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When am I disqualified?
If you are convicted of drink or drug driving, dangerous driving, or driving while disqualified by a court, then the court must cancel your licence and make an order disqualifying you from holding or obtaining a driver licence for a stated period.
Your driver licence is cancelled from the day you are disqualified by the court and you cannot drive any motor vehicle during this period. If this has happened to you, it means you have been ‘disqualified’ from driving.
The disqualification period may be for a few months or for a period of more than two years – depending on the circumstances of the offence. The court takes into account the seriousness of the offence and your traffic history when deciding how long to disqualify you for.
If you are convicted of driving a motor vehicle while disqualified, then a court must disqualify you for a period of at least two years but no more than five years. You cannot apply for or obtain a driver licence until each disqualification period has ended, or a court removes each disqualification beforehand. You cannot apply to a court to remove the disqualification until you have served at least two years of your disqualification period.
You may be disqualified as a result of other offences involving the driving of a motor vehicle, but drink or drug driving, or driving while already disqualified are the most common reasons.
Who can apply?
Section 131(2) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 allows a person who has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence for a period of more than two years to apply to a court for the removal of the disqualification.
Where do I apply in Queensland?
- If the disqualification order was made by a magistrates court then the application must be made to the magistrates court in the area you live
- If the disqualification order was made by a judge of the district court or Supreme Court then the application must be made to the district court or Supreme Court for the area in which you live
- If you now live outside Queensland then the application must be made to the magistrates court in Brisbane
If you have been disqualified both in the magistrates court and in the district or Supreme Court, then you must make separate applications to the courts for removal of the disqualifications. You are not allowed to apply for a driver licence until all of your disqualifications are removed or the disqualification periods have ended.
When can I apply?
You may apply for removal of a disqualification any time after two years have passed since the date of the particular disqualification order.
Remember, if your application is refused, a further application cannot be made until 12 months after the date of the refusal. That is why it is important to make an accurate assessment of your chances of success before applying for removal of the disqualification.
If you have a bad traffic history or have been previously disqualified for a number of periods of more than two years and you have served at least two years of the latest disqualification period, then you should think about waiting a bit longer than the two years to improve your chance of success.
This is important when, for example, you have been imprisoned for part of the two years since the disqualification, or have had further traffic offences since the disqualification that you want to have removed. In these circumstances, it may be better to wait two years after being released from prison or after driving while disqualified. The court looks at any offences that you have committed since the disqualification. If you have committed any criminal or traffic offences since the disqualification then seek legal advice before filing your application.
If you have had two or more cumulative disqualifications (are to be served one after another) that are still current, then you should get legal advice.
Make sure you carefully prepare all the information you need to present to the court.
What if I received my disqualification outside Queensland?
If you have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence outside of Queensland, then you need to seek advice from a lawyer in the location where your disqualification was imposed to find out whether you can apply to have your disqualification removed. You cannot have it removed by a Queensland court. If you have been disqualified outside Queensland from holding or obtaining a driver licence, then it is an offence to apply for or obtain a Queensland driver licence without first having each of those other disqualifications removed.
Remember, this guide relates to Queensland and cannot be used for removing disqualifications outside Queensland