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Driving while licence is suspended

Information about what happens if a driver continues to drive while their licence has been suspended.

A person must not drive a motor vehicle while their licence has been suspended and while they have been disqualified from driving. The offence is treated very seriously.

Maximum penalties

Vehicle may be impounded or immobilised

There is no longer a mandatory jail term if a driver has been found guilty before, although the vehicle may be immobilised or impounded under the hoon driving laws if the driver is caught driving while their licence is suspended.

See Which are the relevant offences? and Drive while disqualified.

Fine

The penalty for driving while disqualified or while licence is suspended is:

  • for a first offence 30 penalty units or 4 months jail
  • for a subsequent offence a maximum of 240 penalty units or a maximum of 2 years jail.

See s. 30—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Exception—driving while suspended for non-payment of a fine

The penalty is different if the driver has been suspended for failing to pay their fines. The maximum penalty for driving while suspended under the Infringements Act 2006 is 10 penalty units.

See s. 30AA—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If a person was not aware of licence suspension

The court may suspend a driver's licence if a driver is found not guilty of driving while disqualified because they were not aware that their licence had been cancelled or suspended. The suspension can be made for any period that is equal or less than the period between:

  • the time that the driver's licence was suspended and
  • when the driver discovered that their licence had been suspended (or when the suspension period ended).

For example, if a driver licence was suspended for 3 months and the driver did not find out that they had been suspended from driving until they were pulled over and charged with the offence 2 months after the licence suspension started, the court may suspend the driver's licence for 2 months.

See s. 30A—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 30—offence to drive while disqualified
  • s. 30A—court may extend suspension or disqualification period eve if offence not committed
  • s. 30AA—offence to drive while licence is suspended under the Infringements Act 2006 (Vic)

See Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic)

  • Part 8—Driver vehicle sanctions suspension of driver licences and registration of motor vehicle or trailer

See Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated