This really happened to me!
My story below seems unbelievable but it is all true and its why I started this business to provide a service to help prevent anyone else falling into the same trap by NOT having a simple rego reminder sticker like we had in the past when we paid for our registration!
Surpise, shock and then frustration
I have been driving and registering my own car for 27 years and never missed a rego payment before this!
There was a mix up at my post office and did not recieve my mail from the Department of Transport and I did not pay my rego on the due date. NOT having a sticker, like we did in the past, I did not see any reminder that it had not been paid. Usually, you will glance at the rego sticker and see it there and make enquiries as to why you did not receive the bill.
So I was completely unaware that I was driving around in an unregistered and uninsured vehicle for 3 months until I got a letter from the Department of Transport with a summons of $100 and was told to hand in my private business rego plates immediately !
By the way, for those who have moved house, this could happen to you!
I did not know I was not Insured
While I had been driving the car during this time, I was toally uninsured and actually driving illegally.
If I had an accident, I would personally have been liable for all damages to my car and the other car and all injured all parties …which could have cost me potentially hundreds of thousands of doallars…and or other fines or potentially serious criminal charges ?
Even the full comprehensive insurance, I had paid for these 3 months, would also have been useless because the car was unlicensed.
What I had to do to get back on the road.
In order to get a car registered again – it is a long tail of woe. But it will prove what an ordeal it will take anyone else going through the same thing to get thier vehicle back on the road.
The steps were:
1) Remove the Private Business Rego Plates from my car which was more difficult than I anticipated since one of the screws was inserted incorrectly and I ended up using an angle grinder to cut the head of the top of the screw to get the front Rego plate off – it was 40 oC that day and I was not happy to have to work out in the Australian sun and drag all my tools out of the back shed to the front driveway in order to get the front plate off.
After that I then organise a lift with a friend to the the Department of Transport in Midland 1 hour away.
2) Pay the $100 fine – and hand in my private Rego plates.
This all took 1 hour drive to and from Midland and a 45 min wait in a long queue. – thats half a day off working – being self employed — this whole exercise was actually costing me money not be working at my own business and may have missed a important call at my desk which I was away.
3) I then had to ring around to Book the car into be inspected at a pre-designated mechanic on a list from the Department of Transport for the required ‘over the pits ‘ inspection – ( as they needed at least a half day to inspect it ) and I had to leave it overnight.
It took 2 weeks to book it in as they were so busy. – it will never be a next day job. So be prepared to wait.
4) The night before I had to go to the mechanic, I had to Purchase an online special 48 hour licence to be able to drive the car to the mechanic legally and organise for another friend to follow me to the mechanic and then give me a lift home. — another few hours wasted.
5) Mechanic rang during the inspection and advised me that my breaks needed fixing – $400+ for 4 new break pads.
nb: ….I doubt any car would pass without some repair in an over the pits inspection ..so expect additional repair charges
6) Go back to Mechanic – once again I had to organise another lift from a friend, pay the mechanic for the Over the Pits inspection and fix the breaks.
7) Go back to the Driving License center from the mechanics, with a lift from my friend – another 20 min wait and give them:
- The Certificate of approval from mechanic
- Proof of a past paid Rego Receipt – to get my own private rego plates back again.
- Fill in a detailed Registration Application Form
- Pay the years Registration
- Get the private licence plate back
This all took about 30 mins of my time
8) Drive back to the Mechanic with my friend and ask them to help me Put the plates back on car. AND I knew that screw was still jammed in there. The Mechanics were great but it took all of 20 mins to do as the screw holder on the other side decided to fall through the back for some reason and they had to take off the car bumber and other bits of the front of the car around the bumber to get it out and fix it! I am sitting around embarrassed at all this hassle!
9) The I drove home thinking all they way ..why oh why did they stop handing out the stickers and I would NOT be in the mess ??
I estimate all this time and effort with time off my own business and paying fees was $800 – $1,000
For those who do NOT have a 2nd car in the house – this can be really frustrating as you will have NO vehicle until you get it inspected. This all takes about 3 weeks from the initial letter and handing in your plates to get your vehicle back on the road.
The only redeeming part of the whole saga was:
- – I did not get stopped by the police and fined for driving an unregistered vechicle — up to $1500 in some States
- – I did not have an accident.