Vic Roads - car registration (17.10.2017)
Written on the 17 October 2017
Southern Metropolitan Region
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
My adjournment matter this evening is directed to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, and it relates to VicRoads and car registration.
A constituent of mine has had a most unsatisfactory experience in relation to car registration, following her daughter being pulled over by police saying that the car she was driving was unregistered by six days. My constituent had purchased the car a year ago from a dealer but never received the registration renewal notice, which was due on 30 September, in the mail from VicRoads.
She has not moved address in the last 12 months, has a locked mailbox, has held a licence for over 34 years and has always paid her registration on time. Despite being told by VicRoads that a notification had been sent to my constituent on 19 August, she is adamant that it was never received. VicRoads has been plagued with problems such as this. In 2015 it admitted a computer glitch had occurred, and it was reported that 'Some ownership transfers were not fully processed' and that 'Further IT issues have prevented some drivers receiving renewal notices six weeks before their registration expires, as is customary'.
My constituent at the time of the police pulling over her daughter was told she would have to pay the car registration of $800 on the spot and incur a fine of $793. Despite paying the registration immediately, she was still fined. I have no doubt my constituent is telling the truth when she says she did not receive a notification. VicRoads has form here, and there is evidence that these problems still exist two years on given all the issues they have previously had. My constituent phoned VicRoads and firstly explained that she had never received notification, to which the response was, 'We will add you to the list of people who have also experienced this issue'.
How is it fair and reasonable that someone who has a stellar record in paying their registration, who claims they never received any notification from VicRoads and with a registration being overdue by only six days is hit with a substantial financial cost requiring payment of a total of almost $1600?
For many Victorians who are going about their business in a legitimate fashion, being penalised with such an onerous penalty system is unfair and wrong. Why is there no mechanism for Vic Roads to send out a reminder email or text to alert them that their payment is almost due? Surely we want people to continuously register their vehicles and not incur such prohibitive fines.
I acknowledge that there are too many Victorians who have flouted the law by driving unregistered vehicles and also that there are mechanisms for people to be able to have their fines waived due to hardship. If that is the case, then why can there not be a fair and reasonable approach to allow those law-abiding Victorians who are affected by an oversight or failure of VicRoads and/or Australia Post to deliver a notification to have some flexibility?
The action I seek from the minister is that he provide me with the number of Victorians who have been added to this Vic Roads list that I spoke about of people who have phoned and complained about not receiving their registration notification and have incurred a subsequent huge fine since 2015, as my constituent has.