Removing A Disqualification Of Your Driver Licence

Under Queensland law, if your driver licence has been disqualified by a court for longer than 2 years (as might happen if, for instance, you were found guilty of repeated high range drink driving or driving while disqualified) it is possible to make an application to a court to remove the disqualification so that you can apply for a driver licence again.

This page contains information regarding the eligibility criteria for making such an application as well as the circumstances in which such applications might be successful. Competent legal advice is essential if you are considering applying to remove your licence disqualification and the Armstrong Legal team stand ready to advise and assist you.

Who Can Apply For Removal Of A Disqualification?

Subsection 131(2) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 enables anyone who has had their Queensland driver licence disqualified for more than 2 years to bring an application to remove that disqualification providing they have served at least 2 years of it. Subsection 131(2) says:

“A person who has been disqualified, by operation of law or an order, from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence absolutely or for a period of more than 2 years, may, at any time after the expiration of 2 years from the start of the disqualification period, apply for the disqualification to be removed.”

In practice, it is generally only those people who have been disqualified for periods of time far in excess of 2 years that are able to successfully bring an application for removal of the disqualification.

If you make an application to remove your disqualification and it is unsuccessful, you cannot apply again for at least 12 months so great care must be taken in ensuring the best possible application is made the first time around.

What If I Have Been Disqualified Absolutely?

Courts in Queensland have the power to disqualify a person absolutely from holding or obtaining a driver licence. The effect of such an order is that a person can never again apply for, or hold, a driver licence without first obtaining permission from a court.

If you are the subject of an absolute disqualification that was imposed before 31 March 2002, there is a special provision in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 which empowers you to make an application for a removal of that disqualification.

Section 131A of that Act empowers the chief executive of the Department of Transport and Main Roads to remove your disqualification after you have served 5 years of it.

How Do I Make A Successful Application?

You will have maximum chance of success on an application to remove a disqualification of your driver licence if you are able to demonstrate that your circumstances, behaviour and attitudes, have changed significantly since the time the disqualification was imposed.

It will normally not be sufficient to say, or show, that a continuation of your disqualification will cause hardship (for example an inability to take up a job opportunity). This is particularly so where you have only served a short period more than 2 years of a disqualification.

The longer the period of time since the 2 year ‘threshold’ has passed, and the better your conduct in the period since your disqualification, the greater your chance of success on an application to remove the disqualification.


In NSW, 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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