Fake driving licenses – also known as lesen terbang – look like they are still readily available, purchased by those looking for an easy way to have a license without any classes and tests. To say that the illegal activity is a threat to safety would be understating it, due to the fact that the “license holder” is endangering other road users, not having sat for any theory and practical exams.

The menace isn’t confined to our shores, it seems. The latest case regarding a fake Malaysian driving licence didn’t happen in Malaysia, but rather embarrassingly, in Australia – a Malaysian in New South Wales has been arrested by the authorities there for speeding, and checks on the person’s driving licence revealed it to be a lesen terbang.

In a Facebook post made by NSW Traffic Patrol and Highway Police account, officers attached to the Griffith Highway Patrol pulled over a black Honda Accord that was heading north on Murrumbidgee Avenue Griffith at 2 pm on December 22 last year. The vehicle was detected travelling at 113 km/h in a 100 km/h speed limit zoned area.

Police stopped the car a short distance later, and when requested to provide a drivers licence, the driver, a 26 year old Malaysian woman, produced a card resembling a Malaysian drivers licence. Police conducted checks on the Malaysian official road transport department portal, which revealed the driver did not hold any class of driving license in Malaysia.

Further checks were carried out, where officers detected a number of inconsistencies in the ‘licence produced.’ The woman was later confirmed to have only a learners license (L license) issued by New South Wales authorities.

Police cautioned and interviewed the driver, and the woman – who has been residing in New South Wales for the past six years on a current bridging visa – admitted that she asked someone to produce the fake license. Further investigation with Interpol in Malaysia confirmed that the Malaysian driver’s license was a fake.

The driver was issued with three infringement notices, these being a learner not accompanied by licensed driver/police officer or tester, a learner driver not displaying L plates as prescribed and a learner driver exceeding the speed limit by over 10 km/h. The driver was convicted at Griffith Local Court on April 13 for the offence of possessing a false document to influence exercise public duty.

Early last year, several posts were spotted on social media that offered a variety of “convenient” services. These include vehicle ownership transfers that do not require the original owner’s registration document, renewal of road tax that has lapsed (beyond three years) without requiring a Puspakom inspection, and creating a driving licence without sitting any exams.