Driving without a valid drivers’ licence, is among the most common traffic offences. These offences are generally divided into two categories, including:

  • Driving while unlicensed/never licensed
  • Driving whilst suspended, cancelled or disqualified

As of 28 October 2017, the drivers’ licence disqualification reforms introduced by the NSW Government came into effect. The important changes are as follows:

  1. The penalties and disqualification periods for the offences of Driving whilst Suspended, Driving whilst Licence Refused, Driving whilst Licence Cancelled and Driving Whilst Disqualified have been reduced; and
  2. Eligible persons subject to a licence disqualification may apply to the Local Court to have their driver licence disqualification removed provided they have been offence free for the specified period; and
  3. The Habitual Traffic Offender declaration has been abolished; and
  4. NSW Police now have special powers to impose vehicle sanctions for repeat offenders, including the removal and confiscation of number plates affixed to a car for a period of three or six months.



  • s 53 Road Transport Act 2013
  • s 54 Road Transport Act 2013


Driving while unlicensed/never licensed:           

First offence –  Max fine of $2,200

Second offence – Max fine of $3,300 and/or 6 months’ imprisonment

Driving whilst suspended/cancelled/disqualified:  

First offence –  Max fine of $3,300 and/or 6 months’ imprisonment

Second offence – Max fine of $5,500 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment

Possible Defenses:

  • Duress – were you coerced into driving without a licence
  • Necessity – did you drive to avoid serious death or injury e.g. driving someone to a hospital in a medical emergency
  • Reasonable and honest mistake of fact – did you, honestly and reasonably, mistakenly believe that you had a valid drivers’ licence

The complexity of these offences requires the extensive knowledge and meticulous attention to detail which our lawyers provide. Our team has specialised knowledge in traffic offences having assisted many clients successfully defend charges or obtain lesser penalties once sentenced.

If you have been charged with a traffic offence, our experts can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers in our office.

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