Traffic offences and penalties
Driving unregistered vehicle
It is an offence to drive an unregistered or uninsured vehicle. In the Northern Territory (NT), compulsory third-party insurance is paid at the same time as the registration fee.
For more information read Section 6 of the NT Road Users' Handbook.
If you do not register and insure your vehicle, you can be fined or may have to go to court.
You may not be covered by your private vehicle insurance if your vehicle is unregistered and you are involved in a crash.
|Driving unregistered/uninsured vehicle (one month or less and is not a heavy vehicle)||$300|
|Driving unregistered/uninsured vehicle (more than one month but less than 12 months and is not a heavy vehicle)||$800|
|Drive unregistered / uninsured motor vehicle (where vehicle unregistered or uninsured for 12 months or more and is not a heavy vehicle)||$1500|
Driving without L plates/P plates
Novice drivers and riders must display their L or P plates otherwise they will be fined and given demerit points.
|Learner driver or rider without L plates||$100||2|
|Provisional driver or rider without P plates||$100||2|
Driving without your licence
You must carry your licence at all times when driving or riding.
If you fail to show your licence when requested by police you could be given an on-the-spot fine.
Larger penalties could apply if you are caught driving while disqualified from holding a driver licence, or when your licence has been cancelled, refused or suspended.
|Failure to produce licence on request||$100||N/A|
|Driving with expired licence within two months of expiry||$200||N/A|
Mobile phones and visual display units
You must not use a hand-held mobile phone or visual display unit while driving, even if you are stopped at traffic lights.
|Drive while using a hand-held mobile phone||$500||3|
|Learner or provisional using any mobile phone||$500||3|
|Drive while image on TV or visual display unit screen is visible to driver||$500||3|
|Drive while image on TV or visual display unit screen likely to distract another driver||$500||3|
Railway crossing offences and penalties
When approaching a railway crossing, look and listen for trains, and slow down to a speed that allows you to stop quickly.
|Fail to obey traffic control device at level crossing||$500||3|
Serious driving offences
If you are convicted of a serious driving offence you can be disqualified from driving by a court. The court decides how long you should be disqualified for and you could even be sent to prison.
The following types of offences are heard in front of a Local Court judge and penalties can include a large fine, a prison term and disqualification from driving:
- not stopping after a crash in which someone was injured or killed
- driving while under the influence of alcohol or a drug
- driving without a valid licence for the type of vehicle
- driving while disqualified
- driving at a dangerous speed
- driving in a dangerous manner.
Heavier penalties may apply for second or subsequent offences.
Seat belt offences and penalties
As the driver of a vehicle you are responsible to make sure all passengers are properly restrained in a seat belt or approved child restraint. The following offences apply for not wearing a seat belt.
|Driver fails to ensure a child is appropriately restrained||$500||3|
|Driver not wearing a seat belt||$500||3|
|Adult passenger (aged 16 and over) not wearing a seat belt||$500||N/A|
Penalties for exceeding the speed limit include demerit points, fines and licence suspension. Penalties increase depending on how many kilometres per hour over the speed limit you are going.
|Exceed speed limit by over 45km/h||$1,000||6|
|Exceed speed limit over 30km/h up to 45km/h||$600||4|
|Exceed speed limit over 15km/h up to 30km/h||$300||3|
|Exceed speed limit up to 15km/h||$150||1|
Traffic light offences and penalties
Red light cameras are used to photograph vehicles that go through a red light.
If you are sent a penalty notice for driving through a red light, you can do one of the following:
- pay the fine
- submit a statutory declaration to NT Police to declare the name and address of the person driving the vehicle at the time of the offence
- advise the NT Police that you want to have the case heard by a court.
Penalties for failing to obey red and yellow traffic lights include demerit points and a fine.
|Fail to obey red traffic light||$240||3|
|Fail to obey yellow traffic light||$100||N/A|
The amount you have to pay for your penalty is measured in penalty units.
To find out how much you have to pay, you will need to multiply the number of units by the penalty unit value.
Find out more about penalty units on the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice website.
Last updated: 07 April 2021
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