Automatic revocation of a tow truck drivers certificate

Tow truck drivers certificates are issued on the basis that the driver is fit and proper and they hold an unrestricted driver licence. If a driver licence ceases to be in force for any reason the drivers certificate is automatically revoked.

Legislation

Section 32 of the Tow Truck Industry Act 1998 (the Act) states that:

If the driver licence of a certified driver is cancelled, suspended or otherwise ceases to be in force under any Act or other law, his or her drivers certificate is, without any further action, taken to be revoked.

This means that as soon as your driver licence ceases to be in force for any reason, including it expiring, your tow truck drivers certificate is immediately revoked, without any further action from Roads and Maritime Services. This includes surrendering your NSW licence when moving interstate.

Implementation

Roads and Maritime is notified when driver licences held by certified tow truck drivers expire or are suspended, disqualified or cancelled. When this advice is received, a notice of the revocation of your drivers certificate is sent to you. A notice is also sent to your employer notifying him or her that you are no longer certified to drive a tow truck.

Roads and Maritime has no discretion regarding this part of the Act. This means that Roads and Maritime cannot take into account the circumstances of how your driver licence came to be suspended, disqualified, cancelled or expired.

The notice of revocation will inform you that your drivers certificate has been revoked and the date that the revocation is effective from. It will also inform you that you are required to return your revoked drivers certificate to Roads and Maritime by a specified date. You can return your drivers certificate at any registry or service centre, or send it directly to the Tow Truck Enrolment Processing Unit.

Failure to return your revoked drivers certificate by the specified date is an offence with a maximum penalty of $2750.

In order to have your drivers certificate reinstated you must lodge a new application and pay the full fee.

There is no exception to this requirement even if your drivers certificate has only recently been issued.

No further application for a drivers certificate will be considered until your revoked drivers certificate is returned.

If you do not return your revoked drivers certificate action may be taken against you. Your failure to return your certificate may also be taken into account should you make another application for a drivers certificate in the future.

It is an offence under section 23 of the Act to drive, stand, use, operate or assist in the use and operation of a licensed tow truck on a road or road related area unless you hold a valid drivers certificate. The maximum penalty for driving a tow truck without a drivers certificate is $5500 or imprisonment for six months or both.

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