Removal Of Disqualification

Removal of Disqualification (Section 42, Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988)

If a period of disqualification has been imposed an application can be made for early removal of the disqualification.


The application is also known as a restoration of a driving licence. The application must be made to the court that imposed the period of disqualification and it can only be made once a certain period has lapsed from the date of disqualification. This will depend on the length of disqualification that was imposed.


If the period of disqualification was for 4 years or less, an application for early removal of disqualification can be made after 2 years. If the disqualification was between 4 to 10 years, an application can be made after one half of the period has expired. Should the disqualification be more than 10 years, an application can be made after a period of 5 years.


Application Procedure

An application or petition must be lodged with the court. A court fee is payable, and the application should contain personal details of the disqualified person, together with details of the original offence, period of disqualification and the reasons why early removal of disqualification is sought. A specific test has to be met in order for your licence to be returned to you early. It is important you seek legal advice to discuss the terms of your application.


The application for early removal of disqualification should also be sent to the Procurator Fiscal’s office who will then order the police to conduct a background search. Where the disqualification was imposed for a drink related offence a doctor’s report may be required to ensure that there is no underlying problem with alcohol. If the application is based on a health issue a medical report will be required. Any additional information that would support the application should also be obtained, including character references and letters from employers.


Court Hearing

Once an application has been lodged with the court a hearing will be fixed. This is the opportunity for the disqualified driver to make representations to the court in support of the application. Any additional information can be put before the court at this time. The Procurator Fiscal can also make representations before the court which may or may not support the application. This largely depends on the terms of the police report.


The application can be granted, refused, or continued for further information. In coming to a decision, the court will have regard to several factors, including:


The character of the person making the application and their conduct since the period of disqualification was imposed; The nature and circumstances of the original offence that led to disqualification; The reasons given for early removal of disqualification; and any other circumstances relevant to the application.


If the application is refused there is no right of appeal, but a fresh application can be made after a period of 3 months. If the application is granted the person making the application must apply to DVLA for return of their licence before they start driving again.


If you have wish to remove your disqualification within the Highlands and Islands, contact our office for advice on your options in defending this charge.