Restoring Your Driving Licence After Disqualification

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Can a driving licence be restored early after disqualification?

If you have been disqualified from driving by the court, the Road Traffic Act allows you to make an application to the court for the early return of your driving licence in certain circumstances.

Criteria for applying

When you want to make an application for the removal of a disqualification from driving there are certain criteria that have to be applied in accordance with The Act:

  1. If your disqualification was for four years or less, you can only make an application for early removal of the disqualification after you have served two years or more of that disqualification;
  2. If you were disqualified between four and ten years, you can make an application for removal of disqualification after half of the period of disqualification imposed by the court has been served; or
  3. If you were disqualified for more than ten years, you can make an application for immediate removal of disqualification after a period of five years.

Extended re-tests

If as part of a disqualification from driving the court ordered that you to take an extended re-test after the disqualification period ended then you will not be able to apply for early removal of the disqualification.

Reasons for early removal of disqualification

The court will consider whether or not to allow you to have your disqualification revoked early and will do this by considering evidence and hearing reasons for an application. This list of reasons is not exhaustive but some examples might include:

  1. Family issues – there may be circumstances where relationships break down and contact with children is dependent on either party being able to drive and therefore it would be in the interests of the children that the disqualification is lifted to facilitate contact;
  2. Health reasons – there may be circumstances where you, or a family member, have been diagnosed with a condition or your physical state has changed and being able to drive is necessary;
  3. Change in employment (the most common reason cited) – a person may be prevented from obtaining employment as a result of the disqualification or their current employment has changed which now requires them to drive.

The court needs to be satisfied on the reliability of issues raised and a good application from a person to have their licence returned would be supported by documents or representations from third parties. For example, an employer could put in writing that if a person was able to drive then they would receive enhanced pay, promotion or able to continue their employment. Or a letter from a GP confirming that a person is suffering from an illness and being able to drive would help them.

Factors considered by the court before deciding on an application

When the court consider an application for early removal of a disqualification the law says they should take into account the following factors:

  1. The character of the person making the application and their subsequent conduct since the disqualification order was imposed;
  2. The nature and circumstances of the offence for which they were originally disqualified;
  3. The reasons given as to why the court should consider early removal of the disqualification; and
  4. Any other circumstances relevant to the case in question.

Result of the application

Once a court has considered all of the information presented they will make a decision to grant the application to remove the disqualification early or refuse it and will generally give reasons for their decision.

If an application is unsuccessful, no further application can be made for a period of three months. However, if an application is successful, you would need to apply to the DVLA to return your driving licence in accordance with the Road Traffic Act legislation, at which point you would legally be able to drive again.

Process for applying to have your licence restored

If you want to apply for the early restoration of your driving licence after disqualification and you fit the criteria listed, Hunt & Coombs Solicitors are able to assist you in this process. We have valuable experience in helping clients do this successfully and the process is as follows:

  1. Discuss your case to identify relevant issues and evidence that could be presented to the court;
  2. Identify the reasons for your disqualification and obtain information from the prosecution regarding those reasons;
  3. Make an application to the court for listing of the matter (usually subject to a court fee which we would confirm to you);
  4. Draft notice to the court and the prosecuting authority and organise the listing of this matter before the court;
  5. Prepare the documents for submission to the court with you;
  6. Attend the court with you, present your application and assist you in giving any relevant supporting evidence; and
  7. Advise you on the outcome and any grounds to appeal the magistrates’ decision.

Pricing and timescales

To provide you with the accurate and relevant pricing information to help you make a considered decision when choosing and purchasing legal services from our Motoring Offences team please visit our Legal fees for Motoring Offences page or contact us.

Restoring Your Driving Licence After Disqualification Lawyers

Kashif Khan LLB

Associate - Team Leader Crime

Andy Cave LLB


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