Due to the advancement of surveillance technology, authorities are now able to identify the occurrence of crimes without being physically present. The addition of speed and red light cameras, among other methods, have been particularly helpful in capturing road-related criminal offences such as speeding, improper parking, and red light and bus lane violations.
However, while they are sophisticated, these methods can not always identify the driver of the vehicle, which means that all fines, demerit points and other punishments are sent to the registered operator of the vehicle, whether they were driving at the time or not. It is expected that the registered owner of the car notifies authorities to transfer the fines and demerit points to the person responsible. Failure to do so can lead to prosecution.
What is a Nominated Driver?
A nominated driver refers to a person who is identified as operating a registered vehicle at the time a traffic offence was committed. Any camera-detected offences will automatically be forwarded to the owner of the car and it is their responsibility to nominate the person responsible.
How to Nominate Another Driver
You can nominate a driver online using the NSW government’s myPenalty webpage which requires your details, driver’s licence number, passport number (if nominating an international driver), penalty notice number and the day of the offence.
You may be required to provide more evidence in the form of a statutory declaration, in person or in court, and you can log back into the webpage at any point to track your request’s progress. Revenue NSW will review your nomination, and may contact you if they need to clarify anything. If successful, your fine will be transferred to the nominated person, however, it may also be rejected if you are unable to provide adequate information about the driver.
You should nominate another driver if you were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offence or the offence was detected on camera, and you should not nominate another driver if you received the fine in person.
What is a statutory declaration?
A statutory declaration is a written or electronic statement of facts that you sign in front of an authorised witness. It can be used to confirm personal details or as a statement and can be used as evidence in criminal or civil proceedings.
What is Failing to Nominate the Driver of a Vehicle?
It is an offence to not nominate the driver of a vehicle that has been involved in a traffic violation. When a violation is committed, it is expected that the driver who committed the act knowingly accept responsibility and the registered owner of the vehicle nominates them. Failing to do so, is considered to be providing false or misleading information to the NSW government, which is a serious offence.
What Happens if You Don’t Nominate a Driver in NSW?
If you are the registered owner of a motor vehicle and fail to nominate a driver, you are committing an offence. The ramifications of this will be that you will be treated as the individual who committed the traffic offence and receive the fines, demerit points, suspensions and potentially face a criminal record.
Depending on the nature of the fine and the jurisdiction where the infringement was committed, the fine can be issued by police, transit officers, local council, court or a government agency. For minor traffic violations like parking in loading zones, speeding, or running red lights, the fines are organised by whatever branch is responsible and sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. A wide range of penalties can apply depending on what offence you have been accused of.
How Long Do You Have to Nominate Another Driver in NSW?
If you receive a fine for an offence that was detected by transit officers or cameras which you did not commit, you have up to 21 days to nominate the driver you believe was responsible. It is also important to note that if you are nominating another driver, you should not pay the fine.
Falsely Nominating Another Driver in NSW: What Happens if I Nominate the Wrong Person?
Falsely or fraudulently nominating the wrong person as the driver of your vehicle is a serious offence that can incur huge financial penalties. The maximum penalty for individuals who falsely nominate a driver is $11,000, and the maximum penalty for a company that falsely nominates a driver is $22,000.
Taking Demerit Points for Someone Else: Is it Illegal to Take Someone Else’s Speeding Points?
Yes, making a false statutory declaration is always a crime. The government closely review driver nominations to identify potential fraudulent declarations and hold the offending parties responsible.
Examples of Falsely Nominating Another Driver in NSW
Falsely nominating another driver is a serious offence that carries hefty fines. Below are two examples of when falsely nominating the driver of a vehicle has led to hefty fines, licence suspensions, and further prosecution.
Sydney Woman Fined $7000 for Speeding Fine Fraud
A P-plater from Hornsby was fined $7000 after being caught paying another person to take all five of the demerit points she received for speeding past roadworks in the Cross City Tunnel, in 2019. Rather than lose her licence, she paid a Brazilian woman $300 to take the demerit points for her. The plot was uncovered when police seized the Brazilian woman’s phone for unrelated offences and discovered the texts. The judge was lenient in her fine but stated that those who defraud government agencies face jail time.
Sydney Man Faces $99,000 Fine in Driving Offences Fraud
A Sydney man was fined $99,000 and slapped with a 12-month driving suspension after blaming a series of driving offences on a person who was proven to be overseas at the time. These false driver nominations included eight speeding offences, two red light offences, 10 parking offences, and two bus lane offences, which would have totalled $4600 if he had falsely declared to a government agency. Instead, he was given an almost $100,000 fine and a criminal conviction.
Demerit Point Fraud Offences, Laws and Penalties in NSW
There are many demerit point offences relating to traffic violations which differ depending on the nature and severity of the violation, however, falsely executing a statutory declaration is a criminal offence in NSW, and is punishable by up to five years in prison, according to section 25 of the Oaths Act 1900 (NSW).
How Do I Fight a Fine in NSW?
If you want to request a review of your fine you may do so at my Penalty, which is Revenue NSW’s website. All you need to do is enter the infringement notice and the date of the offence. If you no longer possess the notice, you may contact Revenue NSW directly. If your request is denied but you believe that the fine is unlawful, you should seek legal advice from a professional lawyer who is well-versed in road-related cases.
LY Lawyers and Traffic Offences
If you have been accused of driving offences, falsely nominating, or failing to nominate a driver, our specialised traffic lawyers can assist you and will use their abundant experience and expertise to find you the best possible outcome.
LY Lawyers offer services for all kinds of criminal matters, including traffic violations and fraud. We are Sydney’s most trusted criminal lawyers and have offices throughout NSW. Call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 or contact us online to book your free consultation today.