If you are found guilty of a driving offence the court can make orders that you cannot drive for a period of time.
If you are found guilty of a driving offence and convicted, the court may disqualify you from holding a licence for a period of time. This means that your licence is cancelled and you must not drive.
At the end of your disqualification period you will need to apply to the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS, formerly RTA) for a new licence. You cannot drive until you have been given a new licence.
For some offences a disqualification period is mandatory if you are convicted. This means the magistrate must disqualify you from driving. The only way you can avoid a licence disqualification in this situation is if the magistrate finds you guilty but doesn't record a conviction. This is commonly known as a 'section 10 dismissal'.
In some limited cases, you can write to the NSW Attorney General and ask for a recommendation that the remaining period of your disqualification be remitted (cancelled). For information on this, go to the
Justice Legal website.
You can also appeal a magistrate's decision, including the sentence. For more information, see
If you have been convicted of a driving offence including alcohol, the court may have made a Mandatory Interlock Order at the time the court sentenced you for the offence. A Mandatory Interlock Order may be made if you have been convicted of:
A Mandatory Interlock Order means you will have to complete a disqualification period during which you cannot drive. When the disqualification has ended, you may be able to obtain an interlock driver licence. If you have an interlock driver licence, you are only allowed to drive vehicles which are fitted with an approved interlock device. This device requires you to provide a breath sample before the vehicle will start. The device must be installed and regularly maintained by an approved provider. Tampering with the device is an offence.
If you do not obtain the interlock driver licence, you will be disqualified from driving for 5 years from the date of conviction (as at 1 February 2015).
The court can make an exemption order that means you do not have to obtain an interlock driver licence or interlock device at the end of your disqualification period. However, an exemption order can only be made in exceptional circumstances.
For more information, see the
If you have been convicted of three or more serious driving offences in the past five years, the magistrate may have made a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) declaration at the time they sentenced you for the offence.
A HTO declaration means that you will be disqualified for an even longer time, usually for five years each time a HTO declaration is made. A HTO period of disqualification is added to any other periods of disqualification for the offences. At the time you are convicted you can ask the court to reduce the declaration to two years, or quash (cancel) it altogether.
You can also apply to the court to get the HTO declaration quashed at a later time. The court will make a decision based on the impact the declaration has had on you and will take into account your driving history and any special circumstances.
For information about how to make an application, see
Getting a HTO declaration quashed.
If the magistrate did not make a HTO declaration in court, RMS will send you a letter after your hearing telling you about the HTO declaration.