The risks of driving unregistered

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Dog ate your registration renewal notice? Might not go down with the Magistrate...

Driving an unregistered vehicle is a serious offence that can have far-reaching and catastrophic consequences. It’s a scary thought when you think about what could happen if your vehicle is unregistered. If you are caught driving an unregistered vehcile, you may be fined and police may remove the vehicle's number plates on the spot or they may seize the vehicle.

Your compulsory third party insurance (green slip) isn’t valid if your car isn’t registered. This means if you’re involved in a crash, you could be held personally liable for compensation to anyone who was hurt. And that’s the kind of thing that can ruin you financially – not just now, but well into your future.

Driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle is an offence attracting on the spot infringement notice fines of over $1200 ($607 for being unregistered and $530 for being uninsured). If the matter goes to court, the maximum fine is $2200 for driving unregistered and $5500 for driving uninsured. Ouch.

Some people think that it’s too expensive to register their car – maybe it’s old and not worth much anyway. Maybe they only drive short distances and not very often. Maybe they just don’t think they’ll get caught.

Or maybe they just didn’t open their mail, or changed address and forgot to tell Roads and Maritime Services.

None of these excuses will wash with the police or the rest of the legal system.

The only time you can legally drive an unregistered car is to get the car registered – such as driving directly to your inspection station or to a registry. And you must use the most direct or convenient route.

Better still, get it organised before your registration expires. You can renew your rego online or via the Service NSW app, by phone, by mail or in person at a registry or service centre. Safeguard yourself by always informing Roads and Maritime if you move address.