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ID when driving

Information about the obligation for a person to give their name and address if they are driving or riding.

A driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle has a general duty to stop and produce their licence for inspection when they are signalled to do so by member of police force or authorised officer.

If reasonable suspicion that driver has committed a traffic infringement, driver must not refuse or fail to give or give false name and address to authorised person who is giving them a traffic infringement notice.

Penalty

A person is liable to a maximum penalty of 5 penalty units or up to one month in jail if they:

  • fail to state their name and address or
  • give a false name or address, or
  • fail to stop when required.

See s. 59—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Defences

It is a defence to charge of failing to stop when required to do so if:

  • the police or person making the signal to stop was not wearing a uniform and
  • driver believed person was not authorised to demand that driver stop.

It is a defence to charge of failing to produce driver licence if driver:

  • gives reasonable excuse
  • provides their signature, and
  • attends police station within 7 days of request being made.

Note: This does not apply to learners, probationary drivers, drivers in charge of large vehicles or drivers subject to Zero BAC (blood alcohol content). These drivers must always carry their licences with them when driving or in charge of a motor vehicle.

Nominating another driver

The owner of a motor vehicle (or relevant nominated person) must provide details to police officer to enable police to identify person who was driving their vehicle at a particular time. This could include providing the name and address of driver if known.

Note: Some offences will be deemed to be the responsibility of the vehicle operator/owner unless they nominate the person who was driving.

See s. 60— Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Nominating another driver.

Elements of the offence

The elements of the offence of failing to give information about the driver of a motor vehicle have been set out in a case called O'Reilly v Rooney (1989) as:

  • that a member of the police force required the relevant information
  • that the police officer was acting in the execution of their duty
  • that the police officer must identify the motor vehicle and the occasion that is subject to this requirement
  • that the police officer must indicate that they were seeking information as to the driver of the vehicle on that occasion
  • that there was a failure to provide the information requested and that it was in the owner or nominated person's power to provide this information, and
  • that such information might have led to the identification of the driver of such vehicle on that occasion.

Note: Motor & Traffic law is only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

See [5.780.1]—Motor & traffic law—Victoria(opens in a new window).

Maximum Penalties

Penalties vary depending on whether someone injured or killed.

Where a serious injury or death has occurred, the maximum penalty is 20 penalty units and/ or maximum 4 months imprisonment.

If convicted of an offence court must cancel driver licence or disqualify from driving for at least 2 years (subsequent offence 4 years).

See s. (2(b)—

Littering from a vehicle

The owner will be deemed responsible if litter is thrown from their vehicle. To avoid liability the owner has to sign a statutory declaration giving name and address of person who was responsible for littering. They must do this within 14 days.

See Part 7A, Div 2—Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 3—definitions
  • s. 3(1)—defines large vehicle—bus or vehicle weighing over 15 tonnes
  • s. 3AA—lists circumstances where person is in charge of a motor vehicle
  • s. 3AB—circumstances where person is driving a motor vehicle
  • s. 19(5)and(6)—­driver of large vehicle to carry licence at all times unless journey is within 80 km radius of place of business
  • s. 50(3)—applicable BAC concentrations
  • s. 50(4)—application to Magistrates court following disqualification
  • s. 59—general duty of driver or person in charge of motor vehicle
  • s. 59(2)—creates offence for failing to give name or giving a false name
  • s. 59(3)—exception for failing to produce licence for inspection does not apply to probationer drivers etc
  • s. 60—duty of owner of motor vehicle to given information about driver
    • s. 60(1B)—police officer may require anyone who they reasonably believe has had control of a vehicle at some particular time, to give information that is within their power to give that may identify any person who was the driver of a vehicle
    • s. 60(2)—lists the penalties for refusing to give information
    • s. 60(3)—defines owner
  • s. 76(1)—power to arrest person without warrant if police suspect they have committed an offence and refuse or give false name and address
  • Schedule 2 Clauses 42-49 list the sorts of regulations that can be made which are to included as offences that will enable police to arrest without warrant.

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

Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic)

  • Pt. 7A Div. 2—littering offences
  • s. 45E—creates littering offence and gives penalty
  • s. 45G—owners, drivers etc. of vehicles from which litter deposited liable for littering
  • s. 45H (4)—exception if owner gives statutory declaration that complies with s. 45I within 14 days
  • s. 45I—form of statutory declaration
  • s. 45ZG–requirement to give name and address

See Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

References

Motor & Traffic Law Victoria

Lexus Nexis's Motor & traffic law—Victoria provides detailed commentary and case law about the legislation related to driving, licensing, transport and vehicles in Victoria.

  • Duty of owner of motor vehicle to give information about driver [5780]

Note: To access content type the brackets and number reference into the search box, for example '[5780.1]'

Further note: This resource is only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

See Motor & traffic law—Victoria(opens in a new window).

Updated