If you’ve moved house or gotten married recently, you probably know there’s a lot on your mind other than changing the details on your driver’s licence.

    • Having the incorrect name or address on your licence is an offence
    • Fines apply in different jurisdictions
    • Most laws state a 14-day grace period

    But if you don’t change things like your name or address, and you’re pulled over and have your licence checked, you could face a fine. Heck, even if you lose your licence (like, physically misplace it) and don’t notify the requisite authorities, you could cop big fines.

    In the case of name changes, you will have to fill out forms and submit documentation to show the change of name. For instance, you may need to show divorce papers, marriage certification, change of name certificate, or a birth certificate.

    Gender changes may also require further documentation. According to WA department of transport, for example, a gender change for the state’s records would need a person to provide one of the following:

    • a statement from a registered medical practitioner or psychologist certifying you have been their client; or
    • an amended birth certificate or valid passport with your preferred gender; or
    • a recognition certificate showing the Gender Reassignment Board has accepted your change in sex.

    Victoria does not require any documentation for a gender change and in QLD, NSW, Victoria and some other states, gender has been dropped from appearing on driver licences for some time however the details are still kept and need to be updated.

    For updating your details to reflect a new address, you may need to present proof of rental tenancy or proof of ownership of said property.

    In different Australian jurisdictions there are different rules – here’s a brief rundown. Be sure to check with your local authorities if you’re unclear about what needs to happen to make any required changes.

    New South Wales: Licence Offences under the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2017 include: 

    • Fail to notify change of name within 14 days – $116 fine
    • Fail to notify change of address within 14 days – $116 fine

    Victoria: Under the Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019, Licensing and Registration, the rule is as follows:

    • Fail to notify VicRoads of change of name or address – $165 fine

    Queensland: Transport Operations (Road Use Management–Driver Licensing) Regulation 2021, Part 2, section 363 Changes of name, address or postal address states that a Qld licence holder – unless they have a reasonable excuse – must notify the relevant authority of a change of licence holder name or address within 14 days of the change.

    If you were in breach of this, and took the matter to court, the maximum penalty could be as much as $3096. 

    South Australia: Under the Expiable Offences & Fees – Traffic section 136, the SA Government has a few “supplementary provisions” for “fail to notify registrar of change of name/address within 14 days”, the most pertinent being:

    • S136(2d): Fail to notify Registrar of change of postal address – $224 fine plus $99 levy ($323 fine total)

    However, SA Police points out that Part 5 – Supplementary provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1959, indicates that fines of up to $1250 may be imposed for failure to comply with the legislation, though this is a maximum penalty and likely to only be imposed if you take the matter to court.

    Tasmania: Under Transport Tasmania’s Traffic Offences, a driver could cop a fine for not letting the authorities know about a name change or change of address:

    • Fail to notify change of name/residential address, or address for service of notices, within 14 days – $146.25 fine

    WA: Section 40 of WA’s Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations 2014 requires driver’s licence holders to notify the Department of Transport of any changes in their personal details (name and/or address) within 21 days. 

    If dealt with via the courts, failure to notify the Department of Transport of any changes in personal details carries a penalty of four penalty units for a first offence ($200) and eight penalty units for a subsequent offence ($400). 

    There is alternatively a ‘modified penalty’ (by way of an infringement notice) of one penalty unit. One penalty unit has a value of $50.00 under WA’s Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Enforcement Regulations 2014. The Department of Transport does not enforce these penalties, but WA Police has the authority to do so. 

    Northern Territory: As far as we could see, there’s no specific law relating to failure to update your licence details in the Northern Territory, though the NT’s Traffic Regulations documentation states: “A driver who is required to produce his or her licence or provide his

    or her personal particulars must comply with the requirement and must not give false or misleading information.”

    Further, the offence “failure to produce licence when requested” could lead to a $50 fine.

    Australian Capital Territory: Canberrans might fall foul of a few different laws, depending on the officer they deal with. Under the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2000, there are the following offences logged:

    • Not apply as required for replacement driver licence after change of name – $208 fine
    • Not tell authority orally about change to home address/address for service as required – $208 fine
    • Not tell authority in writing about change to home address/address for service as required – $208 fine
    • Not apply as required for replacement for damaged/lost/stolen/destroyed driver licence/public vehicle driver authority card – $208 fine

    Not intended as legal advice. Check with the relevant roads authority in your state or territory.

    Matt Campbell
    Matt Campbell is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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