application related without having subsequently obtained a driver licence for a motor vehicle of that class, or

(b) make an application for a driver licence for a motor vehicle of the class to which the cancelled licence or the refused application related and in respect of the application:

(i) state the person’s name falsely or incorrectly, or

(ii) omit to mention the cancellation or refusal.

Maximum penalty: 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months or both (in the case of a first offence) or 50 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence).

(5) Driving or making licence application after licence cancelled or suspended for non-payment of fine A person whose driver licence is suspended or cancelled under section 66 of the Fines Act 1996 must not:

(a) in the case of a suspended driver licence:

(i) drive on a road a motor vehicle of the class to which the suspended licence relates, or

(ii) make an application for a driver licence during the period of suspension for a motor vehicle of the class to which the suspended driver licence relates and in respect of such an application state the person’s name falsely or incorrectly or omit to mention the suspension, or

(b) in the case of a cancelled driver licence:

(i) drive on a road a motor vehicle of the class to which the cancelled licence related without having subsequently obtained a driver licence for a motor vehicle of that class, or

(ii) make an application for a driver licence for a motor vehicle of the class to which the cancelled licence related and in respect of the application state the person’s name falsely or incorrectly or omit to mention the cancellation.

Maximum penalty: 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months or both (in the case of a first offence) or 50 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence).

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