This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Applying to Shorten or Remove Licence Disqualification


In New South Wales, some disqualified drivers are eligible to make an application to the court to have part or all of their court-ordered disqualification period removed. A NSW Local Court may shorten or remove licence disqualifications after an ‘offence free period’ at the application of the disqualified driver.

When can the court change a licence disqualification?

Under the Road Transport Act 2013, the Local Court can only remove or shorten a licence disqualification where:

  • An application is made by the disqualified driver (through their legal representative or otherwise);
  • The disqualified driver has completed their ‘offence free period’;
  • The disqualified driver has not been convicted of any other moving traffic offence; and
  • The court is convinced that it is ‘appropriate’ to remove the remaining disqualification.

What is the offence free period?

The ‘offence free period’ which a disqualified driver must complete will depend on the drivers criminal and traffic record and their past convictions. This needs to be assessed on a case by case basis, however, most drivers will need to have served four years of their disqualification periods before making an application. Some drivers will only need to serve two years.

What else is needed to shorten or remove a licence disqualification?

As set out above, the application isn’t as simple as merely serving the ‘offence free period’. A court must also be convinced by a driver or their legal representative that it is ‘appropriate’ to remove the remaining disqualification.

Putting forward evidence about personal circumstances and a desire for a licence may not be enough to persuade a Magistrate to remove the disqualification period and reinstate a licence. Evidence about what the disqualified driver has learnt during their time off the road, a change in attitude, new job prospects, a change in their family circumstances or a medical condition may strengthen their application.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal. 

WHERE TO NEXT?

Traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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