What is SPER?

The State Penalties Enforcement Registry (also known as SPER) is a division of the Office of State Revenue. It deals with:

  • The State Penalties Enforcement Registry (also known as SPER) is a division of the Office of State Revenue. It deals with:
  • Infringement Notice Fines
  • Court-Ordered Fines
  • Offender Levy
  • Offender Debt Recovery Orders.

If you have not paid a fine or penalty that is payable, the debt can be referred to SPER who will then issue you an enforcement order for the amount you owe. It will include a registration fee of $73.80 if the original fine related to an infringement notice. Registration fees do not apply to penalties ordered by the court or the offender debt recovery notices.  An offender debt recovery notice is issued to recover a portion of a criminal injury compensation order or the financial assistance paid to a victim by the government.  This only applies if you have been convicted of an offence of violence.  An offender levy is the amount that every adult is liable to pay when they are convicted of an offence, whether or not the conviction was recorded.  The current offender levy is $390.50 if sentenced in the Supreme or District Court, and $130.30 if sentenced in the Magistrates Court.

How Do I Pay SPER Debts?

You must pay the full amount of your SPER debt by the due date. You can pay online by clicking here. There are also other payment methods that you can choose from by clicking here.

If you cannot afford to pay the whole amount as a lump sum, you also have the option to pay by instalments.

What are the consequences of not paying the SPER Debt?

SPER have various powers to recover the debt that is owed including:

  • immediately suspending your licence
  • taking money from your bank or wages
  • attaching a wheel clamp to any vehicle registered in your name
  • applying a charge on any real estate, vehicle of other personal property in your name
  • Seizing and selling your property

It is important to note that if you are charged with Unlicensed Driving whilst SPER suspended, the Court must disqualify you from holding or obtaining a drivers license for at least one month, but not more than six months.

It is a legal requirement to keep your address up to date.  Any notices will be sent to the address listed on your driver licence or vehicle registration and you will not be able to dispute them on the basis that you did not receive them.

Can I Dispute My SPER Debt?

If you receive an enforcement order from SPER and you wish to dispute it, you can either:

  • Contact SPER directly
  • Contact the agency that issued the fine/order

SPER does not have the power to withdraw a disputed fine or order, so you may be:

  • Referred to the agency that issued the fine or order
  • Able to apply to SPER for a court hearing (for infringement notices only)
  • Able to apply to the court (court matters only) where matter was originally heard, for it to be re-opened, re-heard or for an appeal.

If the court decides that you must pay the SPER fine or penalty, it is up to the Magistrate as to the amount you must pay, as well as any court costs and fees.

What Happens If My Dispute Application Is Refused?

If your application to dispute the outstanding fine is refused, you will need to pay your original fine or fees to SPER.

Can I Appeal The Decision If It Is Refused?

You are able to appeal the decision if your application to dispute the fine has been refused. However, you must do this within 14 days of the decision being made. To appeal this decision, you must provide the letter you received from SPER in relation to the decision and give it to the Magistrates Court. Your application will be completed by the court, and a date will be set for a hearing. You will be provided a copy of the appeal.

This post contains general advice only and is not intended as legal advice.