Fines and young people

Information about what happens when a young person receives a fine.

If you have a fine and are under 18 years old, or you got your fine when you were under 18, there are different rules that apply to you.

Don’t ignore your fine. Even if you don’t want to challenge your fine, you have options for dealing with your fine.

  • Get legal advice

    Get legal advice

    If you don’t know how to deal with your fine, or you want to challenge your fine in court, you should get urgent legal advice. There are strict time limits for dealing with a fine.

    To speak to a lawyer, call the Youth Hotline on 1800 10 18 10.

You can't get a fine if you are under 10 years old.

Generally, fines are not given to children under 14 years old.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) can't suspend your driver's licence or vehicle registration for not paying a fine if you were under 18 when you were fined (unless the fine was for a traffic offence)

You can't be fined more than $1,100.00 for an offence by a court (as at July 2023).

Additional costs are reduced from $65.00 to $25.00 (as at July 2023) for each fine you received when you were under 18 years old.

If you receive a court fine, the Court can order that you don’t need to pay a court costs levy as well. For more information on the court costs, see Costs in fines cases.

If you want to challenge your fine in court, your case will usually be heard in the Children's Court.

If you are going to the Children's Court, you should get legal advice.

The Local Court will hear your case if it relates to a traffic offence and at the time you were fined, you were:

  • 16 years old or older (for traffic offences involving cars), or
  • 16 years and 9 months or older (for traffic offences involving motorbikes).

For more information, see Going to court.

Your parents aren’t responsible for your fines.

If you don’t pay your fines, Revenue NSW can't take recovery action against your parents.

If you receive a fine, you should deal with it as soon as possible.

If you don’t pay the fine in full or organise a payment plan, Revenue NSW may:

  • cancel or suspend your driver licence or your vehicle registration
  • order the Sheriff to take your goods or property and sell them to pay your fine
  • take money from your bank account or wages
  • register an interest on any land or property you own
  • refer your debt to a private debt collection agency
  • issue an Examination Notice
  • remove your permission to drive in NSW.

For more information, see What if I do nothing?