Removal of disqualification under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 FAQs

Can I apply to the court for early removal of my disqualification?

In terms of section 42 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, you can ask the court to reduce your disqualification period if you've been disqualified for:

  • 2 years - if the disqualification was for more than 2 but fewer than 4 years
  • half the disqualification period - if it was for between 4 and 10 years
  • 5 years - if the disqualification was for 10 years or more

However, if you were also ordered to re-take your driving test under the relevant sections of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 when the court disqualified you,  you can apply for the early removal of a driving disqualification as detailed above. However, if your application is successful, you will still have to re-sit and pass the appropriate driving test in order to obtain a full driving licence. If you are unsure of the circumstances of your case, you may wish to consider  seeking appropriate legal advice.   


Where do I send my application?

Your application should be sent to the court that imposed the disqualification, together with the court fee, and any supporting documentation. You may wish to contact the court in the first instance as some courts will provide pro-forma application forms for you to complete. You can find contact details for all courts on the Court Locations page.

How much will it cost?

You can access information about the fee for lodging an application in court in the 'Sheriff Court Fees' section under 'Criminal' fees.

Please note that you cannot apply for fee exemption if lodging a petition for removal of disqualification from driving under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

What happens next?

A court hearing will be fixed for the sheriff to consider your application. The court hearing will be an opportunity to put forward your case as to why you need early removal of your driving disqualification.

Once the sheriff has considered all relevant information he/she will make a decision to either grant early removal of the disqualification or refuse early removal of the disqualification.

If your application is granted, you will need to apply for a driving licence from the DVLA.

If your application is refused, you cannot make another application for early removal of disqualification for a period of 3 months.

Will details of the endorsement still show on my driving licence after my application has been granted?

Even though the court may grant your application, this does not affect the period that the endorsement must legally remain on your driving licence.

Endorsements must stay on your driving licence for 4 or 11 years depending on the offence.

Further information in respect of how long endorsements must stay on your driving licence can be accessed here

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