Ask LH: Was It Fair For The Police To Fine Me?

Dear Lifehacker, I recently visited the local fish and chip shop to get a snack for my kids, but when I got there the shop was closed. I came in, put on the kettle and sat down, then heard a knock at the door. It was the police.

Image: vagawi

"Are you the registered owner of that vehicle?" they asked, pointing to my car. Yes, I am. "Were you just driving it?" Yes, I was. "Where were you going?" Just to the chip shop to get chips. "Did you realise your driver's licence has expired?" No, I did not. (I did actually forget : the reminders come too damn early!)

To cut a long story short, I was fined $473 for driving with an expired licence. Apparently they couldn't just give me a warning because the licence had expired more than six weeks ago. I know I was doing the wrong thing technically, but is it fair to knock on my door after the event and give me a whopper fine? I think that's unreasonable, but am I just being a little emotional? Any advice appreciated! Thanks, Expired

Dear Expired,

There's no single topic that's bound to draw the ire of Lifehacker readers more than driving fines, as I discovered when I weighed in on getting fined in private car parks, but here goes:

There are really two sides of this. On the one hand, there's relatively little that's a grey area relating to breaking the law (which you were doing) and complaining about being busted for it after the fact. You can't break the law and cite a matter of minutes as any kind of reasonable defence, and the law (no matter which state you're in) says you have to have a valid licence in order to drive. Driving without a licence almost certainly means you're also uninsured, and while you're not likely to be planning an accident on the way to the chippy, it could feasibly happen.

The trickier aspect is one of discretion; in theory the police should apply the law equally and without fear or favour, but in practice, they do apply discretion depending on the circumstances. To use a personal example, not that long ago I copped a fine for disobeying a No Right Turn signal on a Sydney road; my normal approach for this particular corner was to head a little further, perform an entirely legal three point turn from a driveway nearby and head down via the left. On the day in question, the road was 100 per cent clear, so I figured I wouldn't bother — and there was a cop car idling nearby. A painful fine — and one that even the cop booking me admitted was a little rough, especially as while he was booking me, a couple of other vehicles zoomed past having done exactly the same thing — but I took it on the chin because, ultimately, I'd done the wrong thing.

It seems a little odd that they'd bother knocking on your door, although you haven't made it clear if there were other circumstances that led to them checking your licence details in another context. Still, you'd left it a month and a half to renew your licence, which suggests it wasn't top of mind. The fine is undeniably painful, but that's the point; perhaps calendaring the renewal date on your phone or computer may help next time to remind you to keep your licence in order. Driving isn't ultimately a right; it's a privilege.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    I think the guy was stating that he wasn't in his car and was on private property when the police fined him. so he should get off on a technicality? Hell no.

    He should be stoked he got such a small fine, as stated by law 'If you are convicted of unlicensed driving the court may impose a fine of up to $4400, or you may be imprisoned for up to 1 year.'

    driving is not a right, it is a privileged and with great power comes great responsibility.

    good point on the fact that he wouldn't have had insurance, also if he did have an accident i bet he would have remembered very quickly that he was driving illegally and probably booted off.

      driving is not a right, it is a privilege

      I've pulled the below from a response to this line that I made on another forum a long time ago - but the general feeling behind it still applies. Not aimed at you personally.

      Sanctimonious government tripe. Absolute nanny-state BS.

      We don't choose to be born into this society. Driving is a necessity for the majority of jobs and to provide a satisfactory level of existence. Anyone that tells *me* that 'driving' is a 'privilege' bestowed on us by the 'powers that be', to my face, will have something shoved where it isn't meant to fit.

        That doesn't make it your right to drive. I don't necessary think it's a privilege, but it is a responsibility. As with most laws, you can't just behave in an anti-social way and expect to be allowed to retain full functionality in society.

        Really? You really, really, really think that being in control of the acceleration, breaking and manoeuvring of a multi-tonne oversized metal rollerskate isn't something that people should earn, but should instead just be magically permitted to do from birth?

        Calm down, Preachy McHighhorse. Honestly, I'd much rather live in what you call a 'nanny state' if the alternative is your way of thinking.

        I'm sorry, ozvic, but if anyone is being sanctimonious here it is you. The perceived necessity of driving is purely a result of decisions freely made by you. You could just as easily have decided, as I did 15 years ago, never to live more than a 30 minute bike ride from work or to live within walking distance of a train station or bus stop. I also use my bike to do my grocery shopping, which pretty much covers anything that may be seen as a necessity, I think. If you didn't own/maintain a car you would have plenty of spare cash for taxis and public transport when the weather made riding ill-advised so I really can't see any necessity beyond that which you have freely put yourself in for.

        Yes, I have a car but it's main purpose is leisure/pleasure. In no way do I see it as a necessity, to the extent that when I sold my last car it took me 5 months to get around to buying another one. If I can do it, anyone can.

        VB Commodore or EA Fairmont?

          I'm not sure if I'm the only one that laughed

            +1, though i would like to add Hyundai Excell

              +1 here too, but i would add a Vic Bitter ; )

        Driving is in no way a necessity for even a significant minority of jobs. There are roughly 800 000 adults in NSW without a licence (probably slightly more, since the ABS lumps 15-19 year olds in the same group, so I ruled them all out of consideration as adults). That you can't live to a "satisfactory level of existence" without being able to drive says more about you than society. It also seems to make your use of the word "sanctimonious" as deliciously ironic, but maybe that's just me.

        If you feel that this is an unfair burden placed on you by a nanny-state government, why are you still here? You might not have chosen to born here, but at the same age you could get your licence, you were also free to emigrate of your own volition, so your continued being here since then is entirely your choice.

        "Your Honour, I didn't choose to be born in this society, which is dominated by morons, and killing said morons was necessary in order for me to lead a satisfactory level of existence..."

        Yeah... lets see how that works out.

        I won't bother re-iterating what everyone else has said in their replies, but this is utter rubbish.
        You have a very distorted view on what is and isn't a right.
        Go and read up on what Human Rights are, because transportation is not one of them.

          Transporting myself from point A to point B is a human right. You mustn't attempt to stop me as long as that right doesn't infringe upon you won or someone else's rights e.g. you're standing between point A and B in which case we'll have to negotiate - I can go round you or you can move out of the way. Similarly, if I decide to ride a bicycle between point A and B I have that right except if the same situation applies - or others such as the individuals in our community have previously decided that no-one should have bicycles for whatever reasons. Similarly, using an SUV to travel from point A to B is also my right except for the above-mentioned reasons. Rights are inherent in my being human. However they can be circumscribed by appealing to other's rights. My moving from point A to B IS a right, not a privilege granted to ME by YOU.

            You miss the whole point. You have every right to move from A to B. But the way in which you do so can be limited, restricted or a privilege granted to you.
            If point B is in a private place, then you need permission to go there. If both places are public then you are free to travel as you like, however travel by a specific medium may be restricted.
            It's no different than trying to take a motorbike on a footbridge, or being a pedestrian on the side of a free-way.
            We have laws and regulations to protect the public and each other. By your reasoning, everyone should be able to do whatever they want. That's not how society works.
            You can get from A to B by walking or riding a bike. If you can't follow the rules set out for driving a car, then you shouldn't be allowed to drive one.

            And if you actually read my comment..... Go read up on Human Rights. I looked up the Australian government site and there is no such thing as the right to transport.
            The only thing that comes close is the right to leave a country or enter one that you are a resident of. Which is still governed by border protection and immigration laws.

        Driving is a privilege because those that abuse the privilege can cause untold harm to others. That's why it's regulated.

        sorry but if your unable to drive correctly, within the law as much as you can, do not dirve at all.

        Insurance is no joke. if he had hit a person, another car, hell ANYTHING! 'nana' state would have to fit the bill in court, which is ALSO expensive to the public as insurance woundlt touch it and he wont have a couple $100,000 around for damaged to a person, car or building

        No. Driving is a privilege, not a right. If not being able to drive affects your ability to work, that's your fault - but anyway the majority of jobs you can get to by bus or train. If driving was a right - you'll have people driving 200kmh an hour 10x the legal alcohol limit, never bother registering their car. Then state "No it's my right to drive"

        Although I agree driving a vehicle is not necessarily a privilege, it is a privilege to drive said vehicle on public roads among other road users.

      The lesson to be learned here is to tell the filth nothing. Even if you have done nothing wrong, a no comment response is always in order. Regardless if you have done anything or not.

      $500 fine and points for not wearing a seat belt, 50 meters down the road from work to go buy a chicken drum stick for lunch. In like a 50 zone with no one in site.

      I'm gonna go home to smack my head against a brick wall / cut my wrists because I can't pay my bills on time now.

      THANKS FOR PROTECTING ME.

      How can you be fined for endangering yourself? I do it on a daily basis via sports and living.

      An honest answer would be excellent.

        They ARE protecting you - by discouraging people driving around uninsured without CTP they are making sure you're not exposed to massive financial problems for yourself if you had an accident.

          and it's ok to charge you for the service, while completely turning a blind eye to all other forms of self mutilation?

        The idea behind it is that if you were to have an accident you will burden the government with your medical bills. So yes, they have a right to dictate that you must wear a seat belt.

        It's because a law like this designed to be black and white.
        You drive, you wear a seat belt. That's it. There are no conditions or exemptions.
        It's easy to understand and easy to enforce.
        Just because you only go 50m down the road with no one around doesn't mean you can ignore the law.
        The point of a fine is not just to punish bad behaviour, it's to act as a reminder and as a deterrent.
        Next time you go down the road, put your seat belt on and it ends up saving your life, you wont feel so bad about a $500 fine.

        Last edited 23/01/13 3:57 pm

    Two questions: 1. did you do the wrong thing? 2. did you get busted?

    Suck it up, princess. Learn from your mistake.

      Totally - this isn't some stupid game - just cos you got "home" and yelled "barley!" doesn't mean you were untouchable.

      Unless of course you fined them first and yelled "no fines back!"

      1, yes he did, 2 yes he did, 3 he was warned, 4 it was 6 weeks out of date. 6 WEEKS?? you get a notification prior, a notification the week before and on the laps.

      thats like saying fu to public liability and responsability to all your fellow drivers, friends and family that would have to cover your ass out of public trust because you hit somthing

      Define wrong?

      Murder, Rape, Fraud, Drink driving.
      Smoking marijuana, riding a skateboard.
      Being naked.
      NOT VOTING.

      Life; totally worth it.

    Maybe the best thing to do here is renew your license as soon as you get the reminder and don't put it off next time hey?
    You can renew your license any time after the reminder is sent.
    That's why it's a "reminder". If you're going to ignore it, cop the fine.
    As LH said " Driving isn’t ultimately a right, it’s a privilege. "
    That means you're a "guest" on the roads. Behave like a guest.

    ...I'm sorry, cupcake, but I'd like to point out the part where YOUR LICENSE EXPIRED SIX WEEKS AGO.

    Yes, it was fair, and you should know better. Honestly? You need to write to a tech website about whether being caught driving without a license is 'fair'?

    Christ.

      I agree. Perhaps you could argue that whether or not they need a warrant or something to question you on your own property (I'm not sure). And perhaps that may have merit if you license had expired the day before, but six weeks???

        Yeah no you don't need a warrant to knock on somebodies front door and ask them questions. You could not argue this point at all. In fact you are almost completely retarded when it comes to law to even think that argument would have merit.

    I recall a matter when working in the magistrates courts. A gentleman who had been driving erratically was followed by the police, who suspected he was drink driving. He pulled into his driveway and they flashed the lights. He then ran into his home and started drinking copious amounts of alcohol. He then sought to defend a drink driving charge in court by saying that his BAC was calculated after drinking which occured after he was driving, therefore they couldn't prove that he had been drink driving.

    He was screwed, as the expert testimony made it clear that the amount he testified that he had to drink didn't account for most of his BAC.

    Ultimately, you don't get to avoid the consequences of breaking the law by making it home and yelling 'BASE'.

    http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/3p18/

    pretty silly to answer the cops questions. don't ever answer their questions if you think they'll use it against you. you have a right to silence. if they saw you do it they can fine you anyway but there is no reason for you to help them. that's their job let them do it.

      ...Well, you sure sound like a bucket of fun wrapped in a blanket of laughs.

      Homeslice was driving with an expired license. Of course he/she should have answered the questions; he/she was breaking the law.

        have you exceeded the speed limit and not been caught? ever in your entire driving life? even by a few kms for only a few seconds? you've broken the law so off you go and confess to the cops. we won't be safe until you're punished you filthy speeder.

        Last edited 22/01/13 2:56 pm

          Actually, yes, I speed. Often. Wanna know why?

          I drive stunt cars for a living. So, really, I'm the last person you should attempt to smack down with your ZOMG LOL I CAN TURN THIS ARGUMENT AROUND TOO, GUYZ, because I get paid to do it. On closed but public roads.

          By the by - no one was saying that the OP should be running to confess; he/she got caught.

          Have a nice afternoon.

            So you have never exceeded the speed limit, or broken any road rules on a public road? That is what nef_d was asking.

            BS dude

            "Of course he/she should have answered the questions; he/she was breaking the law."

            that sounds like him confessing to me. All I said is that he shouldn't of answered their questions. If they saw him driving the car then why ask the questions? They can issue a fine even if he says no comment. He got caught and should pay the fine BUT there's no reason to help the cops do THEIR job.

            stunt driver you mean like, a sneaky burnout on the set of Home and Away?

            Last edited 22/01/13 3:22 pm

              Ahh - we're all cold blooded hoods online aren't we? Don't tell "the filth" anything, let them work for it.
              Enjoy the next season of Underbelly...love those documentaries.

                yes knowing ones rights is rather thuggish isn't it lol

      Correct. You are under no obligation at all to answer questions. Even when you are pulled over, you only have to give them your licence but are under no obligation to answer their questions. Don't be rude about it of course.. but as ned_d says, you have the right to silence. If they want to drag you into a court and prove you were driving unlicensed or speeding or whatever, then so be it..

      If you have no illusions about being in the wrong and are happy (relatively) to accept the fine, then that's fine too.. but this person basically confessed to a crime and then wonders why they were fined....

        you missed the bit that you have to pay the legal fees when you lose.

          If you lose.. yes, of course.. again.. if you did the crime, you should do the time.. but there is a lot more entrapment going on then you might think.. a recent, publicly reported case of entrapment was with that lady who was fined for using a mobile phone when she was actually just handing a pack of tic-tacs to her children.

            You clearly don't have a clue what entrapment means. 'Entrapment in the context of police actions, is when the police intentionally tempt or coerce you into committing a crime, not when they mistake a lolly box for a phone. There's a difference between being mistaken and being malicious.

      There is no constitutional right to silence in Australia, so your right to silence depends on where you live - this one could be a future lifehacker article, but in South Australia, we don't have a right to silence anymore:
      http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/laws-to-strip-silence-right/story-e6frea83-1226149915274 (that article is about workplace laws, can't find the one relating to the wider community)

      Looks like they want to do the same thing in NSW:
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-14/commissioner-says-right-to-silence-changes-will-help-prosecution/4198322

      Here's a white paper:
      http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/0/29C6C17EDF2500FBCA256ECF000842F6/$File/11-97.pdf

      Don't answer the police and you could go to the lockup! The police like to claim that anyone utilising a perceived "right to silence" is simply "hindering police".

      Last edited 22/01/13 3:36 pm

        I thought that legally the only thing you had to do was provide your name and address (and license if driving).
        Anything else would fall under the "come down to the station to answer some questions"

        The problem is - when it's done officially, it's recorded and you can have a lawyer present.
        When they start questioning you on the street (or on your doorstep) anything goes.

          Well a detective has knocked on my before and required me to sign a statement which was a transcript of a conversation I had with a police officer on the street.

          EVERYTHING you say to the police is a statement. Anytime, anywhere. NO police station necessary.

          That's how it is here in South Australia anyway.

        Assuming the cops that are questioning you are trustworthy. I live in WA and our cops have a bad reputation of "bending" the law to their own advantage.

        Great post!

        But I think you are a oversimplifying things and taking specific reforms (workplace relations and using a right to silence as an alibi) and extending them to more general circumstances.

        http://www.findlaw.com.au/faqs/1186/when-do-i-have-to-assist-police-and-answer-police-.aspx

        BTW I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone challenged the laws in SA and NSW that infringe upon the right to silence in the High Court.

      And of course, then you can get done for obstructing police business. We don't quite have the same "you have the right to remain silent" b.s. the yanks do dude. Either way, there's ways around you not answering their questions.

    The same "argument" could apply to getting a speeding fine in the mail.

    Fact is, there is no argument. Just like there's no valid argument against receiving a speeding fine.

      Except if you weren't actually speeding.. which happens way too much. I've never been wrongfully booked for a crime in this way.. but I've read about many who have who have later gone on to prove that they were not speeding (or whatever the crime was).

      Even with a speeding fine, you are still innocent until proven guilty.
      You can fight any fine you want. But they will have all the necessary evidence, such as speed camera photos or whatever.
      And as we have seen in the past - the validity of the speed camera results can in some cases be argued. Most commonly where lots of people are booked at the same time and place. That usually indicates a calibration or setup error with the camera. Like the Hume Hwy ones. I think the Eastlink ones had some issues too.
      It depends on the circumstances but just getting a fine in the mail doesn't automatically mean you have to pay it. It's usually the cheaper option though =)

        Yup.. usually is the cheaper option :)

        Having a car blackbox recorder is helpful for these things though.

    “Are you the registered owner of that vehicle?”
    "No Comment"

    “Were you just driving it?”
    "No Comment"

    “Where were you going?”
    "No Comment" (If you answered the second question as above then this becomes moot)

    “Did you realise your driver’s licence has expired?”
    "No Comment"

    "Is there anything else I can help you with officer?"

    Problem solved!

      LOL

      "Is there anything else I can help you with officer?"
      Yes you can put your hands behind your back. Your under arrest for hindering police.

      There I just completed it for you.

      That's a brilliant plan right up until the point where you get fined because they know you were driving (they followed you home) and were just giving you a chance to explain your side of what happened.
      Although I get the impression they were looking at the car itself not the driver, so answering 'no comment' to 'do you own this car' would probably result in a whole other line of questioning that results in the expired license fine plus a wasted afternoon.

    In terms of them fining you:

    You COULD have refused to answer their questions when they apprehended you. To fine you they would have then had to prove that you were driving the vehicle. I don't know how hard this would be (depends on how close they were to you) but in theory you could get off.

    Having said that, you should still cop a fine.

    I recently ran into a similar issue with police giving me a fine on private property.

    I was in the driveway with the ignition off and out of the car when a highway patrol car had pulled in behind me and RBT'd me in my driveway. I had noticed that a car followed me for quite a few blocks. He breathalyzed me then went over my vehicle. As I'm still a green P plater he then told me after a few moments that he didn't agree with how my plates sat on my car.
    Issued me with a $300 fine 2 demerit points.

    Surely they're meant to draw the line somewhere ?

    I'm sick of tripe like this.. you break the law, you pay the price!

    Like this whinger, people that complain about getting done by speed cameras, saying it's revenue raising.. yeah maybe, but they wouldn't raise any revenue if you weren't frickin speeding!!

      if the actual speed cameras were accurate.. which they have been proven over and over and over again to not be hence why so many people, who bother to fight these bookings, get off.

      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-news/macquarie-banks-new-speed-camera-deal/story-e6freuzi-1226009702557

      Revenue raising? nah!

      Cops do have a tough job, but some of them are just straight up c***s for no reason.

      Unfortunately, the arse-holes always seem to be the ones who pull you over for Random BT's.
      I always had cops spot my old car and start to follow me. After 15 minutes they would pull me over for a "Random breath test", simply because they associated the car style with 'hooning'.
      I know the car was labelled as a "hoon's car" and I don't expect a smile or to be asked how my day
      was, but they don't have to be straight up jerks to me for no reason. I was always polite and never wasted their time, etc., so it was never justified.

    Of course the fine was fair. I'm sure they could have sent you a letter in the mail with the fine if they had wanted to, but they chose to knock on your door. Either way, a good deal of fines are issued after the fact. Speeding tickets for example get mailed out quite often. There's a push or policy in many places to not even give chase of offenders if the situation is likely to become more unsafe as a result...again, the fine/sentence will come after the offence was committed.

    This applies to all sorts of sentences, not just traffic offences. Murder, fraud, theft and whatever else, in many if not most cases you will be handed your penalty after the deed was committed be it hours, days, weeks or years.

    Six weeks is a quite a while. If the reminder comes early you can always just pay the renewal early...you don't have to wait until the day it's due. If you forget it then it's just bad luck.

    Lesson learnt.

    If you wanted to get away with it you shouldn't have answered any questions that you weren't legally obliged to answer. You basically wrote the fine yourself.

    Beyond that, there's really very little to be sympathetic about in this story. The license was expired by 6 weeks. I'd feel the fine was justified if the license had been expired a day.

      Indeed.. had it been a day or two.. I'd feel a little bent out of shape over the fine.. but then, I wouldn't be driving unless it was an emergency under those conditions anyway.. but 6 weeks.. crazy.

    Is it wrong, legally? Yes.

    Is it wrong, logically? Hell no. At the end of the day he's been fined for driving to the fish and chip shop and back, and he's perfectly capable of being a competent driver. Has he done something illegal? Yes. Has he done something wrong? No. He forgot his license had expired. Is that really wrongdoing? The fact that he's forgotten to update a tiny little plastic card controlled by the government is not doing harm to anybody, so I say let him keep his 400 dollars.

    I don't see how this is excusable in any way shape or form, in theory.

      cant agree... having license doenst really mean much but permission to drive from the government in other words you didn't pay TAX (since you dont get re tested when renewing and its all about the fee that you 'have to pay' )

      but legally its all wrong and you have no chance in court

        It's not a tax - 2/3 of the rego is TAC fee and insurance duty. And you'll need to be registered for your own 3rd party or comprehensive insurance to be valid.

      It's not about the little plastic card.
      Being licensed and registered means you are covered by insurance (for vehicles) and the TAC (for public liability and injuries).
      If you drive unregistered and crash into a power pole, you are liable for the ten's of thousands of dollars the repairs will cost. No insurance company will pay out for an unlicensed driver.

    Given that they seemed to already know that your licence was expired, I think you just have to wear it - though the circumstances and the penalty seem a bit rough. The alternative would've been to deny you were driving the car, but if they eyeballed you (and it sounds like they did), I don't think that would've ended better for you.

    Assuming the car is registered in your name, if you think about it, when the cops checked out the details, from their point of view there were 3 likely possibilities of a car belonging to an unlicensed driver being identified: (1) The car was being driven by its owner, who had an expired licence [a crime]; (2) The car was being driven by someone else with your consent; (3) The car was being driven by someone else without your consent [another crime].

    So basically, if two out of the three likely scenarios meant a crime was in progress, they'd have to follow up. After all, if it'd been scenario 3, you'd be singing their praises most likely.

    Ok, so here's my story:

    Coming back from watching a movie (Fast and the Furious 4 - don't judge me!), I was trying my very best to be good on the road, so I stuck to the speed limit of 90km/h, in the left lane on a highway with no one else on the road for miles.

    A few weeks later I received a $300 fine in the mail for driving 89km/h in a 60km/h zone, (ended up being a construction zone on the normally 90km/h highway).

    While I did not notice any signage and the witches hats were off the side of the emergency lane and I thought I was doing the right thing, the matter remains that I broke the law.

    Sure I was pissed off, but I paid the fine and moved on. Now, I'm more aware around construction zones. The fine has done it's job and I'm a better (albeit $300 poorer) driver.

    Driving IS a privilege that too many people take for granted and abuse!

    I am not going to read all the posts but I wish there was a better way of being notified (TXT maybe). I get my mail stolen all the time and just went 6 months before I realised that I was unlicensed. Had to go do my learners again and cost me $200 and 2 days of my time.
    At the very least they should keep the car\bike licenses separate.
    FYI - I was not riding in this time so it didn't occur to me to look at the expiry..
    I think a Letter first and then a TXT 1 week before should stop people making this mistake.

      ...

      It's got the date of expiry right there on the licence. It's not that hard.

      At least here in the ACT, it's on your -5 and -0 birthdays. Rocket science, it ain't.

        MY license actually has 2 expiry dates, one for car and one for bike (bike is in a different spot). they never told me that so only found out my bike license had expired when I went in to renew my car license. Also it is just a date 1 year from day you got it but if you are not using your license (haven't for 5 years) its very hard to remember. Especially if your car license is valid for 5 years, but your bike also on the same card is only valid for 1 year.

    Presumably in the previous [AT LEAST] six weeks you'd also driven elsewhere... and who knows how long you would've continued going around driving for if they hadn't knocked on your door.

    My license runs out in that annoying time between christmas and new years, when only a handful of Queensland Transport offices are open... (and I'm not on holidays so I still have a full work schedule), so I know what it's like when there's a million things that have to be done, and other things are on your mind, but still.... there's really no excuse and it was completely fair they fined you.

    Maybe put a reminder/alarm on your phone next time you get the paper reminder, with a date a few weeks later, if the paper reminder is too early for you.

    should have kept your mouth shut. admitting to driving the vehicle was why you got the fine. Or just pay the license fee.

    In the last 4 years I have had a current licence but I haven't had a car. I admit that there are definitely situations when having a car would definitely have come in handy. But it's surprisingly easy to do without. In those 4 years I have had 2 different jobs, and briefly, they were simultaneous. I have travelled around Victoria using a combination of public transport and my own two feet, either walking or pedalling. I still work now, and use my bike to get there. I have friends all over the suburb but a decent bus service is always available. I live alone so grocery shopping is easy, a couple of re-usable bags and it's no problems. I'm studying now and can easily reach the institution without a car. The only time I really felt I needed a car was when I was moving some furniture from one house to another, but one friend and a slab of beer and a few hours later and there was no problems. If I bought a car, it would be second hand, better for the planet and my hip pocket. Driving is enjoyable, and I ocassionally miss it, but I'm happy in the knowledge that my existence is perfectly comfortable and satisfactory without it.

    While everybody is raging about the justness and legalities of this situation has anybody stopped to think about how the police knew this blokes licence was expired before they knocked on the door (reading the transcript given at no point have they asked to see it or identify him). The way this reads this fellow was known to the coppers already which would explain their bothering to go and knock on his door.

      They probably just ran his plates, checked the registered owner and saw his ugly mug come up.

      They checked the rego and the car was registered to a unlicensed driver, SO they "might" have had a stolen car on their hands since as the owner shouldn't have been driving. Wouldn't you want the police to check on a driver of a "potentially" stolen car, yes it could have been a friend / relative but that is the job of the police to check on anything suspicious.

      And before you say why did they check on the car rego. The police manually look up car regos continuously, especially on a quite night when not much else is going on. Not to mention the implementation of the on-board automatic car rego checking systems which i believe they already have implemented.

    license renewal is just a TAX! some states pay more than others.
    no insurance fee.
    no testing to prove you are still capable of controlling a vertical.
    the fine you received is higher than the renewal fee.

    reference;
    http://www.sa.gov.au/subject/Transport,+travel+and+motoring/Transport+fees/Motoring+fees/Driver%27s+licence+and+permit+fees

    http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/licensingfees.html

    http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Licences/FeesFormsAndFAQs/LicensingFees/DriverLicenceandLearnerPermitfees.htm

    http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/licensing/getting-a-licence/licence-fees.aspx

    http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/LBU_P_Fees_201213_DL_Learners.pdf

    HAHAHA I love reading the comments. Everyone all of a sudden becomes a Lawyer!

      It has a long and "proud" history:

      http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/paterson-a-b-banjo/a-bush-lawyer-0023009

    American cop shows have given way too many people the idea that the law has all these technicalities and loopholes that make law enforcement the hardest thing in the world to do if you don't follow process exactly.

    The fact is, if you break the law and they can prove you broke the law, you're probably going to face the penalties.

    You know, they occasionally advertorialise apps on LH that allow you to set reminders for yourself. To pay bills on time and such like.

    You broke the law, and it was no one else's fault. Pay the fine and slap yourself upside the head for irresponsibility.

      This is hillarious and oh so true!

      REMINDERS ON PHONES, who would have thought!!!

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