Getting your licence back

Getting your licence back

If a magistrate has cancelled your licence because of an offence, you have to return to court to ask the magistrate to give your licence back unless you are eligible to apply to VicRods for a new licence. 

You should apply for the hearing at least 28 days before your licence cancellation ends.

The exception is if you were caught drink driving after 30 September 2014 and:

  • it was your first drink driving offence 
  • you are a fully licensed driver 
  • your BAC was less than 0.10. 

Then you will have to go to VicRoads to apply to get your licence back.

What it will cost you

To get your licence back you will need to pay:

  • about $100 to apply to the Magistrates’ Court for the hearing – there are no discounts or concessions
  • a fee to VicRoads for re-issuing your licence.

What you need to do before going to court

Attend a driver education court

You will also need to have done a driver education course by the time you go to court for the hearing, and this course costs money.

Get in touch with a driver education agency as soon as you lose your licence. The agency will tell you what you have to do and what the costs are.

You usually do two sessions with the agency. This lets them look at your progress over time. They will write a report about your alcohol use or drug use. The agency sends the report directly to court.

Pay any unpaid court fines

The magistrate may not make the licence restoration order if you have unpaid court fines for a drink driving offence.

Speak to the police

The police will speak to you before the hearing. They will ask you questions about how much you drink. They take notes of what you say and give a report to the police prosecutor. At the hearing, the prosecutor will tell the magistrate what you said to the police.

Preparing for the court hearing

To get your licence back after it has been cancelled because of drink driving, you have to prove to the magistrate that it is safe for you to be back on the road. You have to show that:

  • you know how long alcohol stays in your body
  • you do not drink heavily anymore, so you are not likely to drive again while you are over the limit
  • you know how serious drink driving is.

At the hearing

The magistrate will ask you questions. Usually the questions are about finding out how often and how much you drink, such as:

  • Do you drink once a week, twice a week?
  • How much do you drink each time?
  • What do you drink?
  • Is this more or less than before?

You should tell the magistrate what you told the police earlier. Otherwise the magistrate may not believe you are telling the truth.

The magistrate may then ask you to do a test. The test will be about how long it takes for different amounts of alcohol to leave your system. For example, the magistrate may ask you how long would you need to wait before it was safe to drive if you drank four stubbies within three hours? You should have learnt about this in your driver education course.

The magistrate will also ask you about what might happen if you are caught drink or drug driving again. This includes jail, losing your licence for longer and, perhaps more importantly, killing or seriously injuring other road users.

If your licence was cancelled for drug driving the magistrate will ask you questions about your drug use.

The magistrate’s decision

The magistrate can:

  • make a licence eligibility order
  • make a licence eligibility order but with a condition that you get an alcohol interlock
  • not make the licence eligibility order.

The magistrate will make their decision based on the evidence from the police, the agency reports and what you say to the police and in court.

Sometimes the magistrate has no choice and can only make the order if you agree to have an alcohol interlock fitted to your vehicle. This depends on what your blood alcohol concentration was and whether you have been caught drink driving before. It also depends on whether the magistrate who cancelled your licence found that you were under the influence of alcohol and that this contributed to the offence.

If you get a licence eligibility order

If the magistrate decided to restore your licence, get a copy of the order from the court. Take a copy of the order to a VicRoads Customer Service Centre to get your licence re-issued. Remember, VicRoads will charge a fee for this.

What you can do if you don’t get a licence eligibility order

It is probably quicker, cheaper and easier to apply for another licence restoration hearing. You need to think about what magistrate’s reasons for refusing the order and do what they said before applying again.

Getting your licence back from VicRoads

Eligible drivers who are caught drink driving after 30 September 2014 can apply to get their licence back from VicRoads. VicRoads can only issue a licence if the person agrees to have an alcohol interlock fitted to their vehicle for at least six months. If VicRoads refuses to issue a licence the person will have to apply to the Magistrates’ Court.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with traffic offences.