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Driving without a licence

Disqualification

You will be disqualified from holding a driver licence for a stated period by an Australian court when you are convicted of:

  • a drink or drug driving offence
  • a dangerous driving offence
  • a criminal offence involving the driving or use of a motor vehicle.

If you then drive a motor vehicle in Queensland while disqualified from holding a driver licence, you will be dealt with by a court for disqualified driving.

If convicted of this offence, the court must disqualify you from holding a driver licence for an additional period of at least 2 years - up to a maximum of 5 years. You may also receive a maximum fine or be imprisoned for up to 18 months.

Licence suspension

If you drive a motor vehicle in Queensland while your driver licence is suspended you will be dealt with by a court for unlicensed driving.

Your Queensland (or non-Queensland) driver licence will be suspended for a stated period when you have:

  • not paid any fines imposed by a court (State Penalties Enforcement Registry)
  • gained too many demerit points on your traffic history
  • been convicted of driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit.

If you drive a motor vehicle in Queensland while your driver licence is suspended, due to any of the above reasons, you will be dealt with by a court for unlicensed driving.

If you are convicted of unlicensed driving the court must disqualify you from holding a driver licence for at least 1 month, and up to a maximum of 6 months. You may also receive a maximum fine or be imprisoned for up to 1 year.

Immediate suspension

Your Queensland (or non-Queensland) licence will be immediately suspended (S4853) until the charge is dealt with by a court, if you have:

If you drive a motor vehicle in Queensland while your driver licence is suspended, due to any of the above reasons, you will be charged with unlicensed driving.

If you are convicted of unlicensed driving, the court must disqualify you from holding a driver licence for 2 to 5 years. You may also receive a maximum fine, or be imprisoned for up to 1 year.

Licence withdrawn

Your authority to drive on a non-Queensland driver licence will be withdrawn if:

  • the 3 month residency rule applies to you, or
  • you are medically unfit to drive safely.

If you are found driving a motor vehicle in Queensland when your authority to drive in Queensland has been withdrawn, due to any of the above reasons, you may receive an infringement notice or be dealt with by a court for unlicensed driving.

The infringement notice penalty for the offence of driving a motor vehicle in Queensland when your authority to drive in Queensland has been withdrawn is:

If the court finds you guilty of unlicensed driving the court may impose a maximum fine, or you may be imprisoned for up to 1 year.

Driving without a licence

If you drive a motor vehicle while you do not  hold a valid driver licence you may receive an infringement notice or be dealt with by a court for unlicensed driving.

You do not hold a valid driver licence if:

  • your driver licence has expired and you have not renewed your licence 
  • you have voluntarily surrendered your driver licence
  • your Queensland driver licence has been suspended or cancelled because you are medically unfit to drive safely
  • you do not hold the class of licence for the vehicle you are driving
  • you have never held a driver licence
  • your driver licence has been suspended because of an accumulation of demerit points or a high speed offence
  • your driver licence has been immediately suspended or you have been immediately disqualified following a drink driving or drug driving offence
  • your driver licence has been suspended by the State Penalties Enforcement Registry because you have not paid fines
  • you have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence
  • after completing a period of disqualification, you do not obtain a further driver licence before starting to drive again.

If you drive a motor vehicle and do not have a driver licence, due to any of these reasons, you may receive an infringement notice or be dealt with by a court for unlicensed driving.

If you are convicted of unlicensed driving the court may give you a maximum fine amount, or you may be imprisoned for up to 1 year.

For more information about court imposed fines, contact the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER).

For more information about suspensions, cancellations or appeals, contact your nearest Department of Transport and Main Roads customer service centre, authorised Queensland Government Agency Program office, licence issuing police station or phone us on 13 23 80.

Last updated
03 July 2014