$2091 Expired Rego Fine. Should I Go to Court?

My wife had just had our first baby. I don't know if it was the lack of sleep or just the new busy schedule that I completely forgotten about rego.

I don't remember getting any email as well.

So I got caught driving without a rego. I was just starting up, and have very low income. I asked the officer how much is the fine and he said around $700. This is already a lot of money for us and something that I would already want to seek leniency for.

To my surprise I received 3 Penalties, all $697.
1 for unregistered, 1 for use of vehicle with tax unpaid (because no rego), and 1 for uninsured.
Totalling $2091.

I thought it was a mistake and called, they said no. With $700 I have to either choose to pay the next fortnight rent or the penalty, but $2091. I broke down.

The revenue NSW gave me a payment instalment but it is still a lot of money.

He said I won't get anything if I seek leniency. Is going to court a good option?

Outcome:
Thanks everyone. I think I get the general idea. Although I still believes that the fine is very harsh, the court may ask you for more. I can't risk another new gamble. The stickers will help, but it seems like getting people to pay fines are more lucrative. I was naive to think that grace exists in court, but the consensus here seems to be the contrary. So I will just have to suck it up and pay the fine. The payment plans do help.

closed Comments

    • +3 votes

      Can only get better than what you have at the moment

      I don't think that's necessarily true - for at least some things, you can get hit with a higher penalty or additional costs.

      • +4 votes

        I'm regularly in court, and people who are legitimately not well off and put forward a well considered plea, always walk away with less that the ticket costs….

  •  

    If you had of been involved in an accident that you caused, and a person in the other vehicle was seriously injured without 3rd party rego insurance you would be screwed. And rightfully so for being so negligent.

  • +2 votes

    The government spends money like drunken sailors (Latest Mascot train station $39 million) while a crumbling building there cost 122 owners their life savings, so you cant win, they have to get money from somewhere

    •  

      Hopefully you never get in a crash with an unlicensed vehicle

  • +4 votes

    Try call Australia Post, ask for an email confirming you have reported mail issues for the period of [insert dates of issue]. Provide that email to Rev. NSW. We senD out literally 100s of these a WEEK and generally are considered sufficient proof for the fines to be dropped.

  •  

    How far past due date was it? A few days you might get leniency. More than a couple of weeks and you’ll be up the creek.

    I did this a few years ago, but luckily didn’t get caught. Somehow just had it in my head that the due date was later than it was. Have also checked a guys car at work (wanted to know what year it was, I do it for a lot of cars) and found rego out by a few days. He fixed it ASAP, but was thankful for the reminder.

    No rego labels does make it easy to miss rego, but really there’s no excuse.

  •  

    Courts are not charities. They do not (generally) waive fines on moral or compassionate grounds.

    Just legal grounds. If you can show that you paid the rego(or tried to pay it) and for some administrative reason the payment was not processed that would give the magistrate a legal reason/excuse to set aside the fines. Get legal aid to help you with this. But beware if you feel you do not have legal reason to have the fines set aside by going to court you will just end up paying the fines and be forced pay up to few hundred dollars more in court costs if you challenge the fines and the magistrate doesn’t side with your argument.

    Pay the fines, if you feel you do not have valid legal excuse, according to the payment schedule set out by revenue NSW and get on with your life. Yes it sucks but not much else you can do.

    • +3 votes

      Ever been to court? That's what they do all day, listen to a guilty plea along with the story of all the problems the defendant has which results in a more compassionate fine or punishment.

      •  

        Yes on few occasions to give evidence. My comments above were mainly warning to OP. Don’t just expect positive outcome because he thinks the fines were unfair. Go see legal aid and if he is entitled to it use it. Get them to argue his case. Because if he doesn’t have a valid legal reason to have the fines set aside or he himself is not good orator able to enunciate a clear and valid reason as to why he is not liable for the fines he could, in fact, be liable for the fines and hundreds of dollars more in court costs.

        https://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/contact-us

    •  

      If you can show that you paid the rego(or tried to pay it) and for some administrative reason the payment was not processed

      You wouldn't even need to go to court for that, if you speak with revenue NSW with proof of that they will waive the fine.

      If you can show the police officer they might not even give you a fine

  • +1 vote

    I would like to thank you for reminding me to renew mine as it was due in two weeks.

  • +2 votes

    Being forgetful is not an excuse.

    That excuse doesn't even fly for year 4 homework.

    • +2 votes

      The fact that so many people in this thread have admitted they forgot to pay rego at one time or another reveals how stupid it was of the governments to remove rego stickers. Society just isn't ready for that. The current system is flawed and compassion ought to be shown as a result.

  • +2 votes

    How far out of rego were you? 2 weeks? 6 months?

    • -1 vote

      This is the most important question that should have been asked first up or at least put in the OP. If it was a week out, the story holds more water than if it was 8 months out.

  •  

    You can also get the ServiceNSW app, it has a rego reminder.
    Download the NSW Rego App

  • +1 vote

    I personally think this sux. Totally out of proportionate fine. An admin mistake really, albeit serious consequences due to insurance, but being so important and being compulsory they must make better efforts to contact us and give us a period of grace perhaps. I believe compulsory insurance should be calculated in the fuel if it is so important, in which case everyone pays and they pay proportionately and everyone is insured.

    Having a baby is a great excuse. I don't know how long you've been unregistered, but I think given the importance of the insurance they have a responsibility to make better efforts at contacting us. The insurance companies sure do, but not these government organisations.

    I feel for you and I would at least write a letter. This fine also means you will spend less on car maintenance and other things, it is plain stupid. Now let's double check my expiry date.

    • -2 votes

      Your comment epitomises the entitlement mentality that is so prevalent. It's always somebody else's fault. Make 'better efforts at contacting us'? Should the State have to wipe your ass as well?

      How about making an effort to satisfy your obligations by doing the right thing, just like every other law abiding citizen?

  •  

    I worked for the instruction and if you go to court the is a chance to get out of the fine. But you’ll have to have more than a new baby. Work stress. Clear driving record and find a good character reference

  •  

    sorry that you got caught with this, but also glad you did - if you'd had an accident while uninsured… well, let's not go there (been there, done that - well, not "no rego", but no insurance)

    Reminders: it was useful to have the rego sticker to remind you (well, some of us) that rego was due in N-month. And now they are gone.

    A couple of options I have seen:

    this may get some creative juices flowing for other / better options?

    •  

      For critical bills I sent up a google calendar reminder with a few notifications (7 days before, 3 days before) to ensure I don't miss them.

  •  

    That really sucks man.

    Babies crush your soul and mess with your head. I feel for you. So easy to forget normal things.

    I would elect to go to court if I was you. The biggest thing here is be honest or the magistrate will chew you up and spit you out. If you’re a recidivist with a crap history, forget it. If you show you’re normally good with your bills/rego, and this is an isolated mistake you’ll be in with a shot. They base a lot of their decisions on character/perceived character.

    Most likely outcome is they will uphold the no rego but let you off the other two. The road tax one is a real kick in the dick and shouldn’t be issued full stop- were you being an arse to the cop?

  •  

    As a first time parent I get things get missed.

    Can write a letter to the court admitting your guilt and just ask for reduction in the fine. State reasons why, attach evidence eg ATO notice. You're not wasting courts time, you are not disputing facts but pleading for a less hard sentence given your circumstances.

    Give legal aid a call about advice on that.

  •  

    Stacking of different fines for the one offense is just a blatant grab for cash and doesn't pass the pub test.

    At the very least, they should adjust the real fine amount for unregistered car to $2091, that way when we review the fine table we can pick other offenses that offer more value for money - like running red lights, driving on the footpath or parking across the driveway of a police station (just the highway patrol car ones)

  •  

    Everyone … put your registration(s), insurance(s), subscription(s), renewals and/or cancelations, and all other important events into your calendar(s) (phone, work, whatever), on repeat as applicable, with enough notifications to alert you to do what needs to be done, in time. Eg schedule notifications at a month, two weeks, one week, four days, one day before event. Invite your partner, flat mate, etc to the event if it helps.

  • -1 vote

    You could have told the officer you're on your way to get a pink slip

  •  

    They need an excuse to raise revenue.
    People think it’s because of all that other stuff but it’s to raise revenue.
    Just like speed cameras are for “safety”….

  •  

    https://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/contact-us

    OP if you are suffering financial hardship they will represent you for nix. Also be able to tell you if it’s worth your while to go to court

  •  

    They won’t give you more. Only a stupid judge would do that and I don’t think there are many stupid judges.

    You should try because everyone’s circumstances are different.

    Plead stupidity. If this your first offence everyone deserves a chance.

  •  

    Never opted for eInvoice

  •  

    I don't know what the chance is, but 3 fines for the same offence seems excessive, you may be able to get at least one waived if you go to court.

    I use an app called 1money and add in every single bill I have to pay in a year and my income. If the amount varies, like electricity etc., I add it with the maximum expected amount and approximate date as a placeholder, then each time I get the bill I skip that payment and add in the exact amount and due date. If you click on the dates at the top, you can change it to your pay cycle, e.g. mine is currently 6-19 May, I can have a look at my pay fortnight years from now. It remembers your selection too, so you don't have to keep setting the dates. Recurring bills won't show until the previous occurrence has passed, but at the top it shows you your starting balance and ending balance, which may not be particularly accurate, but the difference is your income minus your bills for the pay period, including any recurring bills that are not showing.

    I used the free version without any issues, I upgraded to the paid version because I was too lazy to manually move my bills across to my new phone. It takes a bit of work to set up, but if you do it properly at the start with recurring bills it doesn't take much to maintain. Obviously unexpected expenses still come up, but rego shouldn't be one of them.

  •  

    i once got fined for no rego in nsw around 20 years ago it was $450 for unregistered and $450 for uninsured there was no fine for unpaid tax back then but i took it to court and ended up only having to pay $450 all up but what might have helped is that i had a pretty good driving record

  •  

    No rego penalty, at least in Victoria, isn’t considered that much of a deal. Got pinged $804 for 3 days no rego and readily accepted the penalty on the spot to minimise my time with the Officers. Elected to go to court to plead guilty at Ringwood Magistrates and had my fine waived in under 60 seconds. Did have to wait 9 months for my court date since Officers have to do an hours paperwork for the prosecution and no rego documentation is low on their list of priorities.

    Yes my fault for not paying attention to rego expiry. Waste of everyone’s time? Yes, for everyone but me - I got an $804 discount. The Magistrate and prosecution see these cases all the time and weren’t concerned at all. We’re fortunate to have a judicial system that allows us to elect to have our plea heard at the Magistrates Court.

    I have learned my lesson and pay much more attention to my rego expiry, so the penalty had its desired effect. It’s cost to me was 1 day Annual Leave from work.

  •  

    Could try getting some legal advice from legal aid near you.

    Go to court, be respectful and explain your situation (recent baby, low income etc.) to the Magistrate and they will likely reduce the fine and put you onto a payment plan. Magistrates are generally good, compassionate people. Good luck :)

  •  

    If you have a clean record you can look into a Section 10a Dismissal in court.

    https://ngm.com.au/section-10-crimes-sentencing-proceedings-...

    I've been told if its your first time in court with a clean record they will usually grant it (even if trivial) unless its a very serious offence. Its kind of a one time use thing and save it for when you really need it.

    •  

      Ah yes. Good ol’ Section 10. It’s a Get Out of Jail free card for first timers. The second time I went to court for $160 the Magistrate told me I should’ve known better and only discounted the penalty to $100 instead.

  •  

    Out of curiosity and not being from NSW myself, why did you get three fines? Driving an unregistered vehicle sure, but the other two?

    Congrats on becoming a parent and I wish you luck in getting leniency.

    •  

      I agree, one of the fines simply sounds like double dipping, like you can't have fine 2 without fine 1, fine 3 seems kind of linked as well.

  • -1 vote

    Going to court is only of value if there is reasonable doubt that you did the said offence. The rest is just white noise. Admitting you actually did it makes all the excuses in the world pointless and will be disregarded. It’s a court not a social services office.

  •  

    Save the violin for the Court.
    You exposed us all to your inept attitude in rules and regulations.
    So you are saying if you had an accident, whilst unregistered, you could not afford to fix the other poor guy's car, bc you just had a baby, I am low income, bla bla bla.
    Pay the fine and be more responsible next time… image how you run your "business".

  •  

    How is it a 2k fine? I recall getting a $750 fine 10 years ago for driving an unregistered car. How can you get a fine for an uninsured car, as plenty drive without insurance…

    •  

      It is 3 fines.

      1. Unregistered car
      2. Uninsured car (no 3rd party - no rego, no insurance) -

      plenty don't drive without insurance
      if you have rego you have insurance.

      1. Driving without paying your tax (no rego)

      They all stem from the same offence.

      •  

        Good to know. I must have gotten off lightly as a broke 18y.o uni student. Only got the 1 fine for driving unregistered.

  •  

    Don't waste their time

  •  

    Even if the RMS didn't send you anything, your Compulsory third party insurance provider sends you a "renew with us and pay more sucker" snail mail.

  •  

    I made the same mistake due to a change of address. The cop let me go without a fine but it was April 2020(Covid leniency I guess). Cops have some number plate reader/scanner to identify the offenders these days.

  • +1 vote

    Can we all chip in and help this person out?
    Someone can verify the fine is legit.

  • Thread closed as OP has indicated they have an answer.