Disqualification Removal Order – Get Your Licence Back

Disqualification Removal Order – Get Your Licence Back

Disqualification Removal Order - Get Your Licence Back

In New South Wales, a disqualified driver can apply at the local court to have their licence reinstated if they have complied with certain conditions and not reoffended during their disqualification period.

Find out more about obtaining a licence disqualification removal order, disqualification periods, eligibility and how your driving record can impact your success.

Let’s take a closer look.

What Is A Disqualification Removal Order?

Someone who has been convicted of driving offences will likely face penalties of lengthy driver licence disqualification periods. The length of the disqualification varies depending on the type of offence committed. When people have complied with the conditions stated in the order, they may be eligible to apply for the order to be removed early. A magistrate can issue the order at a local court.

A driver licence is necessary for many people in their day-to-day lives; many rely on it for work, medical and family obligations. Therefore, drivers who have complied with the conditions of their order and have been “offence free” for at least two years, have the opportunity to obtain a disqualification removal order, which can significantly impact their everyday life.

Who Can Apply For A Disqualification Removal Order?

You can apply for a licence disqualification removal order if you have not committed any ineligible offences or other offences during your “offence free period”.

The length of the offence free period depends on the nature of the offence you committed.

What Offences Make You Ineligible?

There are several serious driving offences which, if a person is convicted, make them no longer eligible to have their disqualification removed. They include the following violations under the Crimes Act;

  • Murder or manslaughter involving the use of a motor vehicle
  • An offence under the Crimes Act, causing death or grievous bodily harm or wounding another person involving the use of a motor vehicle
  • Predatory driving, which includes road rage, and aggressive tailgating
  • Refusing to stop for a police officer, resulting in police pursuits
  • Negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm
  • Intentional menacing driving
  • Causing a vehicle impact which caused death or grievous bodily harm and failing to stop

If a person is currently serving a five year disqualification for refusing to have an interlock device installed in their motor vehicle, they are not eligible to have their disqualification lifted.

 

How Can You Get Your Licence Back After A Disqualification?

It may be possible for an individual to get their licence back after a disqualification if they have been compliant with the disqualification conditions as set by the local court and have not reoffended during their disqualification period. They can apply to the local court to have the remainder of the disqualification period removed and reapply for their full driver’s licence.

Depending on the severity of the offence, the disqualification period will vary.

2 Year Eligibility

Any person who has been disqualified based on the following driving offences must remain compliant with the terms of their disqualification for a minimum of two years before they are eligible to have the disqualification removed.

 

  • Declared a habitual traffic offender; or
  • Committed any other driving offence not mentioned below

4 Year Eligibility

Any person who has been disqualified based on the following driving offences must remain compliant with the terms of their disqualification for a minimum of four years before they are eligible to have the remainder of their disqualification period set aside.

 

  • A major offence, such as drink driving
  • Driving under the influence of narcotics
  • Negligent driving
  • Driving furiously, recklessly, or in a manner which could be dangerous to the public
  • Refusing to submit to a breath analysis
  • Refusing to provide a sample of either blood, urine or oral fluid
  • Being responsible for altering the concentration of alcohol or drugs in a sample provided
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 kilometres per hour
  • Road racing, drag racing and attempting speed records on public roads

How Do You Apply?

Having a licence and the ability to drive is crucial for many people, particularly those who require a driver’s licence for work purposes. Anyone wanting to remove their licence disqualifications should seek legal advice before starting the application to ensure they have the best possible success.

Step 1

In New South Wales, before a disqualified driver can apply at the local court to reinstate their licence, they must complete a preliminary application, called a driving record application for disqualification removal order, with the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Department.

Step 2

The RMS will review the application and assess the eligibility of the applicant. They will send an eligibility status letter and a copy of your driving record.

Step 3

If deemed eligible, the applicant can apply at the local court and complete an application to remove driver licence disqualification. They must submit the RMS driving record and covering letter as evidence of their eligibility and pay a fee when they lodge their application. In some circumstances, the applicant can ask to have the fee waived, for example, if they are experiencing financial hardship.

Providing details about why the application is essential, including evidence about what they have learned during their time off the road, change in family circumstances or attitude, and new employment prospects, can be beneficial, as personal circumstances alone may not be enough to persuade a local court magistrate to remove a disqualification order. It is essential to provide evidence of why a licence is required by providing other supporting documents, and when you present your case, you should outline the following;

 

  • Reasons why you do not pose a safety risk to the community
  • No further offences have been committed
  • The reason why you need your licence; to attend medical appointments, family responsibilities, caring duties or for employment purposes
  • Provide character references
  • Information about your financial situation

Step 4

There will be a local court hearing where a magistrate will decide if the application is approved. The magistrate will decide whether to partially or wholly remove the disqualification.

If a Supreme court imposed the disqualification, the application to remove a disqualification must be made at the Supreme Court.

Step 5

If you are successful and a magistrate has lifted the order, you will need to arrange to have your licence reissued at RMS, and you will not be allowed to drive immediately. You will need to pass a standard knowledge and driving test before they will reissue a new licence. Roads and Maritime Services will also check to ensure that there are no recent driving offences the court was unaware of.

If there are any outstanding fines, they will need to be paid before RMS will issue a new licence.

What Will The Court Consider Before Making A Decision?

The local court understands that not having a driver’s licence can make day-to-day life challenging and may cause hardship. They will consider many factors before restricting a person to ensure it is in the community’s best interest. The local court will consider the following;

  • Safety of the general public
  • Driving record of the applicant
  • Nature of the offences that led to the disqualification
  • Compliance with conditions of driving disqualification
  • The general conduct of the applicant, as well as whether fines have been paid
  • Other relevant circumstances, such as family or carer responsibilities, ability to use public transport, etc
  • Applicants general health
  • The financial status of the applicant

The court will look favourably at individuals who have completed the Traffic Offender Program, a course aimed at changing driving attitudes and behaviour.

What Happens If Your Application Is Denied?

If the local court denies your request to remove a licence disqualification, the decision made by the magistrate is final. You are allowed to reapply again in 12 months and remain disqualified until that time.

Driving without a valid licence is a criminal offence, which may result in a conviction for driving whilst disqualified, with a penalty of potential imprisonment.

What Are The New Legislation Changes?

In New South Wales, disqualification periods have changed over the last few decades, and repeat offenders were declared habitual offenders and often received a further five years disqualification. Sometimes, their licence disqualification is extended to 20-30 years. Driving whilst disqualified became a common offence in the court. Changes to the legislation now incentivise disqualified drivers to comply with the conditions in their order.

In 2017, changes to the Driver Licence Disqualification Act ensured that the penalties were commensurate with their offences. It also offers disqualified drivers who have complied with their conditions a pathway back to lawful driving.

Changes to the Act include the following:

  • Revised penalties for offences such as driving whilst suspended and unlicensed driving
  • Removal of long-term disqualification periods
  • Cancellation of the Habitual Traffic Offenders (HTO) scheme
  • Increased powers for police to respond to dangerous driving

Revised Penalties For Unauthorised Driving Offences

Before recent changes to the legislation, penalties for driving offences were similar to the maximum penalties for criminal offences. The penalties have been deemed too severe, and a new balanced penalty regime has been introduced.

Driving While Licence Is Disqualified, Suspended, Cancelled or Refused

The local court will consider driving while disqualified, suspended, cancelled or refused a first offence if the person has had no convictions within the previous five years.

The penalties for this offence may be a fine of up to $3300, 6 months imprisonment or licence disqualification for a minimum of 3 months.

If a driver has been charged with the above offence or any other major offence, the local court will consider it a second or subsequent offence, and the penalties are more severe.

Driving With A Licence Suspended, Cancelled or Suspended Due To Non Payment Of Fines

The local court will consider driving with a suspended or cancelled licence a first offence if the person has not been convicted of the same crime within the last five years.

The penalties are a fine of up to $3300 and a minimum licence disqualification of 1 month.

If the driver has been charged with the above offence within the last five years, they will be considered a second or subsequent offender by the court and face more severe penalties.

Driving Without A Licence/Unlicensed

If a person is caught driving when they have never held a driving licence, and it is a first offence, they will be fined up to $2200.

If they have committed the same offence more than once within five years, they will be considered a second or subsequent offender. In addition to a fine, they face imprisonment and a disqualification period.

Long Term Disqualification

A long term licence disqualification is a minimum of two years, and a disqualified driver is not permitted to drive during this time under any circumstances. Driving without a valid vehicle licence is a criminal offence and carries harsh penalties.

HTO Scheme

The Habitual Traffic Offenders scheme was for individuals who had committed three serious driving offences over five years; they were then declared habitual traffic offenders. The scheme has been abolished as research has shown that more extended disqualification periods do not have a deterrent effect.

Increased Police Powers

With the introduction of changes to the legislation, police now have the power to issue the following immediate sanctions;

  • Remove and retain the registration plates of a vehicle
  • Impound a vehicle

Police can perform the above sanctions for disqualified drivers who exceed the speed limit by 30 km/hr or a person who drives while disqualified, without a licence and has been convicted of two or more traffic offences within the last five years.

Summary

Someone who has been convicted of driving offences will likely face penalties of lengthy driver licence disqualification periods. The length of the disqualification varies depending on the type of offence committed.

You can apply for a licence disqualification removal order if you have not committed any of the ineligible offences or any other offence during your “offence free” period, which may be 2 or 4 years, depending on the severity of the original driving offence.

There are several serious driving offences, which, if a person is convicted, make them no longer eligible to have their disqualification removed, such as; An offence which causes death or grievous bodily harm or murder or manslaughter caused by the use of a motor vehicle.

To remove a licence disqualification, the driver must obtain a copy of their driving record from the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). The RMS will review the application and assess the eligibility of the applicant. They will send an eligibility status letter. The driver must then complete a local court application, prepare documents, attend court and present their case.

Having a licence and the ability to drive is crucial for many people, particularly those who require a driver’s licence for work purposes.

Anyone wanting to remove their licence disqualifications should obtain legal advice before starting the application to ensure they have the best possible success.

FAQs

1. What Is The Difference Between Suspension And Disqualification?

A police officer can issue a licence suspension, but only a court can order a licence disqualification, usually due to serious driving offences. In contrast, a suspension may occur due to accruing too many demerit points or not paying speeding fines, which are less severe.

Having a licence suspended or disqualified means a person is not permitted to drive a motor vehicle until they can reinstate their licence. To remove licence disqualification in New South Wales, a person must apply to the local court.

2. How Do I Appeal My Licence Disqualification NSW?

If the local court denies your request to remove a licence disqualification, the decision made by the local court magistrate is final. You will need to wait 12 months before you can reapply. The disqualified driver must start the application process again after 12 months have elapsed and can only reapply if they meet the eligibility criteria.

If you have not been convicted of certain driving offences which involve death or grievous bodily harm, you may be able to appeal your licence disqualification.

Anyone wanting to remove their licence disqualifications should obtain legal advice before starting the application to ensure they have the best possible success.

3. How Do I Get My Licence Back After Suspension NSW?

It may be possible for an individual to get their licence back after a disqualification if they have been compliant with the disqualification conditions as set by the local court and have not reoffended during their disqualification period.

Before a disqualified driver can apply at the local court, they must complete a preliminary driving record application for a disqualification removal order with the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Department. They will review the application and assess the eligibility of the applicant.

If successful, the applicant can apply at the local court and complete an application to remove driver licence disqualification.

A driver is not eligible if they are convicted of a serious driving offence such as; an offence which causes death or grievous bodily harm or predatory driving.

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