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Getting Your Driving Licence Back Early

Published on 30 December 2019 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett

If you have had a disqualification of 2 or more years the law allows you to make an application for early return of your licence. You may have been disqualified for 3 years for example in June 2017 and think you have to wait until June 2020.  Not necessarily, as you may be able to make an application before the Court.

As you may have guessed it’s never straight forward and there are rules that apply:-

You cannot apply for an early return of licence if your ban is for less than 2 years in total.  If you have been banned from driving for longer than 2 years, you can apply to have your ban lifted early in line with the following guidelines:

  1. If you are banned for less than 4 years, you can apply after 2 years.
  2. If you are banned between 4 and 10 years, you can apply when you have served half of the ban.
  3. If you are banned for 10 years or more or for life, you can apply after 5 years.

It is possible to get your licence back early even if your conviction was very serious, resulting in a custodial sentence and/or you were a repeat offender.

To make the application a full hearing has to be held in the Court where you appeared when sentenced. You will have to appear in person to present your argument as to why you need to get your licence back early, it is not just a case that you would like to get back on the road sooner. There has to real and significant reasons for the early return of your licence.

The ultimate decision rests with the bench of Magistrates or a Judge as you are effectively asking the Court to go against the sentence imposed at an earlier hearing.

The Court has the power the refuse your application to get your licence back and if they do refuse it you will have to wait a further 3 months before making another application. If that application is granted then the driver will need to apply for the driving licence from the DVLA and get it back in hand before being able to drive.

Good reasons for a reduction of the ban and early return of your licence can be:

  • A new job or promotion depending on driving again.
  • Some health issue in the family, which would be helped by you being able to drive again.
  • Charity work.
  • Contact with your children.

There may also be additional information that could strengthen your application to be brought to the Court’s attention. To make this application as a lay person can be stressful, intimidating and difficult. Knowing the law and making these applications is something our lawyers at Poole Alcock LLP routinely do.

We at Poole Alcock LLP are specialist motoring lawyers who can help if you find yourself in this situation then please contact us on 01270 613939. Alternativelty, complete our contact form and we will arrnage to contaxct you  back at a convenient time.

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