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Applying to remove a disqualification period of more than 2 years

When am I disqualified?

A court may order you be disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence if you are convicted of an offence relating to operating or interfering with the operation of a motor vehicle. If you are convicted of drink or drug driving, dangerous driving, or driving while disqualified, then the court must 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 more than two years, depending on the circumstances of the offence. The court looks at 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 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 the disqualification. You cannot apply to a court to remove the disqualification until you have served at least two years of your disqualification period.

Who can apply?

Section 131(10) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 allows a person who has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence for more than two years to apply to a court to remove 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 to remove 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 to remove a disqualification any time after two years since the start of the disqualification period.

Remember, if your application is refused, you cannot apply again until 12 months after the refusal date. This is why it is important to get legal advice before making an application to remove the disqualification.

If you have a bad traffic history or have been previously disqualified for several 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. The court looks at any offences you have committed since the disqualification. If you have committed any criminal or traffic offences since the disqualification, then get legal advice before filing your application.

If you have had two or more cumulative disqualifications (to be served one after another) that are still current, then you should get legal advice. The law is not clear as to whether you will be eligible to apply until you have served at least two years of the latest disqualification. You will not be able to have your disqualifications removed less than two years after the date of the last disqualification order.

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 get 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 from holding or obtaining a driver licence outside Queensland, 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.

Last updated 21 April 2021

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