I have been filling in the UK visitor visa application online, and there is a section under convictions and other penalties:
A. Penalty for driving offences, e. g., disqualification for speeding or no insurance
Last year, in Australia, I received fine for not stopping at a red light, caught on a traffic camera, and incurred 3 demerit points on my driving record.
Do I need to declare that under this section? It never went to court. I received the notice of the fine by mail, and paid it in full.
I have checked with the Australian authorities who confirmed that I do not have a criminal record for this; it is only recorded on my driving licence.
Is it something that is expected to be declared on the visitor application form?
I wouldn’t mind disclosing it, as it is a common traffic offence and a lot of people have the same on their licence. I am worried that it might be a reason to be refused a visa.
If you read the guidance, you will see that question 6.9 asks about “any criminal offence (including driving offences) in the UK or any other country, at any time?” while question 6.11 asks “Have you been subject to, or received, any other penalty by a court or the police; for example caution, discharge, fine or community sentence in the UK or any other country?”
It seems clear that the answer to at least one these must be yes, and there is no exclusion for common traffic offences (on the contrary, they are specifically included). It is either a criminal offence or a “other penalty” and must be disclosed on your application.
You don’t know whether the UK authorities will be able to find out about this matter, but it’s clear that they take even trivial omissions extremely seriously. Failure to disclose it will hurt your credibility and could lead not just to refusal now, but difficulty with future applications, even a 10-year ban for deception in the extreme case.
As you note, it is a common traffic offence and rather unlikely to be cause for refusal. Failure to disclose it, when the form clearly requests that you do so, is cause for much worse. I would disclose.