Unfortunately, if your car licence is suspended this also means that you cannot ride a motorcycle for the period of the suspension. This is because a motorcycle fits within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Safety Act 1986. If you drive your motorcycle whilst suspended and are caught, you will be facing driving suspended charges.
There is also a requirement upon applying for a motorcycle learner’s licence, that the person not be disqualified from holding or getting a Victorian Learner Permit. Further, once a learner’s licence has been obtained, a person must then stay on the licence for a continuous 3 months (without being subject to any licence suspension) before they will be eligible to apply for a motorcycle licence. There is more information that can be found at VicRoads
The legislation relating to driving whilst suspended
In Victoria a person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway while the authorisation to do so is suspended or during a period of disqualification ( s 30 RSA). The definition of a motor vehicle is outlined in s 3 of the Act which states that a “motor vehicle” means a vehicle that is used or intended to be used on a highway that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle but does not include –
- a vehicle intended to be used on a railway or tramway; or
- a motorised wheel-chair capable of a speed of not more than 10 kilometres per hour which is used solely for the conveyance of an injured or disabled person; or
- a vehicle that is not a motor vehicle by virtue of a declaration under subsection (2)(b) ( see further about this below)
The legislation also defines a “motor cycle” as meaning a two -wheeled motor vehicle and includes a motorcycle with a trailer, forecar or sidecar attached.
This then raises the question, if you cannot drive a motor car or a motor cycle, what can you use to get around if you have been suspended from driving?
Do you need a drivers’ licence for a vespa, moped or scooter in Victoria?
In Victoria you require a motorcycle licence for most scooters, vespas and moped’s as these vehicles are usually high powered and have one or more electric motors that have a combined maximum continuous power output of over 200 watts and therefore are considered motor vehicles under the Road Safety Act 1986 ‘RSA’. There are exceptions to this of course and it all depends on the power of the device in which you want to use. E-scooters for example have been implemented throughout Australia and are legal to use without a drivers’ licence in Victoria.
What is not a motor vehicle in Victoria?
The Government Gazette dated 30 June 2022 has declared pursuant to the RSA s (2)(b) certain motor vehicles not to be motor vehicles:
- A bicycle within the meaning of the Road Safety Rules 2017, if it is fitted with one of more auxiliary motors that has or have a combined maximum ungoverned continuous rated power output of 200 watts or less
- An electrically power-assisted EPAC within the meaning of the Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule- Definitions and Vehicle Categories) 2005 made under section 12 of the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 of the Commonwealth
- A scooter within the meaning of the Road Safety Rules 2017 if it can be
- Propelled by one or more electric motors that has or have a combined maximum ungoverned continuous rated power output of 200 watts or less; and
- Has a maximum speed capability of 10 kilometres per hour when ridden by an adult
- A self-propelled motor vehicle that:
- Is designed to be controlled by a person walking with the vehicle
- Has a maximum attainable speed of less than 7 kilometres an hour.
What about E-scooters, can I ride them without a licence?
A subsequent Government Gazette was published on 4 April 2023 which specifically relates to E-scooters.
It states that the purpose of the order is to declare that certain motor vehicles are not motor vehicles for the purposes of specified provisions of the RSA.
The most relevant section of the order is under s 2(b) which prevents the provisions of the RSA relating to the requirement to hold a driver licence or learner permit to drive a motor vehicle from applying to a rider of an electric scooter if the electric scooter –
- Is provided under a commercially operated share scheme ridden on a road or road related area within an electric scooter use area; or
- Is a private electric scooter ridden on a road or a road related area
The order also states that the drink driving and drug driving offences apply to riders of an electric scooter operating under the share scheme or a private electric scooter on a road or road related area. So the wash up of that is, a scooter can be not considered a motor vehicle for the RSA in relation to driving whilst suspended, but can be considered a motor vehicle for the purposes of the of the RSA in relation to drink driving.
What is the most powerful type of bike or scooter I can use in Victoria if I have been suspended?
If you don’t have a driver’s licence and don’t want to drive unlicensed, then you are looking at an alternative option for transport. The most powerful device that you can use without a licence would be either an e-scooter or an EPAC/Pedalec which travel up to 25kmph. See below for more information.
|Typically scooters have an engine size between 50cc and 250cc and can travel faster than 50kmph.|
You need a motorcycle licence for all high powered scooters unless propelled by one or more electric motors that have combined ungoverned continuous rated power output of 200 watts or less & maximum speed of 10kmph
You do not need a driver’s licence or a motorcycle licence for an e-scooter under the governments commercially operated share scheme or if you are using a private electric scooter. The maximum speed of an e-scooter is 25kmph.
|A moped is a specific type of scooter with an engine size of 50cc or less and doesn’t travel any faster than 50kmph.|
You most likely will need a motorcycle licence.
However, If the moped is propelled by one or more electric motors & the combined ungoverned continuous rated power output is 200 watts or less you can use one so long as the maximum speed is 10kmph.
|A vespa is a brand of scooter. Depending on engine size and weight a vespa can travel anywhere between 63kmph ( sub-50cc scooter and up to 128kmph (300cc scooter).|
You need a motorcycle licence.
Miniature motorcycles & monkey bikes
Miniaturised motorcycle is defined as a motor vehicle with 2 axle groups and an internal combustion engine or electric motors that are capable of giving the vehicle a top speed in excess of 25kmph and that:
(a) Have not been certified through the Commonwealth Road Vehicle Certification System; and
(b) Have not been conditionally registered by the secretary
(c) Is not excluded from the definition of a motor vehicle
See s 3 – RSA
Miniature motorcycles/monkey bikes are illegal and cannot be registered or used on a public road, footpath or nature strip.
A person who commits an offence is liable to a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units
See s 65C RSA
Power assisted bicycles
A bicycle that provides assistance to the rider by the auxiliary motor.
A person can propel the bicycle via pedals without the motor operating.
|You don’t need a licence to use a low power assisted bicycle with one or more auxiliary motors attached which have a continuous rated power output not exceeding 200 watts.|
An EPAC/Pedalec is a type of power assisted bicycle which has one or more auxiliary propulsion motors.
It allows a maximum power of 250 watts.
Power assistance only available when bicycle is travelling at less than 25kmph and the rider is pedalling.
The motor may operate without the rider pedalling up to a speed of 6kmph.
|You don’t need a licence to use an EPAC/ Pedalec|