Ask LH: Can I Lose My Licence For Interstate Infringements?

Hi Lifehacker, my son has a red P plate NSW licence and was booked doing 9km over the speed limit in Western Australia. He was obeying Western Australia P plate laws (which don't impose a speed limit), but was over the 90km/h speed limit that applies in NSW. Does that mean he will lose his licence in NSW? Thanks, Concerned Mum

Photo: Flickr/jade

Dear CM,

Unfortunately, the conditions of your son's licence still apply when he is driving in other states and territories. If his licence forbids him from exceeding 90kmph in NSW, he is required to stay under 90kmph in all parts of Australia.

Does this mean your son will have his licence revoked? It depends on how fast he was going and how thorough the debt recovery agents are when issuing the penalty. In Western Australia, traffic fines are handled by the police's Infringement Management and Operations department. If your son is lucky, they may overlook the additional speeding restriction that applies to his NSW licence, which could result in a lesser penalty.

In any event, NSW P1 licence holders have their licence suspended for at least three months for any speeding offence. So no matter what happens, your son is going to be bumming lifts for a while. (Make sure he pays for petrol!)

Cheers Lifehacker

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    No, but that doesn't answer the question.

    The question to be answered is or should be -
    will the WA Police notify the NSW RTA (who handle demerit points/licences) to have demerits struck from his licence?

    I have been booked in NSW, paid the fine however there was no demerit point deduction across the border from NSW to VicRoads (our licence issuer/demerit point gods)

      this feels like a loophole

      do you have to be a resident in a state to get a license issued from there?

        Yes, and there lies the issue, the licence giver-ers (RTA, VicRoads) only have juristiction on their own State roadways. the Police don't deduct or give demerit points - the licencing authority does.

      It really depends. They're probably supposed to notify NSW Police, but in practice they might not do it for whatever reason.

      Maybe they do notify them, and the NSW Police don't care to follow through with the demerit points.

      The question is, do either of them have jurisdiction to issue demerits or recognize demerits from other states?

      Last edited 10/07/14 2:25 pm

        Another great question to be answered!
        It does ultimately go down to juristiction between WA and NSW.
        I would gather that, no, there will be no demerit lose whilst in a different state for low level offences, or possibly any offences

          "The Demerit Points Scheme is a national program" - http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/usingroads/penalties/demeritpoints/index.html

          Last edited 11/07/14 11:20 am

    I can say that I didnt get any demerit points on my Vic license for a speeding fine in WA.

    I got booked for speeding when I first moved to Vic from Qld, I transferred my licence a few months later to Vic, next renewal I got a discount for being a safe driver with no infringements on my record.

    The true question here is "how efficient are multiple bureaucracies at working together on minor matters".
    The answer is generally, not very. Just don't do their job for them and point it out.

      Same for myself nsw to Vic, I got the safe driver discount. With having lost points in nsw and having an unpaid fine in Vic.

    I know someone who was done for DUI in SA then whenhe was done for DUI in QLD it was treated as his first DUI offence.

    It depends on how lazy the authorities in the state of the offence are. As speeding is usually a revenue based focus, most authorities, as far as I am aware, do not bother to notify the other state's authority to apply the demerit points. They just want their money.

    I understand this general rule doesn't apply to victoria, though. Don't speed in vic.

    So learner in QLD can do 110kph, and yet a learner in NSW can only do 80kph. So your saying a QLD leanrer could come to NSW and do 110kph. I don't think so. You do what the states rules your in say.

      Yes, that is what I'm saying. Technically, a QLD learner is allowed to do 110kph while driving in NSW (provided he isn't exceeding the posted speed limit).

      From the NSW Road and Maritime Authority website:

      You must not drive/ride faster than the learner speed limit imposed by your issuing State and must observe the posted speed limit in NSW, where it is below the limit imposed by your licensing State.

        That may be what a website says but in reality it does not work that way.

        4 years ago I got my motorcycle learner's license here in Tasmania with an eye to getting a motorcycle as transport while we were away travelling the country. I had done internet searches and come to the same conclusion. Here in Tasmania we do a weekend course before we get our learner's to prove we can infact ride, hand over money at Service Tasmania and then we are free to ride on the road ourselves with the standard restrictions regarding booze and speed.

        Get over to WA, buy bike and go off riding into the sunset. Got a bollicking from a workmate the next day as I had ridden in unsupervised, went to Transport Dept. to question the situation and was told in no uncertain terms was I to be riding around on my Learner's unsupervised in Western Australia. I had no choice but to expediate things and take lessons/go get full license.

        Technically, Practically and Scientifically.

        The 90kph restriction is a restriction on a NSW License, and a bloody stupid one at that.

        The Solomon curve is the graphical representation of collision rate of automobiles as a function of their speed compared to the average vehicle speed on the same road. It says that having someone do 80km/h on the Pacific highway is as dangerous as it is annoying. (Google it.)

        Victorian and QLD L & P Platers can and should feel free to do the posted limit on NSW roads, because the conditions on their licenses weren't set by retards.

        NSW license holders should be forced to only travel on roads on which their license allows them to do the speed limit.

          Oh, PS. NSW bicycle riders should also be allowed to ride only on roads on which their vehicle is capable of doing the posted speed too.

          Who's with me? ;)

        In the ACT we were taught that a learner was only able to do 80 km/h in NSW but could do any sign posted speed in the ACT.
        ACT P platers were allowed to go up to any posted speed limit in NSW though.

    This is actually more of an issue the other way around. For instance, a friend of mine was on his learners driving Melbourne to Sydney with his parents. VIC learners don't have any speed restrictions, but NSW learners do. He was pulled over in NSW for driving 100km/h (the speed limit), when he was supposedly supposed to do no more than 80km/h.

    So the real question is, do you obey the laws from the state which you came, or the laws to the state which you are in? Surely it can't be both...or can it?

      According to the law, you're supposed to follow the restrictions of your license in all states and territories, even if the restriction happens to be faster (the posted speed limit is the only exception). If a cop decided to book you, you would have no problem getting it quashed in court. Then again, who needs that hassle? To be honest, you're probably better off sticking to the slower speed rather than the correct one.

      100km/h or 90km/h is a condition of your license. So, 100km/h is legal in NSW for a VIC L plate holder, but illegal for a NSW L plate holder, as the maximum speed is set by the license issuer.

      Conversely, riding between rows of traffic moving slowly, then parking your motorbike on the footpath is legal for both a NSW licensed rider and VIC licensed rider in Melbourne - but very illegal for both in Sydney, as these are laws of the state, not the license.

      Simple. no?

      Last edited 11/07/14 12:00 am

        Lane filtering has just become legal in NSW as of 1 July 2014.

    I've read it several times. But still can't get my head round it. Isn't

    "was booked doing 9km over the speed limit in Western Australia"

    directly contradictory to:

    "He was obeying Western Australia P plate laws"?

    Or am I missing something? Surely if he was done for speeding, he was done for speeding? P-plate or no p-plate.

      It makes sense. For example, if he was doing 109kmh in a 100 zone he would be 9 over the posted speed limit, but 19km over what his NSW license allows him to go. Either way he's still breaking the speed limit, but 19kmph over is obviously worse than 9.

        See, I read the question differently. I think the questioner's son was doing 99 in a 100 zone and got booked in WA because he was on a NSW licence, which restricts the speed to 90.

    I'm with phil. It says "He was obeying Western Australia P plate laws (which don’t impose a speed limit), but was over the 90km/h speed limit that applies in NSW". So if he was obeying the Western Australian P plate laws why was he booked in the first place?

      Police officer probably saw the P Plate, the NSW registration plates and knew the requirements for a NSW license holder.

    You just have to abide by your licence conditions. As a few have said, once you contest a ticket and its shown to the states Pros corp, they will pull the ticket. You applied and were qualified for your licence, those are your conditions. Don't forget that the police that normally pull you over are traffic cops, and lets be honest they are the drop outs from general duties (jokes) they will try to pull the wool over your eyes. They will hope you just pay the fine. Be polite and say that you are from ... and have a ... licence.

    Soooo the son and I'm guessing mother both knew about the 90km/hr limit on the learner's and decided to take a gamble that the rule wouldnt apply in WA ?
    since it was 99. its not a case of going slow enough to get a fine for impeding traffic, so he has to grin and bare it

    I'm from Vic and sometimes I stay in NSW for a few days and during holiday times, sometimes they advertise double demerit points for Easter/Christmas etc and I wondered if double demerit points applied to Victorians in NSW.
    Reading above it seems it's enforced by the licencing authority in their own state.

      I know getting done in Vic when NSW has double demerits and Vic doesn't means the double demerits do not apply, not sure if it works the other way.

    I might be wrong but I think the learners permit only applies to the state of issue so a learner driver cannot leave the state.

      No. All states recognize the licenses of the other sites.

        I am not sure if it is relevant but I think there is a legal difference between a "License" and a "Permit"..ie: a learners permit is not a license. Would this make a difference in interstate recognition?

          Learners don't get "Permits" any more, they get "Licences". At least in NSW

    If your son is able to upgrade to P2 within 3 months of the fine issue date, they can't stop him upgrading for the additional points because "He hasn't been to court yet to prove his innocence". You're only guilty if found in court or you pay the fine, up until that point you can continue doing business with RTA including upgrading to P2 - I did this, upgraded then paid the fine the same day and kept my license... I had to argue it with the lady at the RTA because I marked down I had pending fines on the form, she had to call head office who confirmed they couldn't stop me upgrading for the reasons I outlined above.

    Edit: This was in NSW, some users here mentioned demerit points do not transfer between states, but as a precaution, I'd consider this.

    Last edited 11/07/14 2:56 pm

    You will be fined and or points deducted relative to your issuing state regardless of where in Australia you are driving.

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