Removal of Licence Disqualifications

car driving fast along a road at night
Do you have a disqualified licence? Are you hoping to get your licence back sooner rather than later?

If you need to get behind the wheel again for the sake of your livelihood, don’t consider driving while disqualified. There may be options available to you to get your licence sooner than expected.

A conviction in court for certain traffic and criminal offences will result in the loss of a person’s licence. This means that their driver’s licence has been cancelled by a Magistrate or a Judge due to the offence that was committed.

The licence will be cancelled from the moment that the disqualification is ordered and no motor vehicles of any type can be driven from that point onward.

The disqualification period can range from a few weeks to an indefinite disqualification, depending on the offence and other factors.

If you have been disqualified for more than 2 years, you may have the ability to apply for the disqualification to be removed.

There are a number of reasons why your licence might be disqualified. The offences that result in a disqualified licence include:

  • Drink driving/DUI: If you are caught driving while over the legal alcohol limit, you will face a mandatory loss of licence for at least one month. If you are over the ‘high alcohol limit’ (0.15%), the minimum disqualification increases to six months.
  • Drug driving: Disqualifications for drug driving offences are similar to drink driving offences and include mandatory disqualifications of at least one month.
  • Driving while suspended: If you are found driving while suspended due to a SPER suspension, demerit point suspension or any other reason, you will lose your licence for at least one month and often longer.
  • Driving while disqualified: Disqualified driving offences are seen as being particularly serious and will result in the loss of your driver’s licence for a period of at least two years.

Importantly, if you are caught committing a drink driving/DUI offence or a drug driving offence while you are suspended or disqualified, the disqualification periods will be cumulative. This means that the second disqualification period won’t start until you have finished the first disqualification period. As a result, people often find themselves being disqualified for a total period which is much longer than two years.

In some circumstances, people who have been disqualified for more than two years can apply to court for the removal of the rest of their disqualification. This is to take into account the fact that most people rely heavily on their licences for work or personal reasons and it would be unjust to cause a person to suffer ongoing hardship.

If you want to apply for the removal of your licence disqualification, you will need to lodge an application in the appropriate court. This can be the Supreme or District Court or (most commonly) a Magistrates Court.

There are many factors which will be considered by the court to determine whether to grant your application – these are set out below.

Not everyone can apply to have their disqualification removed.

First, you need to make sure that at least two years have passed since you were last disqualified. The application cannot be granted if you have not completed at least two years of your licence disqualification.

Next, you will need to convince the Judge or Magistrate that the application should be granted in your favour. The courts are generally reluctant to remove licence disqualifications and therefore comprehensive submissions need to be made to convince the court why the application should be granted.

If the court refuses your application, you will need to wait another year before you can re-apply. This is why it is so important to make an effective application the first time around.

There are a number of factors that will influence whether a court will agree to remove your licence disqualification. Some examples include:

  • Rehabilitation: You will need to provide evidence of rehabilitation related to your driving to prove that the circumstances that resulted in your disqualification will not occur again.
  • Abstinence from drug or alcohol Use: If alcohol or drug use was partly to blame for your licence disqualification, you will need to show that you have abstained from using these substances or at least significantly reduced your use.
  • Significant need for a licence: If your need for your licence is significant (such as need to drive for work) and there are a lack of reasonable alternatives available, this is one of the factors that can be considered in your case.
  • Extraordinary Circumstances: If any other unexpected and significant circumstances arise after the disqualification has been imposed, the court can also take these into account.
  • Medical Reasons: If illnesses or other medical ailments are affecting you, this can be another factor for the court to consider.

There are many other factors that a court will consider when deciding these applications which will depend on the circumstances of your individual case.

These applications are very technical and complex and can be hard to prepare for if you don’t know what you are doing.

As Queensland’s leading traffic law firm, we have successfully represented many drivers just like you who want to re-apply for their driver’s licence.

As your lawyers, we will prepare all the necessary paperwork needed to lodge the application in court and will provide you with guidance at every step of the application. We will then appear in court with you to argue the application on your behalf and to ensure that your application is successful.

In summary, we will take care of your application from beginning to end.

Contact Harper Finch Lawyers

If you have been disqualified for more than two years and you want to speak to a Queensland traffic law expert about making an application to get your licence back.

Contact us now for an obligation free discussion on 0428 001 701 or you can email us at