If you appear in a Queensland court charged with a traffic offence such as drink driving, drug driving or dangerous driving and plead guilty or are found guilty then the court will likely disqualify your drivers licence (many offences such as drink driving and drug driving carry mandatory minimum periods of disqualification). The purpose of this article is to give people some guidance as to what occurs after you leave the court if your licence has been disqualified.
Do I Get to keep my Physical Licence?
No, you are required to surrender your licence to Queensland Transport by the day after the court disqualifies you or to the police prosecutor at the court. It is an offence to be in possession of a licence if you have been disqualified by a court.
The surrender of your licence may in some circumstances deprive you of your main form of identification, you may therefore wish to attend Queensland Transport before the court and obtain a proof of age card to help with identification during your period of disqualification.
When does the Disqualification Begin?
The disqualification starts immediately. You would not be able to drive once you leave the court
What does this mean if you hold a licence granted outside of Queensland?
If disqualified, you are not authorised to drive on a road in Queensland under your non-Queensland driver licence during the disqualification period. If your licence is from another state in Australia then your disqualification should prevent you from driving anywhere in Australia. You will need to check with your local transport authority.
What happens if you have any Industry or Driver Authorisations?
The disqualification period will also apply to any Industry or Driver Authorisation held by you (for example a taxi, tow truck, bus, limousine, dangerous goods, driver trainer or pilot vehicle licence). At the end of the disqualification period you will be required to visit or contact a Queensland Transport Centre or licence issuing agent to have your eligibility to hold an Industry or Driver authorisation reassessed.
What happens if you drive during your disqualification?
If you are found driving during your disqualification period, you will be charged with disqualified driving and you will be required to appear in court. If the charge is proven, the court will further disqualify you for a period of at least 2 years to a maximum of 5 years and may impose a substantial fine or sentence you to term of imprisonment for up to 18 months.
How do I pay my fine?
Generally any fine can be referred to SPER. You can arrange with SPER to make payments on the fine or to pay it in one lump sum. For more information on SPER visit www.sper.qld.gov.au/. Alternatively you can pay the fine at the court but there may be a short delay as the information from the sentence is entered into the database.
As from 21 August 2012 all people who plead guilty or are found guilty in the Magistrates Court must pay a levy (currently $125.80) in addition to any penalty imposed by the Magistrate. The levy is separate from any monetary penalty we have advised the Magistrate may impose. More details can be found at http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/about/offender-levy
What happens after my disqualification period?
After the period of disqualification has ended you will need to attend Queensland Transport and reapply for your licence. You cannot simply start driving after your disqualification period has ended. Please don’t drive to Queensland Transport as you are not entitled to drive until after you have been to Queensland Transport. Also remember to bring 100 points of ID.
After you have been disqualified you will be on a probationary licence for 1 year, this means that;
You do not have to re-sit any tests to get your licence back (if you have held a licence in the past 5 years).
Please note that if you have more than one disqualification period imposed for example if you committed two offences that carried separate disqualification periods or you were already serving a disqualification then your disqualifications may run cumulatively meaning they run one after the other and not at the same time. You will need to check with Queensland Transport about this. If your licence disqualifications add up to more than 2 years you might be eligible to apply for a licence reinstatement after 2 years. More information on licence reinstatements is available on our website.
Please note you may be required to have an interlock device fitted to your vehicle once you are eligible to obtain your driver’s licence back. This requirement applies to certain drink driving charges. The court has no discretion to allow you not to do this as it is a Queensland Transport licencing requirement. This is an area that is subject to constant change, for more information visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Licensing/Licence-suspensions-and-disqualifications/Alcohol-ignition-interlocks.aspx
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This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Please visit our disclaimer page at www.drivinglaw.com.au/disclaimer.html Clarity Law's liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.