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Your driver licence may be disqualified if you’re found guilty of some traffic offences including (but not limited to) drink or drug driving, dangerous driving or driving while disqualified.
If your licence is disqualified for more than 2 years, you may be able to apply to have the disqualification removed after 2 years. You can’t apply before this time.
When receiving a licence disqualification this can affect whether you can drive in other states or overseas depending on where you received the penalty.
If you’re found guilty of a drink driving offence, you may have to participate in the alcohol ignition interlock program, even after the licence disqualification period is over. Get legal advice.
If you’re found guilty of some traffic offences (eg drink or drug driving, dangerous driving, or driving while disqualified), the court must cancel your licence and make an order disqualifying you from holding or getting a driver licence for a period of time. The disqualification period may be for a few months or a few years depending on the offence.
If your licence is disqualified for more than 2 years, you may be able to apply to have the disqualification removed after 2 years.
If you’ve had 2 or more cumulative disqualifications (to be served one after another), that are still current, get legal advice.
If your licence was disqualified before 3 March 2002 for unlicensed driving (including disqualified driving) you can apply directly to the Department of Transport and Main Roads to get your licence back. Get legal advice.
You may be able to apply to have your licence disqualification removed if:
You should get legal advice before applying to have a licence disqualification removed, as this is a complex area of law, particularly if you have cumulative disqualifications.
You’ll need to apply to the court that made the order to disqualify your licence. For example—if the order:
If you’ve been disqualified in both a Magistrates Court and in the District or Supreme Court, you must make separate applications to the courts to have a licence disqualification removed. You can’t apply for a driver licence until all of your disqualifications are removed or the disqualification periods have ended.
To apply, you must:
When deciding whether to make an order to remove your licence disqualification, the court will consider:
If your application is approved, the court will make an order removing your disqualification. This order is not a licence.
Before you can drive again, you must apply to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for a licence. When applying, you must show them the court order. You may have to pass the usual licence testing procedures before giving you a licence.
If your licence disqualification was because you were found guilty of a drink driving offence, you may have to participate in the alcohol ignition interlock program even after the disqualification has been removed. Get legal advice.
If your licence was disqualified overseas or in another state or territory, it can affect whether you are able to drive or get a licence in Queensland.
If you had a Queensland driver licence when your licence was suspended or disqualified overseas or in another state or territory, the Department of Transport and Main Roads may decide to cancel your licence. Get legal advice.
You’re not allowed to drive in Queensland on an overseas or interstate licence if:
Even if you have a valid overseas or interstate licence, you may not be allowed to drive in Queensland. Get legal advice.
If you’ve been disqualified from holding or getting a driver license overseas or in another state or territory you may not be eligible to apply for a Queensland driver licence.
It’s a criminal offence to apply for Queensland licence when disqualified in Queensland or interstate. Get legal advice.
If your licence was disqualified for a drink driving offence committed on or after 6 August 2010, you may have to participate in the alcohol ignition interlock program.
An alcohol ignition interlock is a device connected to a vehicle’s ignition needing the driver to give a breath sample before starting the vehicle. If any alcohol is detected in your breath, the vehicle won’t start.
The alcohol ignition interlock program may apply to the following:
While being part of the interlock program, you’ll have to drive a vehicle fitted with an alcohol ignition interlock device and you must have a BAC of 0.00% at all times when driving.
Strong penalties may apply if you don’t follow the rules of the interlock program. If you’re charged with a breach of the interlock program, get legal advice.
To install the ignition interlock device contact one of the contracted interlock suppliers. You’ll have to pay for the installation, rental, servicing and removal of the interlock device.
If you’re a low income earner, you may be eligible for a discount or financial assistance. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads for more information.
You’ll have to be a part of the program for up to 2 years after your drink driving disqualification period ends. You may be able to leave the program early if you meet certain conditions.
To be eligible to leave the program early, you must have met all of the following conditions for at least 12 months:
If you don’t follow the rules, the minimum period may be extended.
The maximum period you have to be on the interlock program is 2 years after your drink driving disqualification period ends. The interlock program will end after 2 years even if you have had an interlock device fitted to your vehicle for less than 12 months. If you’re unsure, get legal advice.
In limited situations, you may apply to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for an exemption from the interlock program. There are strict criteria that you’ll need to meet to be eligible for an exemption. Get legal advice.
You may need legal advice if you:
We may give legal advice about licence disqualification.
The following services also give legal advice:
Community legal centres may give legal advice on traffic matters. Contact them to find out if they can help.
Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private lawyer for advice or representation.
The organisations below may be able to help. They don’t give legal advice.
Queensland Traffic Offenders Program (QTOP) is an educational court diversion program for first and second time offenders who want to plead guilty to a traffic offence, including drink driving, unsafe driving, disqualified driving, suspended licence, appealing licence disqualifications (fees apply for this service).
Department of Transport and Main Roads deals with complaints and enquiries concerning drivers licence, registration, traffic fines, etc.
Under the Limit is a 6 week drink driving prevention and rehabilitation program that is offered through the magistrates courts in association with a probation order or on legal or self-referral. Fees and conditions will apply.