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How to get your driving licence back after disqualification

Updated: Feb 22




THE LAW DETERMINES disqualification periods, not judges.

Judges have discretion on many things but not disqualification periods.

 

Some things to note:


If you’ve received a disqualification of 2 years you must serve all of it. In other words, there’s no possibility of applying to get your licence back any earlier.



What about “special reasons” or “exceptional hardship”?
I hear these mentioned quite a lot.
These concepts apply to the United Kingdom
they don’t apply in Ireland.


Yes, its true that the law did once allow a person to get their licence restored early even if they received a two-year disqualification.

But the law got rid of that back in 2010.


It doesn’t apply anymore.


Now if you get 2 years you must serve all of it.

What about “special reasons” or “exceptional hardship”?

I hear these mentioned quite a lot.

These concepts apply to road traffic law in the United Kingdom only.


They don’t apply in Ireland.



Three years is just like two.

 

Strangely, if you get a three-year disqualification period you can apply to get your licence restored early after two-thirds of the period has passed.


The same applies to a four-year disqualification. If you get four years you can apply to have your licence restored after thirty-two months i.e. two-thirds of forty-eight months.

But the minimum period you must serve is two years. So, if you get 2 years you must serve all of it.  

 

Since you can’t get back any earlier than 2 years, the “early restoration” privilege applies to a 3-year or 4-year disqualification period only.


If you get 3 years you can apply after 2 years i.e. two-thirds of three years.

Your solicitor will draft an Application for the court. A copy is served on the Gardai to give them notice of your intended application.

 

You are only allowed to make one application to have your licence restored.

If you made a similar application for a different disqualification in the last 10 years, you can’t make a new one.

 

Privilege, not a right.

 

One thing to note: getting your licence restored early is not a right, it’s a privilege. You’re not entitled to it, and it can be refused.

 

Reasons to refuse a restoration:


·       You never handed in your licence to be endorsed.

·       You never paid the original fine the court gave you.

·       You committed further offences since you were disqualified.

 

In the majority of cases the application to have a licence restored early is successful.

It is successful because the Gardai do not object. Their consent is vital.

 

If you have come to the negative attention of the Gardai since you were disqualified the chances that your licence will be restored are slim.  

Remember, getting your licence back early is a privilege, a favour from the court.


You are not entitled to it.

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