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Removal of Life Disqualification – Driver’s Licence

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WN Legal can assist and represent you in the removal of life disqualification of your driver’s licence. Please note that an initial consultation for the removal of your life disqualification will incur a cost of $385 an hour or $175 for half an hour. Our free initial consultation is only tailored to criminal and restraining order proceedings (terms and conditions applied). 

A life disqualification means that you are not permitted to hold or apply for a driver’s license for the rest of their life, or until the disqualification is removed.

There are three situations where the Court must impose a life disqualification. They are where:

  1. The offender has three or more counts of driving under the influence of alcohol (a reading of an excess 0.15g of alcohol per 100ml blood) under Section 63 of the Road Traffic Act
  2. The offender has three or more counts of driving whilst impaired by the influence of illicit drugs pursuant to Section 64AB of the Act; and
  3. The offender has three or more counts of reckless driving or driving at a reckless speed (driving more than 45km/h over the limit or at a speed over 155km/h) pursuant to s60 or s60A of the Act.

If an offender refuses to comply with a direction to provide a sample of breath, blood, or urine at the direction of a police officer, they are taken to have committed an offence and such an offence is a prior offence for the purposes of a life disqualification.

How do you remove a life disqualification?

An offender sentenced to a life disqualification can make an application to the District Court of Western Australia (or the Supreme Court of Western Australia if the life disqualification was imposed in that court) to have the life disqualification removed. However, this application can only be made once ten years have passed.

In order to succeed in your application, you must make genuine attempts to satisfy the following matters:

  • Whether the public would be endangered if the disqualification was removed;
  • Whether you are a person of good character;
  • The circumstances of the offence that led to the life disqualification;
  • Whether you have has taken steps to rehabilitate since the disqualification;
  • Whether there are further offences were committed since the life disqualification; and
  • Whether there is a need for a driver’s license.

You can only apply to remove a disqualification if it is for more than three years. Multiple disqualifications that together add up to more than three years do not count.

There are certain waiting periods that apply, ranging from 3 to 10 years, depending on the length of the disqualification. The waiting period for the application starts from when the disqualification takes effect.

If you have cumulative disqualifications that are each for more than 3 years, you must apply to have each disqualification removed separately and will have to serve a new waiting period after one is removed and the next disqualification first begins to run.

If your disqualifications were made concurrent, you can apply to remove all of them in the same application, so long as you have served the waiting periods that apply for each disqualification.

If you have more than one life disqualification, no matter if they are concurrent or cumulative, you can apply to remove all of these at the same time.

How do I apply to have my licence disqualification removed?

  • Gather all the relevant information.
  • Complete and file an application form with the court.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Complete and file affidavits in support of your application.
  • Go to court for the hearing.

Your application to have a disqualification removed should normally be made to the District Court. If a disqualification was imposed by the Supreme Court, you must apply to the Supreme Court to have the disqualification removed.

What does the court consider when making its decision?

The court will make its decision based on:

  • the safety of the public generally
  • your character
  • the circumstances of the case
  • the nature of the offence(s) giving rise to the disqualification, and
  • how you have behaved after your licence was disqualified.

If your application is refused, you must wait 12 months before you can try again.

Will I have to pay any costs?

You will have to pay a court filing fee when you file your application with the court. You may also have to pay the legal costs of the solicitors for the Director-General of the Department of Transport, even if you are successful in your application.