What Will Happen After My Driver's License Is Suspended Here In Queensland?
A suspended driver’s license is not an uncommon situation. If you find yourself in this predicament, it’s important to understand what happens next. This article will explore how a suspended driver’s license is defined, who it affects and the process of getting your license back on track.
What are the most common reasons for a driver's licence suspension in Queensland?
The most common reasons for a driver’s license suspension in Queensland are:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Driving while your license is suspended or cancelled, or when you don’t have a valid driver’s licence. For example, driving with an expired learner permit or provisional license.
- Failing to pay fines for traffic offences. This includes court orders for speeding or other driving offences that require you to pay fines and costs. You can also be convicted for this reason if you fail to appear in court on charges related to your driving record. For instance, failing to provide information when requested by police officers while they were conducting roadside checks on your vehicle; failure to stop at a stop sign; operating an unregistered vehicle; reckless driving; and racing.
How long will my driver's licence be suspended?
Your driver’s licence will be suspended for the length of time specified on your notice. If you don’t pay the fine, it will be suspended longer. The police can also suspend your licence for a longer period if they catch you driving while it is already suspended. You could face a $3,000 fine or even jail time if this happens; so avoid it at all costs!
Do I have to take a driver's test again if my licence is suspended?
The good news is that you will not have to take your driving test again. Your licence will simply be reinstated and you can start driving again.
However, it is important to realise that the reinstatement period is not a set time limit. The length of time will depend on your personal circumstances and the nature of your offence. You will be notified of the duration either via correspondence through the post or at court if you are required to attend regarding the matter.
What happens if I drive while my licence is suspended or disqualified?
If you drive while your Queensland driver’s license is suspended, disqualified or cancelled, you may be charged with an additional offence and face harsher penalties. This could include:
- A fine
- Extended suspension period.
- Imprisonment for up to 12 months
If you are convicted of driving without a valid Queensland driver’s licence or driving an unregistered motor vehicle:
- Your licence will be disqualified for a longer period than it would have been if you had been caught without it suspended
- You will lose additional demerit points
- Your vehicle could be impounded
Can I keep my physical licence during my suspension period?
No, you must hand your licence in to Queensland Transport or the police prosecutor at the court following your disqualification by the Magistrate. You have to do this by the next day post-suspension. If you have had your driver’s licence suspended, it is an offence for you to have your physical licence.
You might want to visit Queensland Transport before your court date to obtain a proof of age card if you use your licence as your primary form of identification.
Can I apply for a work licence if my licence has been suspended?
If you would like to apply for a work licence, you must apply before your licence has been formally suspended by the courts. You cannot do it after the fact. If your licence is yet to be suspended, whether you can apply for a work licence or not will depend on the type of offence you are being charged with.
If you are unsure about whether you will be eligible to apply for a work licence or not, you can seek legal advice in the meantime to clarify. If you are eligible, this then gives you time to organise the necessary paperwork needed to apply for a work licence. A work licence allows you to drive under strict conditions even though your licence has been suspended.
You may be able to apply for a work licence if any of the following apply to you:
- You haven’t been convicted of an offence that required your licence to be cancelled, disqualified, or suspended in the last 5 years.
- You need your licence for you to maintain your employment.
- You are deemed fit and proper to hold a restricted licence.
- You have not been convicted of dangerous driving in the last 5 years.
You cannot apply for a work licence or similar if you do not meet all of the requirements listed above. If you do meet the requirements mentioned, you’ll then need to determine which type of restricted licence you need to be applying for.
Will I have to pay an offender levy?
In short, yes. From the 21st of August 2012, an offender levy (now $125.80) must be paid on top of whatever penalties the Magistrate imposes. This applies to those who are either pleading guilty or who are found guilty in the Magistrates Court.
What you need to do BEFORE you start driving again after your suspension period has ended
You cannot simply resume driving again on the suspension end date. Before you can do that, you will need to visit Queensland Transport to reapply for your licence.
Despite having your licence reinstated that day, you cannot drive to Queensland Transport, you can only resume driving once you have your licence back in your hand. You will need to provide forms of identification to obtain your licence so be sure to have what you need to save you from having to go back.
Been suspended? Speak to an experienced traffic lawyer today
In summary, a suspended driver’s license is serious business. You can face fines and even jail time if you’re caught driving while your licence has been taken away from you. If you have further questions about this topic or any other traffic-related topics, contact us at Drink Driver Lawyer. We specialise in this area of the law and we can help you through this often stressful time.