Infringements

Infringements

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Non-renewal or suspension of licence and registration

Important changes from 1 July 2017

From 1 July 2017, the Infringements Act 2006 (Vic) will be changed as part of Victoria’s fines reform process, including new ‘social justice initiatives’ that will affect people experiencing vulnerability. Please be aware of these reforms in relation to any infringements and fines assistance that you are providing to your clients.

Justice Connect Homeless Law pro bono lawyers should read our further materials about the changes here (password needed), before doing any fines work after 1 July 2017. Please speak to your supervising lawyer, team leader or Homeless Law staff for more information.

Under Part 8 of the Infringements Act a sheriff may direct VicRoads to suspend or not renew a driver's licence or vehicle registration, or not transfer a registration, whether or not the infringement relates to a motor vehicle offence (section 109).

Non-renewal of licence or registration

A sheriff can direct VicRoads to not renew a driver's licence or vehicle registration, without issuing a seven day notice (section 114).  If a direction has been made not to renew a vehicle registration, VicRoads must not transfer the registration to any other person. 

Suspension of driver licence or registration

A sheriff can direct VicRoads to suspend a driver's licence or vehicle registration if:

  • a seven day notice has been issued; and
  • the person has failed to pay the fine or make an application for a payment order or revocation of enforcement order by the expiry of the seven days; or
  • a notice of intention to suspend the licence or registration has been served on the person personally; and
  • the person has failed to pay the fine or make an application for a payment order or revocation of enforcement order by the expiry of the seven days (section 110 or 112).

Direction not to transfer registration

A sheriff can direct VicRoads not to transfer registration if:

  • a seven day notice has been issued; and
  • the person has failed to pay the fine or make an application for a payment order or revocation of enforcement order by the expiry of the seven days (section 116).

If a direction is made, the sheriff must cause a notice of the direction to be served on the registered operator. 

Cessation of suspension or non-renewal of driver licence or registration or non-transferral of registration

The sheriff must notify VicRoads that the suspension or non-renewal of a driver licence or registration or non-transferral of registration has ceased when any of the following occurs:

  • payment in full of the outstanding amount;
  • a payment order has been made;
  • an attachment of earnings or debt order has been made;
  • revocation of an enforcement order has been granted;
  • property has been seized which is sufficient to satisfy the outstanding amount;
  • the person is arrested;
  • the relevant infringement warrants have been recalled and cancelled by an Infringements Registrar;
  • infringement warrants have expired;
  • the sheriff, in his or her discretion, considers that the suspension of a licence or registration is no longer an appropriate enforcement mechanism (sections 111 or 113 or 115 or 117).

Options for your client

It is extremely important to advise your client to take immediate action if a direction has been made to VicRoads to suspend or not renew your client's driver's licence or vehicle registration or not transfer vehicle registration. 

If the warrant has not yet been executed, your client should also take, subject to instructions and circumstances, one of the following options:

  1. Contact the sheriff: Subject to the client's instructions, it is worthwhile contacting the sheriff to inform them that you are assisting the client to prepare a special circumstances application and to ask for enforcement to be put on hold and a note of this to be made on their system. The sheriff will not usually guarantee that they will not execute the warrant but the sheriff will usually try to delay based on this request.  It is imported that you do not disclose your client's current address in these conversations. 
  2. Apply for revocation (or cancellation) of the enforcement orders if there are sufficient grounds (including on the basis of special circumstances or because your client was not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence).
  3. Apply for a payment plan or an extension.
  4. Pay in full.