Disqualified Drivers Can Now Apply to Get Their Licences Back

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Driver getting keys

The Road Transport Amendment (Driver Licence Disqualification) Act came into effect on 28 October 2017, allowing certain disqualified drivers in NSW to apply to the local court for the removal of their disqualification periods.

Who can apply?

If you are a disqualified driver, you may apply for the removal of all disqualification periods where:

  1. Any of your existing disqualification periods relate to one or more of the following offences:
  • Drink driving (driving with a prescribed concentration of alcohol),
  • DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs),
  • Drug driving (driving with an illicit substance in the bloodstream)
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h or 45km/h,
  • Driving recklessly, furiously, in a manner or at a speed dangerous, or
  • Menacing driving


  • You have not been guilty of a driving offence in the past 4 years.


  1. Your remaining disqualification periods relate to a habitual offender declaration/s


You have not been guilty of a driving offence in the past 2 years.


  1. In any other case, you have not been guilty of a driving offence for the past 2 years.

Parking fines are not considered to be driving offences.

Is anyone ineligible to apply?

You will not be eligible to apply for the removal of your disqualifications if you’ve ever been guilty of one or more of the following offences:

  • Any Crimes Act offence which includes death, grievous bodily harm or wounding by the use of a motor vehicle,
  • Predatory driving,
  • Police pursuit (Skye’s law),
  • Negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm,
  • Intentional menacing driving, or
  • Failing to stop and assist after a collision.

Those who are on a mandatory interlock program are also ineligible to apply.

How do I apply?

The first step is to complete and lodge a driving record application for disqualification removal order form.

The application is then filed in a NSW local court specifying that it is made under section 221B of the Road Transport Act 2013.

The application should be accompanied by an up-to-date driving record and particulars of any ‘pending proceedings’ for alleged driving offences.

A court date will be allocated at the time of filing.

What will the court look at?

On the court date, a magistrate will determine whether it is “appropriate” to remove all of your existing licence disqualifications.

In making that decision, the magistrate will need to take into account:

  • The safety of the public,
  • Your driving record, including any pending proceedings for driving offences,
  • Whether you drove or were in a position to drive during the offence free period (ie the applicable 2 or 4 years outlined above),
  • Your conduct after you were disqualified,
  • The nature of the offence/s which gave rise to your disqualification/s,
  • Any other relevant matters, including the availability of alternative forms of transport and the impact of the disqualification/s on:
  • your capacity to travel for employment, business, education or training purposes,
  • your ability to carry out carer or family responsibilities,
  • your health, and
  • your finances.

Persuading the court

The relevant information can be communicated to the magistrate through:

  • character references from your employer or prospective employer, your business partner/s or work colleague/s, and/or anyone you provide care for, which should explain your need for a driver licence,
  • a letter from you explaining your situation, including the hardship you experienced whilst disqualified and your need for a licence,
  • any relevant medical letters from your doctor/s, or the doctor/s of anyone you are caring for, explaining the need for a licence,
  • any relevant financial documents, and
  • verbal submissions from you (if you are self-represented) or your lawyer inside the courtroom.

What if my application fails?

If the local court rejects your application, you can make another after at least 12 months.

Going to court for a traffic offence?

If you are going to court for a traffic offence, call or email Sydney Criminal Lawyers anytime to arrange a free first consultation with an experienced, specialist traffic lawyer who will accurately advise you of your options, the best way forward, and fight for the optimal outcome in your specific situation.

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Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with 25 years of experience as a Criminal Defence Lawyer. He is the Principal of Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

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