How to apply to have a licence disqualification removed

How to apply to have a licence disqualification removed

If you (or someone you know) have been disqualified for more than three years (including permanent ‘life’ bans) from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence then you can apply to the District Court to get your licence back (or the Supreme Court if that is where you were disqualified). There is no ability to apply to remove a disqualification of three years or less.

However, you can only apply once the relevant waiting period has passed. If you were disqualified for between three and six years then you have to wait a minimum of three years. If you were disqualified from between six and 20 years then you will have to wait for half of the period of disqualification. If you were disqualified for 20 years or more (or permanently on a ‘life’ ban) then you must wait a minimum of 10 years. The waiting period starts on the date the disqualification took effect, which may not be the same date as the date when the disqualification was imposed by the Court eg there were cumulative periods of disqualification imposed upon you.

In addition, if you were disqualified on more than one offence and those disqualifications were imposed cumulatively (ie one period of disqualification commences from when a prior one ends) then you will have to apply to have each individual disqualification removed and you must serve a waiting period between each application. In other words, this aspect must be checked before you make your application or your application will be rejected outright. The only exception to this rule is if you have more than one permanent disqualification (and whether concurrent or cumulative on another) you can make the one application to the Court to have them removed at the same time and you will not have to serve a new waiting period for each permanent disqualification.

To make a successful application you will need to convince the Court that, amongst other things, you are now of good character and that the road using public will not be endangered by you driving. In other words, you will need to prove to the Court that your circumstances have changed for the better and that you are unlikely to commit further driving offences. You will also need to convince the Court that you actually need a licence (eg for work purposes etc). You may also like to note that even if you are successful in your application, you may have to pay the legal costs of the Department of Transport and as such, applications should be carefully considered and prepared.

Further, your application will, to a large extent, be dependent upon the supporting documents which you can put before the Court. These will include, for example, character references (note that the people providing references must be willing to be a witness for you in Court although in practice they are not usually required to attend), a letter from your employer, a letter from your doctor or other medical professionals you may be engaged with and so forth. If you were disqualified for alcohol related offences then you will need to obtain an up-to-date Liver Function Test (and an accompanying report if there any unusual results showing up) to establish that you are not a heavy drinker at the time of your application.\

Furthermore, you will also need to obtain an up-to-date criminal record check (including the separate record of traffic infringements) from the Police which will need to be filed with your application. These documents can be obtained by completing the relevant forms available on the WA Police website. Please note that if you have a criminal history and/or traffic record in another State or Territory then you should also obtain copies of those records as well.

Finally, if you have read this far and still have queries or if you think that you will need some assistance with an application then now is probably the time to obtain some practical advice. Austral Legal can help and we offer an initial discounted 30-minute SmartMove appointment for $80 by phone or in person at our office to discuss your individual situation. Bookings can be made online through our website or simply by getting in touch.

To assist us in the first instance we will at a minimum need a copy of your Criminal Record. Once we have a handle on what is then required we will ordinarily be able to offer you a fixed fee for preparing and filing the application with the WA Supreme Court so that you know what your legal fees will be up-front with no hidden costs surprises down the track.