While riding my bike on the road one night a few weeks back, I was stopped by a cop at an RBT. They asked whether I had a driver's licence on me. I said that I did, and they asked to see it. 

I was surprised at the request, so asked whether I was required to show it. They said I was, because since I was riding on the road, I was subject to -- and this is the part I didn't quite catch -- something called maybe "CAROMS" or "TAROMS". Although I felt sure that I wasn't required to show my licence, I voluntarily did so.

I've been sitting on this a while, but I think I'd like to take it further. As I understand it, if I'm not even required to *have* a drivers licence to ride a bike on the road, how can I be required to show said licence on the demand of a traffic cop? This cop was either ignorant of the law, or knew perfectly well what the law was but was prepared to lie to a member of the public. I'll add that their offsider looked particularly uncomfortable during this interchange. 

But -- does anyone have any idea what piece of road rules or police lingo I misheard as "CAROMS" or "TAROMS"? Google has turned up nothing, and it's pretty good at figuring out misheard/mis-spelled words.

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TORUM = Traffic Operations Road Use Management Act. A child is permitted to ride a bicycle on the road, as is a person who does not hold a driving license. You probably took the wiser course.

Thanks Playdough!

Nah.. he was just making it up or was ignorant or both. 

Ironically if he did RBT you the test would have been inadmissible and should have got you off. 

They can breath test bike riders but they have to have reasonable suspicion.. same as if you were riding a horse. RBT legislation only applies to operators of motor vehicles.

Ok so I was digging around a bit last night to find out what the legislation actually is. Not surprisingly there's nothing in the various Traffic Operations Acts which state that you have to have a license to use a non motorized vehicle on the road.

The only real applicable piece of legislation I could find is the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act, which gives a police officer the authority to give a direction to produce a drivers license.

Any other armchair (or real) lawyers out there?

Thanks pf -- I knew about the NSW rule; but this happened in a central suburb of Brisbane.

NSW does not require photo ID, but it is encouraged. They did not proceed with the proposed law.


Bicycle riders encouraged to carry ID
All bicycle riders are encouraged to carry some form of identification, to improve the efficiency of emergency response if they are injured in a crash.

Thanks for the clarification!

Only a law school dropout here; but section 58 of that act says that cops can "require the person to produce the person's driver licence for inspection" IF they find a person committing or reasonably suspect a person has committed an offence against the Road Use Management Act. -- http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/ppara2000365/s58....

The relevant section of the other act states they "may require the driver of a private vehicle to produce his or her driver licence"  -- http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/touma1995434/s49.... and -- interestingly -- the definition of "vehicle" in this act definitely includes bicycles, and the definition of "driver" would seem to include a cyclist (it explicitly includes somebody riding an animal). -- http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/touma1995434/sch4...

The only ambiguity I can see is that that section refers specifically to "a document issued, or required to be kept by the person, under a transport Act or a corresponding law" -- my drivers licence was issued under a transport Act, but not for the purposes of riding a bicycle.

Upshot -- is it possible that in contrast to all the brouhaha about making NSW cyclists carry licences, that cops in Qld might have had this power by stealth all along?

Does anyone have any experience with getting a clarification of road rules from QPS?

I find this pdf version easier to read.


A cyclist is a "rider" s17 not a "driver" s16 but a reference to a driver normally also means a rider, s19. 

16 Who is a driver (1) A driver is the person who is driving a vehicle (except a motorbike, bicycle, animal or animal-drawn vehicle).

17 Who is a rider (1) A rider is the person who is riding a motorbike, bicycle, animal or animal-drawn vehicle. (2) A rider does not include— (a) a passenger; or (b) a person walking beside and pushing a bicycle.

19 Reference to driver includes rider etc. Unless otherwise expressly stated in this regulation, a reference in this regulation (except in this division)— (a) to a driver, includes a reference to a rider; and (b) to driving, includes a reference to riding.

Getting back to the original question, I can't see anything in the QRR requiring a driver or a rider to show their licence but I think that it is listed in other police powers law somewhere.

I just happened to get pull up tonight by a motor cycle cop (no helmet - first time in ages). He asked for my exemption letter but not my ID and just took my word for it on my name.

Interesting. I often ride without my driver's licence. If I'm going on a group ride, I'll only have a credit card and a go card that might be any sort of ID. I wonder what that particular cop would do in that situation?

From the same section of the Police Powers Act, you have 48 hours to produce it if you don't have it on you:

(3) A person who holds an open driver licence issued under the Road Use Management Act but is unable to comply with the requirement immediately may comply with the requirement by producing the licence to the officer in charge of a nominated police establishment or police station within 48 hours after the requirement is made.

(4) The place nominated under subsection (3) must be reasonable in the circumstances.


Folks, I have since received verification (yesterday) from both QPS and TMR that there is no obligation for a bicycle rider to have, carry, or produce a driver's licence, even when riding on the road.


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