By Jeremy Rochow
Last updated on: February 5, 2020 at 1:49 pm
You’re pulled over by the police while you’re driving, and they ask to see your licence. You check your wallet or purse, but you can’t find it, leaving you in a panic.
But your worry might not be necessary. Depending on your licence type, you may not need to show it straight away.
If you’ve got a standard car licence (technically known as a Class C licence) and you’re not on your Ls or Ps, then you’ve got a bit of time up your sleeve.
While you might notice the words ‘please carry licence when driving’ printed on the card, you’re not legally required to do so.
If you don’t have it on you and a police officer asks to see it, you have up to 48 hours to present it at a specified police station.
If you don’t produce it in that time, you’ll face a $205 fine and a $60 Victims of Crime Levy.
While it’s good to know you don’t need to stress if you forget your physical card, we’d still suggest carrying it with you where possible to avoid the hassle of making a trip to the police station.
You can also get a digital version of your licence on your smartphone, which could be handy if you forget your physical card.
What if I have a learner’s or provisional licence?
If you’re on your Ls or Ps, you’ll need to carry your licence or permit on you when driving and show it to police immediately if they ask you to.
If you don’t, you could be up for a $205 fine and $60 Victims of Crime Levy.
Unlike drivers on their full Class C Licence, learners and p-platers don’t have the option of presenting their licence to a police station within 48 hours.
Who else needs to carry their licence while driving?
If you drive a heavy vehicle – like a truck, B-double or road train – that has a gross vehicle mass of more than 4500kg, you also need to carry your licence at all times.
If asked, you’ll need to show it to a police officer immediately.
You also need a heavy vehicle licence to drive buses, trams, agricultural machinery, livestock transporters, tankers and grain trucks.
Remember, a bus is any vehicle that seats more than 12 adults including the driver.
Failure to present your heavy vehicle licence will result in a $205 fine and $60 Victims of Crime Levy.
How much it’ll cost you if you don’t present your driver’s licence when requested.
What else do I need to know about my driver’s licence?
- If your residential address changes, you must notify Service SA either online or in person within 14 days of moving.
- If you become a permanent resident of South Australia, you must transfer your interstate or overseas driver’s licence within 90 days. Once you’re issued with a new licence, your existing licence will be invalid and your may have to surrender it.
- If you want to know your driving history, you can get a licence report that shows your current licence status, demerit points and offences for the past 10 years at sa.gov.au.
- You can provide a digital copy of your licence to a police officer when requested. However, the copy needs to be downloaded from the sa.gov.au website and you cannot be on your Ls, Ps or driving a heavy vehicle.