You must take several steps to restore a cancelled licence after you are disqualified from driving
Most licence disqualifications in Victoria are imposed for a drink or drug driving offences. You cannot legally drive if you lose your licence. This article will explain how you can restore your licence after your disqualification period ends.
Return Your Licence
Once you are notified that your licence has been cancelled, you must return it to VicRoads. Failure to do so may delay your ability to restore your licence. Other penalties may also be imposed if you ignore that obligation.
Do Not Drive While Disqualified
If you do not have a valid licence, driving in Victoria is a serious offence. Punishment can include a stiff fine and up to two years of imprisonment. Also, the court will impose another licence disqualification which will not begin until your current disqualification ends. That will delay your eligibility to receive a valid licence.
Assessment and Driver Education
Before your licence can be restored, you will need to complete at least one assessment. An assessment consists of an interview with a counsellor who determines whether alcohol is a serious problem in your life. If the assessment counsellor asks you to supply a copy of your driving record, you can obtain one from VicRoads.
Depending upon the result of the assessment and the nature of your offence, you may be required to attend a driver education program. The court may also require you to attend a driver education program as a condition of restoring your licence. The basic driver education program lasts for eight hours.
The Magistrate’s court can inform you of the location of the assessment facility that is nearest to you. You should contact that facility at least 12 months before your disqualification period ends. If your disqualification is for less than 12 months, you should contact the facility immediately. Based on your offence, the counsellor will tell you how many assessments you need and how long the program will last.
If you were convicted of a repeat drunk driving offence, you will need to obtain a final assessment report within 28 days of your licence restoration hearing. If you were convicted of drug driving, you will need to obtain an assessment six months before your licence restoration hearing and a final assessment within 28 days of the restoration hearing.
Apply for a Licence Restoration Order
You should apply for a licence restoration hearing at least 28 days before your disqualification period ends. You can get a licence restoration application from the Magistrate’s Court that is nearest to you. Complete the application and submit it to the court. You would need to supply all assessment reports to the Magistrate’s Court, as well as proof that you completed the education program if one was required.
When you submit your application, the court will give you a date for a licence restoration hearing. Make sure that you can attend court on that date. Ask for a different date if you know you will be unavailable. It is important that you attend the hearing in person.
The Victoria police will contact you for an interview before the licence restoration hearing. If you do not cooperate with that interview, the police will give an unfavourable report to the court.
Attend the Licence Restoration Hearing
If the court is satisfied that you have completed the restoration requirements and are unlikely to violate the law again, it will issue a licence restoration order. If it is not satisfied, it may require you to obtain further assessments before reapplying for a licence restoration.
Take the Restoration Order to VicRoads
You will have to go to a VicRoads Service Centre to have your licence reissued. Once VicRoads has your licence restoration order, it will check to see whether any other disqualification prevents you from driving. If you are eligible for licence restoration, VicRoads will reissue your licence upon payment of the appropriate fee. If you have not had a valid licence within the past five years, you will be required to take a written test and a road test.
Comply with Alcohol Interlock Conditions
The court may require that you drive with an alcohol interlock as a condition of reissuing your licence. If that happens, your licence will be reissued with the letter “I” to indicate that you can only legally drive a vehicle that is equipped with an interlock device.
You must arrange and pay for the installation and maintenance of an alcohol interlock if one is required. When the interlock period ends, you will need to schedule another court hearing to authorize the removal of the interlock condition from your licence.