$850 Unpaid Rego Fine

Hi guys,

Last night my sister got pulled over and fined $850 for a 50 day expired registration. It seems her registration bill was being sent to an email at a previous place of employment that wasn't forwarded on.
Obviously this is her fault for (a) not thinking to change her email address (or not sending it to a private address to begin with), and (b) not realising that she hadn't paid for a rego refresh 2 months later than she normally would have.
However these do seem like minor oversights and an $850 fine seems pretty severe, when you get a lesser fine for doing >30km/h over the limit.

She's 39 years old, has paid rego on time since she was 18 years old, has a pretty clean driving record and ironically she works as a volunteer driving instructor for disadvantaged youths.
I'm just wondering if you guys think there's any merit in contesting it (or asking for a reduced fine)?

Edit: New information has come in.
She'd opted out of postal mail notification, and was just receiving email reminders/payment information, which she was set to receive in her personal mail.
As a driving instructor you have to put down your instructor details down when the kids go for their tests. Because of this, her previous employer had set all of that to their business details, including email, which is where her rego would have been sent.
As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.


  • At least she has a job. $850 would be pretty bad for someone on a fixed pension.

      • +1

        I don't, someone's age should not change how they are treated.

        If you can't be an adult and remember to pay your rego on time then you don't deserve the privilege of driving.

  • No rego, no insurance, no brains. think of the other drivers she could have inconvenienced because of her stupidity

    throw the book at her, maybe she will learn

    this is as bad as driving with no valid license - insurance will just laugh at you and send you on your way to someone else who cares, probably the lawyer who will sue her for everything she is worth if she had an accident

    • Hahaha who hurt you man? Some real anger (and comprehension) issues on display here.
      Be well.

      • -1

        even if OP is trolling (I hope they are), their comment is seriously stupid to even suggest leniency against someone breaking the law in this way. OPs friend needs a hard lesson of self responsibility. We have rego, licensing, ctp and vehicle inspections for a reason… when you break one one of them you void all the others to the detriment of every one else, not just other drivers but pedestrians and private property

  • We missed by one day, got pull over $400 fine for driving unregistered car
    (police was nice enough to let us pay on the day and bring the receipt back and we dont have to pay the fine.

  • she would have been better of stealing a car and driving it

    fewer fines and avoid jail time too. Dont believe me? Just look at the reoccurring thieves on the gold coast

    $850 is just stupid, they should just have a system where either you pay on the spot for the rego or have 24 hours to resolve it

    $850 is now gone to the pockets of our pollies who spend it on stupid shit anyway

    For those arguing that it was her fault, yes it was her fault but fining someone for something so small is ridiculous.

    • Not so small when you have an accident and someone ends up needing care for the rest of their life but you can’t afford to pay for it as you were uninsured.

      • -1

        keep licking the boot

      • As mentioned in previous posts, this doesn't actually happen. If the party at fault isn't insured and can't afford to pay damages, MAIC covers it.

        • +1

          And then MAIC sues the at fault party to recover their costs. The innocent party is always covered, the at fault party is not.

          the Nominal Defendant has the right to recover as a debt, the amount paid in settlement of the claim from the owner or driver (or both) of the uninsured motor vehicle.

          You seem to be repeating this "MAIC will cover it" line like it's a get out of gaol free card when, for your sister, it could have cost her everything she owns.

  • +1

    No rego = no compulsory third party. That is why it is so severe

  • I've owned my car for three years and i can tell you right now that my rego is due on 26 June.
    Nothing in my calendar and no sticker on my windscreen.

  • +1

    Definetely ask for leniency if she has a good driving record. They can only say no

  • +1

    I had similiar experince but was caused by confusion. Car A is under wife's name while Car B is under my name. Car B is 2 years newer and rego expiry is a few weeks apart. I was driving Car A when I got pulled over by police. Their camera system picked up my rego as expired while following behind me. I was confused as hell when the police said I didn't pay the rego while I thought I paid it just 2 weeks ago via Vicroads online and I didn't see any outstanding rego warning for Car A. I didn't realise Car A rego is under wife's online vicroads account. I think the officer honeslty believed what I explained to him. He also searched Car B rego and confirmed I did renewed it recently.

    I begged him to let me off which he refused, I then gave up and asked him how much is the fine. He must have saw my face turned pale when he told me the damage because he proceed to indicate there is good chance I can get a formal warning if I pay Car A rego immediately and write an appeal letter once I receive my penalty letter in the mail. So I did exactly what he told me and eventually received my formal warning. In my appeal letter, I have to provide all hard evidence to demonstrate how I got confused and missed paying Car A rego.

    I think your sister can get a formal warning letter too if she can provide strong evidence that clearly demonstrated the incident was unintentional. Something like CTP is still being renewed and has no other infrindgement notice in the last 2 years.

    • Thanks mate. She's otherwise the most consciencious and law abiding citizen to the point of nausia, so definitely no record. Fingers crossed.

      • You can now hang sh*t on her for the rest of her life.

        See - The justice system DOES work!

  • Is the work email still active or has it been disabled? If disabled, then the email would bounce. You can argue that the authority should have had duty if care to inform her via paper reminder.

    I morally disagree with this approach but saying it anyway.

    • Probably from a [email protected]

      The noreply means bounce backs are not monitored.

    • From memory it was an E3 licensed O365 account, so definitely would've been disabled upon exit.
      I'll suggest she look into that, but not as an out, more as a request for leniency.

  • does she also have a paid job or just do unpaid volunteer work? - she may qualify for legal aid?


    • She works part time now. I'll pass that on, thanks. :)

  • You can go to court and plead guilty and ask fo ra lesser or no fine and explain the mail problems etc (I won with that for an expired license but it was only 2 weeks) but I dont think they will because 2 months is a long time to be driving unregistered. My last big fine (someone stole my number plate and I didnt have the heart to go to court at the time) I paid in small instalments and it was much less painful

    • I think the judge will say you drove too many times unregistered to let this go

  • Looks like the fine has gone up due to escalation. I remember being fined for this offence for $500 something because of my rego being one day out of date on Pacific Hwy in 2008. I was able to get the judge to reverse the fine as my wife had a still birth and was shattered mentally I was on a road trip with her to Brisbane to bring her out of this. We had to submit the hospital paperwork to furnish the evidence.

  • Buy a label maker…print out the expiry date…stick it (the label with the date …not the label maker) in the door frame so you see it every time you step in or out of the vehicle.

    And it's self responsibility…despite missing emails or dog ate the renewal notice etc.

    It could have been worse (apart from a crash)…someone else driving the car would have copped the fine too.

    Who borrows a car and checks the expiry date?!

  • i have a reminder in the calendar of my phone when my regos are due so that i don't need to rely on an email i may or may not get.

  • I don't agree with all the comments above. It is scandalous you pay such a high penalty for a late bill. If they decide to put the insurance in the rego they can cover you while the bill is Unpaid and make better attempts at trying to contact you. My 80+ mother had the same when rego papers were accidentally delivered to a tenant renting next door who returned the mail marked as not at this address. My mother gotnfined by the police for driving unregistered, she wrote to them and got off. In Canberra. ..but it was only a few days unregistered. And yes, the policeman also fined her for driving un licensed - had been suspended for unknowingly not getting the anual medical clearance for 80+ people, for which they didn't send her a reminder - and for speeding 4 over the limit …. She got off the lot somehow.

    If it was a private insurance policy they would have texted and called and mailed and tried much harder.

    I suggest write to the police and explain. I hope they understand. Pure revenue raising,… They hardly try to contact us compared to insurance companies, it is more like a late electricity bill imho and insurance should be continued despite non payment with rego compulsory insursnce., Just like water and electricity don't get cut off instantly. I would be spewing.

  • You just said it.. shes 39 years old.. time to do adult things and be account for your own actions, why would u use your work email address for crucial emails? You are never guaranteed to be in the same workplace forever. Common sense really is not so common is it?

    • Hi Tabitha, If that were the case I think I'd agree with you. However you missed some important text in the OP.

      As a driving instructor you have to put down your instructor details down when the kids go for their tests. Because of this, her previous employer had set all of that to their business details, including email, which is where her rego would have been sent.

      Not sure if that alters your position on the matter or not. As people have written, she probably should have known her rego was due anyway, but I believe she was just waiting on that annual email, instead of proactively looking it up. Still some fault, but not nearly as damning, IMO.

  • I've known people getting that fine within a week (yes, less than 7 days) of their rego being expired, I think your sister got it pretty light actually.

  • Wasn't her CTP due around the same time? She didn't think "Oh I've got my CTP renewal, I guess it's also time to renew my rego"?

    • Dunno how it works in other states, but CTP is literally tacked onto our rego in QLD. It's a single bill, and it's actually a bit of a challenge to change CTP providers, as I recently discovered.
      If it had come as a separate notice, then you'd be correct. Scarily, this means she didn't even have CTP coverage, so in some sense was very lucky she didn't have a crash and this was bought to her attention. In a more optimistic sense though, how unlucky would she have to be to have her first crash in 20+ years in the month her CTP was expired.

      • Fair enough. Guess she could argue her point for leniency.

  • Toasty, you're a pro boxer. Live up to your name and challenge the fine to a boxing match.

    Winner takes all and will be the King of the Iron Fist Tournament.

    Remember to duck

    • +2

      Duck and weave, baby!

  • There are 5 stages of grief:






    You need to get through the 3rd one yet on your way to the last one.

    • +1

      I hear Trump is still dealing with the first one.

  • Just note if contesting it in court, it will appear on your National Police Check for 10 years. It did when I plead guilty for a very minor traffic related fine and used my good driving history when asking for mercy. I didn't have to pay the fine but had to pay court costs of $50. Didn't realise this at a time otherwise I would have just paid the fine.

    • +1

      That's great to know, thanks Ducks.
      I believe she's talking to a free solicitor about it today, so hopefully they'll know all this. I'll pass it on to her.

  • +1

    Unfortunately, we have a legal system in this country, not a justice system. Short of a revolution, reckon you've got buckley's.

    • Good chance you're right. Hopefully I can reply back here in a month and tell you, you were wrong.
      Viva la revolution!

  • I got done for the same thing. My long term rental changed - person was selling. Thought I had moved all my mail across. I was driving my father's old 90s model car which was still listed under his name for ownership but I had been paying registration/all costs. Mailed invoice got sent to our old address. I paid a bunch of insurance and other bills for the car which I had assumed included rego (all of it comes together in February). Got done in May for 850. Now I leave a calendar reminder. Queensland is stupid low tech with its paper crap. Why can't I get an email instead. Oh well.

  • Bit of advice from the BigBirdy vault …

    Put an annually repeated event in your calendar, with a couple of lead up reminders, for all your vehicle registrations, car and house insurance renewals, etc.
    I also put some useful details in the notes/description such as insurer, premium, excess and agreed value, so I can easily check a renewal against previous years to see if anything has substantially changed. I also have my registrations as favourites in the (Qld TMR) rego app, so I can easily check rego is current (& last payment went through)

    • +4

      Hey OzHunterNSW,
      Such a confident post from someone who doesn't appear to have a clue how rego works in QLD.

      Since when does the govt send your rego via email.
      At least 3 years in QLD.

      What a load of rubbish.

      You also receive about the same time you vehicle green slip, and also insurance.
      We don't have green slips in QLD, and insurance is… You guessed it, sent by email. It's literally the same bill as the rego bill in QLD. 1 single email. 1 single PDF.

      You telling me that all these companies suddenly now send it all via email.

      I think not
      Obviously. :)

  • It’s pretty savage.

    I had the same issue last year here in VIC. Received the ~$850 fine for driving unregistered (expired 16 days prior). VicRoads is meant to snail mail a reminder notice but I never received anything. Perhaps Auspost negligently failed to delivered it.

    It is frustrating that the fine is so costly when I did not receive any communication at all that my rego is expiring.

  • +1

    i got a fine for driving an unregistered car in nsw once around 15 years ago it was 1 week out of rego so i took it to court and got the $900 reduced by half price to $450 but i had a perfect driving record which helps

  • +1

    I dont know if it's the same but last year over xmas I was apparently sent a red light camera fine at our work address.
    I never saw the letter and till this day have not seen it (the original fine).

    the fine got sent over to sper which made it even more expensive.

    i was able to do a stat dec to say i didnt get it, and it was re-issued.

  • +1

    Its because of the sheep chanting "rules are rules" that we have the highest fines in the world

  • +1

    I remember a time when I got a parking ticket, late night and poor signage meant I misread the parking sign.

    But I never got the ticket on the car, only a late notice in the mail. Someone obviously thought it was funny to remove it.
    I asked for clemency(on the late fee only), but got none. As far as council was concerned, if it stuck on my car I had received it.

    Life's harsh

  • +1

    Put it to the state ombudsman to consider

  • +1

    In cases like this you can go to court and explain the situation.
    Depending on the judge they may only make you pay court fees or remove the fine completely.
    Of course this is a risk and as a result should be weighted as such.
    I have been to court on a number of occasions in similar situations (not rego) explained the situation, apologised and told them it was not intentional.
    In once case a $440 fine we completely removed.
    Given your sisters good track record I'm sure she should be ok.
    However I'm a random person on the internet and you should view all our advice as such.

    • However I'm a random person on the internet and you should view all our advice as such.

      I appreciate the feedback and experiences of those who've had similar run-ins.
      Posting this here has certainly been an interesting exercise. There are 2 very distinct parties on OzB.

  • In my case, I was pulled over for the same thing. The Vicroads sends rego to my office (the car is registered to a business address) but we're in a covid lockdown so no one opens or collect these letters.

    Didn't work out justifying and paid my fines. Ah… i hope the money helps the community somewhat….

  • What is the point of this excercise?
    to shame OPs sister?

    OK then….
    Shame Shame Shame

    • If you're asking what the point of me posting it was, I was after some input from those who'd experienced similar things in the past and to see how they dealt with it, and if they were successful in that pursuit.
      Once you sift through the outraged posts from the users who skim read the OP, there were actually a lot of genuinely useful and helpful responses.
      Some of the people upset about the idea of asking for leniency raised some good points too, so all in all I'd say for the most part it's been productive.

  • -1

    Kinda wish this forum would start banning these "I/someone I know broke the law, how do we get out of the fine" posts, they are all the same dumb shit. You broke the law you admit to breaking the law, pay the fine, don't come to a bargain site to try and get out of the fine, that's not a bargain, that's being scummy.

    • +1

      I mean… Don't click and read it (which from the sounds of it, you barely have anyway). Taking the advise of plenty of posters, she'll contest the fine.
      I mean really, just look at the forums, there's a 'Dating & Relationships' forum on here. Unless it's discussions about discount brides from Russia, you must be furious.

      To quote the old adage 'A penny saved, is a penny earned'.

      • -3

        Big difference between 'Dating & Relationships' and "I'm a crook who admits who breaking the law so I'm trying to be cheap too".

        The advise to contest it is just trying to get out of something that they admit they did wrong, if you admit you broke the law and want to find a way around it you're scummy, simple as that, now there are legit reasons you could post here with some kinda fine or it could be 'walking the line' asking for advice, but this shit is just flat out "I broke the law, I admit in the first post I broke the law, how do I weasel my way out of the fine".

  • End….. scene.

    [What did I just read?] 😳

  • daddy

  • +2

    man i didn't realise the ozbargain community was almost as bad as whirlpool. If someone has a clean driving record there is no reason they shouldn't be able to appeal and get that fine dramatically reduced. People make mistakes, and we should try be especially lenient on first mistakes

    • Just remember who you are writing to when you ask for leniency.

      In NSW its called "Revenue NSW" , don't forget it. The whole organization is named after the fact they are there to take your money not give it back.

  • +1

    Few years ago we had the same fine for being 1 out of rego expiry. The cop issued my wife the fine on the spot. I ended up writing a letter stated a number of reasons (excuses) for not paying the rego on time and asked for leniency. I will be honest I didn’t put that much faith into it, much to my surprise they waived the fine for us.

    • +1

      One what? Hour, day, week, fortnight, month, year, decade, century?

      • Sorry missed it. 1 day

  • Like its too hard to go online to check your rego exp. from time to time, keep waiting for reminders ;)

  • +1

    It happens. Appeal it in the courts and you could get off if you explain the genuine mistake. That’s what I did about 8 years ago. You’ll be up for rego and roadworthy so it’s not like you get off free but the fine is really excessive

  • A friend had this happen to her too. She was 10 days over, didn’t realise because she had to move out of her apartment due to a shoddy builder who had made it unliveable whilst renovating the bathroom and then bailed on the job and while she was fighting him in court she missed the letter in the mailbox.

    The cop was having a bad day I guess and instead of just fining her, he took out a screwdriver and took her plates too. The fine was over $1200 (nsw) and she also then had to go to the RTA and get new plates for the car at an additional cost.

    She tried appealing it and was rejected, even with a clean driving history and no previous records of missing payments. Decided it was not worth another court battle and begrudgingly paid the fine.

    • That's terrible.
      Sounds like mostly people have come out better, but this is a bit of a cautionary tale I suppose.
      From what I've read it looks like when they first introduced the digital rego they were pretty severe with their penalties and made very few exceptions.
      I don't think she'd take it to court. More likely she'll just try and explain the situation via a letter and hope for the best.

      • There’s no harm in writing a letter and trying!

        My friend was really angry - especially as she couldn’t even just pay the fine and the rego and keep driving, she had to make a special trip to get the new plates. The car wasn’t near her home either.

      • Don't pay heed to the schadenfreude displayed by some of the people here. There's no harm making a passionate appeal but if it fails just pay the fine and move on. Your sister seems like a decent person, and like every human we make mistakes, with some unfair and severe consequences.

      • -1

        I suggest you read my earlier post, and if she tries to explain the situation make sure she specifically says in the letter that she "apologizes, is sorry and asks for forgiveness", the law is based on the King James bible and it talks about forgiveness but you have to ask for it and then magistrates are normally bound to be more lenient and frequently forgive completely.

    • I’ve just checked and her fine was over 2 grand! Crazy.

    • 10 days over and police took the plates… More like 90 days or more over.

      You have 90 days in NSW to get your rego paid after the due date to keep your registration (you are still considered unregistered until paid). After 90 days is when plates need to be handed in. If it was 10 days, he would have slapped her with a fine and told her to go home and pay her rego.

      If she told you 10 days, she is pulling your leg.

  • This is why I don't signup for emaila for these important irregular bills. I'd have received the email, but it would have been lost in the treasure trove of other emails probably.

  • Cop cars in future will have AI detection and will be able to scan every passing number plate. She was unlucky this time.

    • +1

      All NSW highway patrol cars have had number plate recognition for a few years now. IIRC they can scan 6 plates per second. Not sure if they're started or plan to roll them out to general duties vehicles.

  • Mate got done 1600$ for forgetting to pay the rego but had CTP. Without rego, CPT is not valid so he got stang by both. Very painful experience.

    Overall, she is lucky it is 800$ and did not have an actual accident

  • Some of the commentators are a little cold. Mistakes happen and a track record of good behaviour should be considered when contesting a first offence. Your sister is well within her rights to plead her case by highlighting an exemplary record of paying registration on time. I don't know what it's like in your state/territory, but I have successfully contested a speeding fine based on my clean driving history, as I have with a parking ticket. Why mindlessly pay these government authorities needless amounts of money when they already earn enough from us to fund their corruption and mismanagement :) Good luck to you and your sister! P.S. too many people get rewarded for doing the wrong thing, it's about time those who do the right thing get a break.

  • Hi OP, I forgot to pay my rego for 3 days, cops pulled me up. I said to them I haven't done it yet, was going to. They said, okay, just a warning pay it when you get home.

    The problem you have is, 50 days is too long. I don't believe there is any way to reduce.

  • Similar thing happened to me when I was driving the company car.

    When I was pulled over, the cop asked me did I know and I really didn't know the rego expired and CTP not paid. I called the office and they knew they were at fault letting this happened to me. They immediately arranged the pink slip check and told me to drove to the service centre.

    The office manager then took up the case and plead to take up the responsibility. But then, rego and CTP checks were "RESPONSIBILITY" of the driver before you drive a vehicle as told by the bureaucracy. "BEFORE YOU DRIVE, YOU SHOULD CHECK THE VALIDITY OF THE REGO AND CURRENCY OF CTP." That's the response from the infringement bureau!!!

    Anyway, the office was paying up the fines (>$1200) but no demerit points on me. No real damage to me.

    But then, the office got rid of all company cars and go the "GoGet" way. (There were quite some "unnamed" speeding fines around 2am-ish for several times. The office posted the infringement notices and found the guilty driver. That's a story for another day.)

  • Pay the fine. At the end of the day, guilty of the offence.

  • +1

    I don't know about QLD where the OP is posting from, but in NSW even with the Service NSW app that people use frequently to do CovidSafe check-in , there's no alert that one of the vehicles registered to the user is expiring or expired.

    Meantime the cop cars have license plate recognition to alert them of the offence / fine opportunity but nothing for the public to get alerted

    It's just paperwork. You can kill people with a car for less money

  • Why do you think the police have invested so much into these number plate detecting vehicles to catch unregistered drivers. With the whole registrations going online, unsuspecting people commonly let them expire without knowing. Will be hard to fight it, take it as a lesson learnt and get the registration sorted with a vicroads account.

  • I thought you only get pinged when you are caught driving unregistered car but if it was unregistered catching cobwebs in grandpa's underground parking, then the spider rules!
    oh she was driving it! that's a criminal offense!
    no rego means no CTP in NSW so if you actually got hit or hit you will get no compensation for damages for personal injury~yikes very dangerous~~!!!
    and most importantly no funeral expenses pay out!! - yikes! all those portrait will go to waste!

  • I don't understand how you could forget rego, it rolls around every year like clockwork. I don't even need the notification to know when mine is due.

    • Not everyone pays annually. Lot harder to remember when it's every 3 months, or even 6 months. Can't blame people for relying on the digital notifications which are supposedly meant to be easier to send and receive. Dep of transport should really be chasing up unpaid rego instead of just waiting for someone to be caught, especially ones that are more than a month overdue!

  • -1

    I have 2 vehicles (car and motorcycle).
    I turned 40 less than a month ago, so in the same age bracket as your sister.

    I use a budget spreadsheet. I know when to expect certain bills.
    I track insurances and registration for both vehicles, utilities, etc.

    I am in Victoria, where I have completely opted out of paper registration notices from Vic Roads - everything is received via email.
    I still log in from time to time to ensure my payment dates and amounts on my budget are correct.
    Their online system is actually really good.

    I mean, as a driving instructor, and an adult, she really should have known better. 50 days over? No excuse at this point.

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