Headshot of Dan Daley - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthSection 53 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) (“RTA”) provides “A person must not, unless exempted by the statutory rules, drive a motor vehicle on any road without being licensed for that purpose”.

This means that you must have a NSW licence to drive in NSW unless, you are exempted under the statutory rules. However, there are people driving in NSW everyday on interstate or overseas licences, so how can this be?

Regulation 96 of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulations 2017 (“RTDLR”), provides that a visiting driver licenced in another Australian jurisdiction or a foreign jurisdiction, is exempt from the requirement that they hold a current NSW driver licence. However, Transport for NSW has the power to remove these NSW driving privileges for drivers licenced interstate or overseas for various reasons outlined in 96(4) of RTDLR.

An area that can catch out drivers from outside jurisdictions, is the removal of driving privileges on the basis of loss of demerit points. If the loss of points would be enough for Transport for NSW to suspend a holder of a NSW licence, Transport for NSW have the same power to withdraw the driving privileges for a visiting driver – under regulation 96(4)(n) of RTDLR.

For NSW drivers facing the prospect of a 3-month demerit point licence suspension, they have the option to elect to be of good behaviour for a period of 12 months as an alternative to the licence suspension under – s 36(1)(a) of the RTA. Visiting drivers don’t have this option.

In a recent case a man who had previously lived in Queensland and held a QLD licence but now worked in NSW, was facing a 3-month withdrawal of his driving privileges due to demerit points incurred in NSW. Given his QLD licence, he wasn’t entitled to the good behaviour election.

To resolve this problem, he was advised to:

  1. Attend Service NSW and attempt to apply for a NSW licence, given that he now resided in NSW.
  2. Request that he be provided “notice of licence ineligibility” upon his application for NSW licence being refused due to the demerit points accumulated.
  3. Elect to serve the good behaviour period as an alternative to serving the suspension under section 36(1)(b) of the RTA relying on the notice of licence ineligibility.

This resolved his problem.

Traffic law is quite a complex area of law that requires legal expertise. Given this, it makes sense to see the experienced team at Everingham Solomons where Helping You is Our Business.

Click here for more information on Dan Daley.