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Obtaining Licence by False Statements

– section 71 of the Road Safety Act 1986

If a person obtains or attempts to obtain a driver’s license with false statements they can be found guilty of this offence and possibly be sentenced to a brief term of imprisonment in extreme circumstances.This law also applies to other related documentation such as logbooks, certificates or registration. If it is discovered that false statements were used to obtain a license, it will be declared void.

This charge is different to Section 72 of this act which deals with forged documentation.
Obtaining Licence by False Statements
Obtaining licence etc. by false statements is the sort of charge regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
 
What is the legal definition of Obtaining Licence by False Statements?

Obtaining licence etc. by false statements

A person who—

  1. by any false statement or any misrepresentation or other dishonest means obtains or attempts to obtain any driver licence, learner permit, log book or registration, or the renewal of any driver licence, learner permit or registration, or any certificate under this Act or any information to which Part 7B applies; or
  2. without lawful authority or excuse possesses any driver licence, learner permit, log book or certificate so obtained—
is guilty of an offence and liable to a penalty of not more than 10 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 2 months, and any driver licence, learner permit, log book or registration, or any certificate so obtained is void and of no effect.1

Examples of Obtaining Licence by False Statements
  • A person declares that they have completed 120 hours of driving practice on their drivers license when they have not.
  • In a attempt to convert an overseas license to a Victorian license it is discovered that you falsified a license from a country on the VicRoads ‘recognised country’ list such as Singapore, Spain or Italy. Licenses from countries on this list can mean you may not need to take a test when apply.
Legislation
The legislation for this offence can be found on section 71 of Road Safety Act 1986.

Elements of the offence
In essence to prove this charge the Police must show that the person obtained or attempted to obtain a licence etc. by dishonest means or that a person who possesses a licence in such a manner did so without lawful authority.


[1] Road Safety Act 1986 (VIC) s 71
 
Defences to this charge can include a factual dispute, a lack of intent, or an honest and reasonable mistake of fact. The concept of beyond reasonable doubt, charges being statute barred, and sudden or extraordinary emergency may also be used depending on the circumstances surrounding the offending.

Questions in cases like this
  • Were the statements false?
  • Was there a genuine attempt?

This offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 penalty units (fine of up to $1611.90 at the time of print) or imprisonment for a term of not more than 2 months; and any driver licence, learner permit, log book or registration, or any certificate so obtained will be rendered void and has no effect.
 

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