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Is it illegal to drive without a rearview mirror?

If you get behind the wheel without a rearview mirror, you're putting yourself and others at risk.

Yes, the Australian Vehicle Standards Act requires you to drive with a rearview mirror at all times.

You could be the most confident and skilled driver in the world, but if you get behind the wheel without a rearview mirror, you're putting yourself and others at risk. Your rearview mirror is an essential part of your vehicle's safety offering, and the reason is every bit as obvious as you might expect - it allows you to see behind your car, either when reversing or when you're on the road.

Quite rightly, then, it's illegal to drive without a rearview mirror, according to the Australian Vehicle Standards.

In New South Wales, the demerit point guidelines point out that driving without a rearview mirror not only increases your risk of collision greatly, but will also earn you a $112 fine for driving a vehicle that doesn't comply with standards of roadworthiness.

According to the VicRoads fines and penalties website, driving without an uninterrupted view of the road will get you a fine of $238. And you'd also be at risk of getting stung for driving a vehicle that's unsafe or doesn't comply with standards of registration, for which the fine is $396.

According to the QLD government's demerit points schedule, driving, parking or permitting use of a vehicle that doesn't comply with Australian Vehicle Standards will set you back a $130 fine and earn you one demerit point.

The ACT government's extensive traffic infringement document is very clear on driving without a compliant rearview mirror; you'll cop a $193 fine. The Tasmanian traffic offences list is similarly clear - use or permit use of a vehicle that doesn't meet rearview mirror requirements, and you're at risk of a $159 fine. 

We couldn't find any specific legislation for South Australia or the Northern Territory, but since Australian vehicle standards require all cars to have a rearview mirror, it's safe to assume that driving without one could get you pulled over and penalised. There was also a lack of information from Western Australia's road authority but if you'd like to know more you can call the WA Demerit point hotline on 1300 720 111. 

And of course, if you have a collision while you're driving without a rearview mirror, your insurance coverage could be at risk. While you should always check your specific agreement for details, be aware that driving a non-compliant vehicle is not only illegal, but could also jeopardise your insurance. 

Finally, this article is not intended as legal advice. You should check with your local road authority to verify the information written here is suitable to your situation before driving in this manner.

Have you ever been faced with this situation? Tell us about it in the comments below.