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 behaviour change program 

Drivers who are disqualified or suspended from driving for a drink or drug driving, or refusal offence after 29 April 2018 have to complete a behaviour change program (BCP). The programs are different depending on the kind of offence.  

Drivers must complete a more intensive behaviour change program if they:

  • had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or more 
  • have been caught drink or drug driving before 
  • refused to be tested for alcohol or drugs
  • committed other serious offences involving alcohol or drugs.

VicRoads will tell you which BCP program you need to complete after you are disqualified. 

You can choose which agency you would like to attend. Prices may vary so it is advisable to shop around and compare prices. A discounted rate applies for concession card holders. The BCP agencies are listed on the VicRoads or Directline websites. Contact the agency as soon as you lose your licence. 

You usually do two sessions with the BCP agency. If you have to complete the intensive program, you must attend three sessions and a one-hour individual counselling session. You will get a certificate when you complete the program. VicRoads or the court will need to see this certificate before you can be relicensed. 

The behaviour change agency may also refer you to medical or other therapeutic services, such as a drug and alcohol counsellor or your local doctor. If they do this, VicRoads or the court will ask if you attended those referrals and may take this into account when they are deciding whether to give you another licence. 

What happens in the behaviour change program

The program will try to find out why you drink alcohol. This to identify drug or alcohol use that is likely to put you at risk of driving after drinking. It explores the effects of alcohol and other drugs and gets you to think about the consequences of drink driving, such as having an accident, losing your licence or killing someone. The program will get you to think about how you plan to avoid drink driving in future and what support is available to help you do this. You will have to develop an action plan at the end of the program. 

Pay any unpaid court fines

The magistrate may not make the licence eligibility 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 you have separated drinking from driving and it is safe for you to be back on the road. You have to show:

  • you will not drive if you have been drinking alcohol 
  • what strategies you have put in place to make sure this happens. 

The Magistrates’ Court website explains the steps you need to take to get a licence eligibility order.

At the hearing

The magistrate will probably ask you what will you do to make sure you do not drive after you have been drinking. You will have thought about this when you did the behaviour change program. 

If the behaviour change program agency recommended that you attend other services such as a drug and alcohol counsellor, the magistrate will ask you if you went along to that service. 

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

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.

The magistrate’s decision

The magistrate can:

  • make a licence eligibility order (only for offences before 30 April 2018 if interlock was discretionary)
  • 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.

If the offence happened after 29 April 2018 the magistrate has no choice and can only make the order if you agree to have an alcohol interlock fitted to your vehicle. 

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.

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