Hey Lifehacker, I was on a 12 month good behaviour bond for speeding in NSW when I got booked doing more than 20km/h over the speed limit. I have moved to Victoria and not paid the fine as it isn’t due yet, and I believe my licence is considered active until I’ve paid the fine. My question is: if I apply for a Victorian licence before my old licence is disqualified, will VicRoads know to cancel my new licence? Thanks, Speed Demon
Road sign picture from Shutterstock
Dear Speed Demon,
Interestingly enough, this is the third email we’ve received in as many days asking a variant on the same question. Um, you’re not all part of the same band of outlawed desperados, are you?
In darker days, it was technically possible to wipe your driving record clean by hopping state lines and starting anew. Australia’s road and traffic authorities are now all interconnected via the Australian Road Rules agreement and the Demerit Points Scheme. This means that any penalties you incurred in NSW will be instantly flagged when you apply for a Victorian licence. (They have these things called computers, y’see.)
It’s all plainly spelled out on VicRoads’ interstate licence website:
Conversion of a current interstate licence and/or learner permit to a Victorian equivalent is conducted by appointment only at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. At the appointment, VicRoads will verify your interstate licence and/or learner permit details with the State/Territory.
If your interstate or New Zealand driver licence and/or learner permit is suspended or cancelled, or you are disqualified as a result of a driving offence, demerit points, medical reasons or due to unpaid fines, etc you will not be able to get a Victorian equivalent, until this sanction has ended.
In other words, your existing demerit points will continue to follow you around like a bad smell. Sorry. Even if you plan to protest your innocence, the conversion process will be frozen until the matter can be resolved in court.
On a related note, we’re mildly appalled that trying to flout road rules has apparently become a national hobby — it must be all that convict blood in our veins!
Have a question you want to put to Ask Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].