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Is it illegal to drive without doors?

Think twice before getting on the road with a partial car body. If you run into the police… they’ll notice.
Emma Size

27 Jun 2018 • 4 min read

Yes, most state road authorities in Australia at least imply that driving without doors is illegal, as the absence of doors would make your car unroadworthy and unsafe. 

Hooning, doing burnouts, playing ‘You Oughta Know’ by Alanis Morissette at full volume while you’re crying: these are all things that will get you attention from other drivers - and cops - on the road. And, oh yeah, driving without doors would probably stand out to everyone on the road, including the police. So think twice before getting on the road with a partial car body. If you run into the police… they’ll notice. 

New South Wales Roads & Maritime Services is possibly the most specific in its rules about driving without doors, as they give out $183 fines for driving with a defective body. 

While the laws are less specific in some other states, in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory you can also assume police won’t be happy if they see you going on your merry way without doors. According to VicRoads information on fines and penalties, if you take a vehicle on the road that doesn’t comply with roadworthiness standards, you could cop a $396 fine.

driving a vehicle that doesn’t conform to roadworthy standards puts you at risk of a $126 fine and one demerit point

Likewise, the ACT government’s extensive traffic infringement document lists multiple offences for using unroadworthy vehicles on the road.

There’s no specific offence related to driving without doors on the Tasmanian Transport’s traffic offences list, but you can be fined up to $636 for using a vehicle that’s generally in an unsafe or unroadworthy condition. As there are multiple offences on the list for just having any part of a driver’s or passenger’s body outside of a door (or window) while a vehicle is in use, it’s safe to assume that driving without doors is more than a bit risky when you’re on the road in Tassie. 

In South Australia, according to the government’s fact sheet on light vehicle standards, all door latches need to be in working condition for a car to be roadworthy. In which case, we can only assume not having any doors at all would render your vehicle defective in the eyes of SA’s laws. 

In Queensland, according to the state government’s demerit points schedule, driving a vehicle that doesn’t conform to roadworthy standards puts you at risk of a $126 fine and one demerit point. 

We couldn’t find any information on driving without doors on Western Australia’s road authority website but if you’d like to know more you can call the WA Demerit point hotline on 1300 720 111. Likewise, the Northern Territory’s traffic and penalties information page is limited but it’s safe to say that driving without doors isn’t subtle and if police see reason to defect your vehicle they probably will.

And regardless of the specific penalties, remember that driving without doors in all states is not only potentially hazardous to passengers in a collision but could also affect your insurance coverage. 

You should always consult your specific insurance agreement for insurance advice, but as a general guide, driving without doors would almost definitely affect your insurance coverage. Any indication that you’ve been driving a car that isn’t considered safe and roadworthy, could void your insurance contact - regardless of whether your car’s pre-existing faults had any bearing on any collisions you were in. 

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 pulled over for driving without doors? Tell us about it in the comments below.