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Losing your driver’s licence

Many of the applications I make in the criminal courts relate to DIC and the need for a limited licence. These can be simple but often an issue will arise which is a bit different to the ordinary course of events.

In a recent case a client of mine unfortunately did not take legal advice and decided to use a petrol motor powered push bike to get to work while he was suspended from driving.

The police stopped him and he was charged for driving while disqualified. This surprised him – he thought it was fine for him to ride the bike while he did not have a driving licence.  After all, it was simply a push bike with a motor and he could probably achieve a faster speed using his own legs!

Actually, the law is quite complex in this area – “Power-assisted cycles” are a special category and a licence is not needed to drive one. The legal definition of a power assisted cycle is very specific – It is considered by the law to need (a) an auxiliary electric motor (b) with a maximum power not exceeding 300W and be (c) designed to be primarily propelled by the muscular energy of the rider.

In contrast a cycle which has a petrol motor is considered to be a moped – Importantly this means that a licence would be required.   There are also other legal issues when riding such a bike – For example, it may also not meet road safety standards and requirements and may therefore not be fit for the road.

If you are ever considering “alternative” modes of transport it is always best to check the rules. If you have lost your licence I suggest you get legal advice to check whether you might be eligible for a limited licence (often called a “work” licence).   The sooner you get advice the quicker your application can be prepared and you may find that you can drive again far quicker than you thought.

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Areas of Practice

Immigration Services

Rupert Ward Barrister

phone: 03 310 8103
mobile: 021 877 441