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Removing disqualification periods

Are you disqualified from driving?

Asking the court to remove your driver licence disqualifications

On this page we tell you:

  • about the Driver Disqualification Removal Scheme
  • who cannot apply
  • who can apply
  • about the ‘offence-free period’
  • how the court will decide
  • how to apply
  • where you can get legal help
  • other useful information

About the scheme

In October 2017 the law in NSW was changed. If you are eligible (see Who can apply? below) you can apply to the Local Court to have your disqualification periods removed from your driver licence.

If this happens, you can then apply for a new licence.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you haven’t committed any driving offences during the offence-free period that applies to you and if you have not been convicted of any of the offences listed below under Who cannot apply?

Who cannot apply?

You cannot apply if you have ever been convicted of one of these serious driving offences:

  • Murder or manslaughter caused by the use of a motor vehicle
  • An offence under the Crimes Act that caused the death, grievous bodily harm or wounding of a person by a motor vehicle
  • Predatory Driving or Police Pursuits (under the Crimes Act)
  • Negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm
  • Intentional menacing driving
  • Failing to stop and assist after impact causing death or grievous bodily harm

If you currently have a 'mandatory interlock order' against you – these particular disqualifications cannot be removed under the scheme.

About the offence-free period

Your ‘offence-free’ period depends on what offences your licence is disqualified for. You will need to show you had no driving offences for either 4 years or 2 years before the date you apply.

It will be 4 years if you are disqualified from driving because of any of these offences:

  • A major offence (for example, drink driving, driving in a manner or speed that is dangerous)
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h
  • Street racing
  • Aggravated burnout

It will be 2 years if you have been disqualified from driving because:

  • you were declared an habitual traffic offender, or
  • you committed any other driving offences

How will the court decide?

The magistrate has to look at a number of things, including:

  • the safety of the public
  • your overall driving record
  • the type of offences that led to your licence being disqualified
  • if you can use other transport
  • your family, carer, work, education or other commitments
  • your health and finances, and
  • anything else they think is important.

How to apply

  1. Get a copy of your driving record
    You must apply for an up-to-date copy of your driving record from Roads and Maritime Service (RMS).  Contact RMS on 02 6640 2821 to find out how to apply for your driving record. Say you need it to work out if you can apply to remove your disqualification periods. Roads and Maritime Service will give it to you for free.
  • You will need this record to get the right legal advice, and
  • If you do apply, you must attach it to your application.
  1. Get legal advice
    You should get legal advice. We tell you where you can get legal advice under Where you can get legal help.
    *
    Take the copy of your driving record with you when you see the lawyer.
  1. Complete the Application to remove driver licence disqualification form
    You can get this form at any Local Court registry or you can print the Application to remove driver licence disqualification form. 

    You should say in your application why it is important to have your driver licence. Think about the things the court needs to look at under How does the court decide?

    You can find more information about what to put in your application in our brochure 'Are you disqualified from driving?'

Where can I get legal help?

Legal Aid NSW

You can get free legal advice, and in some cases, representation in court from Legal Aid NSW. To find your closest office call 1300 888 529 or look under ‘Get legal help’.

If you do not live close to a Legal Aid NSW office, see if a member of the Legal Aid Driver Reform Implementation Team is visiting your area.

LawAccess NSW

A telephone helpline that gives free legal information, referrals to other services and legal advice in some cases. Call 1300 888 529 or visit LawAccess.

Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Ltd (ALS)

If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander you can also contact the ALS for free legal advice. To find your closest ALS office call 1800 765 767 or visit the Aboriginal Legal Service.

Other useful information

  • If the court removes your disqualification periods, you will need to apply for a driver licence at either a Service NSW centre or a Roads and Maritime Service registry before you can drive.
  • Sort out any fines now. If you still have fines Service NSW may not give you a licence, or may suspend any licence they give you. To find out if you have any fines or restrictions in place because you haven’t paid a fine, or if you need help to manage your fines debt, contact Revenue NSW on 1300 655 805.

Legal Aid NSW can help you work out how to deal with fines. You may be able to get a Work and Development Order (WDO). A WDO allows you to clear fines through unpaid work, courses, counselling or treatment. For more information or to find a WDO service in your area call 02 9219 5000 or visit Legal Aid NSW.