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Questions about expiations

Why has my registration expired when I have only just paid for it?
SAPOL has no involvement in registering vehicles; this is the responsibility of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).

Registration renewals for light vehicles paid after the expiry date are renewed by DPTI to expire three or 12 months from the old expiry date.  

The registration commences on the payment date and essentially is backdated to the old expiry date, unless a fee is paid for the new registration period to commence on the payment date. For legal purposes the vehicle is regarded as unregistered until the date that the payment was actually made.  

For example, if a light vehicle (car or motorcycle) registration expired on 1 January and a registration renewal was paid for three months on 1 February, the vehicle registration would actually expire in two months from 1 February and not in three months, unless an additional fee was paid for it to commence on 1 February.  

Please contact ServiceSA on 131084 about this process and not the police.
I got an expiation notice for being the owner or driver of an unregistered vehicle but I didn’t get a registration reminder or renewal notice. Is the expiation notice valid?

There is no legal requirement for a vehicle owner to receive a registration reminder notice or a registration renewal notice.  

It is the vehicle owner’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is registered before it is driven on a road.  

An expiation notice issued for an expired registration offence remains valid even if you did not get a registration reminder or renewal notice. An expiation notice will not be withdrawn solely on the basis that you did not get a registration reminder or renewal.

Do I lose demerit points for an expired registration offence?


I have been told that if I overpay my expiation notice and then don’t cash the refund cheque I won’t lose any demerit points. Is that right?

As soon as an expiation notice is paid you will lose the appropriate number of demerit points. If you overpay the amount due on an expiation notice it is still expiated and you will receive a refund for the amount overpaid. The refund has nothing to do with demerit points.

I got a fine for exceeding the default speed limit of 50 km/h but I didn’t see a speed limit sign. Shouldn’t there be a speed limit sign?

The default speed limit within a built-up area (essentially the metropolitan area) is 50 km/h unless signed otherwise.

This rule applies throughout built up areas in South Australia and was introduced on 1 March 2003 as a road safety initiative aimed at reducing death and serious injury on our roads.  

There is no legal requirement to have 50 km/h signs in built-up areas.

I got a fine for speeding but I could not have been speeding because I had my cruise control on or I was using my GPS. Is the fine wrong?

Cruise controls and GPS systems are not as accurate as the speed detection devices used by the police.  

The police regularly test their devices and the police devices are accepted as being accurate by Courts in South Australia.

I got an expiation notice for disobeying a red traffic light but the photo shows me after the stop line. Was it a mistake to issue me the notice?

The detection zone is after the stop line.  

Because of the location of the detection zone there are two possible offences that you may have committed. They are:

a)  entering the marked foot crossing, or
b)  entering the intersection contrary to a red light.  

The foot crossing is identified by two parallel broken white lines past the stop line and the intersection is where two or more roads meet and is the area where vehicles travelling on different roads might collide.  

There are no painted lines to identify the intersection.  

Cameras do not detect vehicles that fail to stop before the stop line.  

If you enter the foot crossing or intersection contrary to the red light then the notice was correctly issued.

My expiation notice has been reviewed by the manager of Expiation Notice Branch and I was told that it was not going to be withdrawn. Do they have to review it again if I ask them to?

One of the options on the back of an expiation notice is to apply for a review of the notice on the grounds that the offence was trifling.  

Trifling is defined in Section 4(2) of the Expiation of Offences Act.  

You are only entitled to have Expiation Notice Branch review your notice once.  

If you are not happy with the review you have the option of either paying the fine or electing to be prosecuted.

I had an expiation notice revoked by the Fines Unit but I didn’t get another notice. Shouldn’t I have got another expiation notice?

When an enforced expiation notice is revoked by the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit the law deems that the expiation notice is issued for the first time on the date that it is revoked. You will not receive another expiation notice for the same offence from the police.

I had an expiation notice revoked by the Fines Unit but I haven’t got my demerit points back yet. How do I get my demerit points back?

When an enforced expiation notice is revoked by the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit, they will tell the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) to reinstate any lost demerit points relating to that expiation notice.  

Please contact Service SA on 131084 if your demerit points have not been returned to your licence. The police have no involvement in that process.

I got an expiation notice because the owner of the car has nominated me as the driver of the car on a statutory declaration. Can I nominate another driver?

The law provides a defence to the owner of a motor vehicle detected by a camera speeding or disobeying a red traffic light to nominate the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence.  

The law does not permit the nominated driver to nominate another driver. For that reason the police will not accept a statutory declaration from a nominated driver nominating another driver.  

The nominated driver should consider the options on the rear of the expiation notice and either pay the notice or elect to be prosecuted. If you are to be prosecuted, the person who nominated you as the driver may be required to come to court to explain why they nominated you.

I cannot afford the fine and loss of demerit points. Can the police reduce the fine or the number of demerit points that I will lose?

The fines and demerit points for each offence are set by Government Regulation.  

The police have no legal power to reduce the fine or demerit points.  

If you have difficulty paying the fine you should contact the Fines Unit on 1800 659 538 who will assist you in providing payment options.

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