Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Join Community
Driver SOS (UK)
2900 members 1218 topics 2221 posts

How early can I get my licence back after driving ban

last updated
21 replies
13 users

Many people wonder when they will be able to get their driving licence back after a ban and whether they could get it well before the ban expires. The good news is that these people could get their licence earlier but it depends on their individual circumstances. There are two main factors which govern this possibility - first is the length of the driving ban imposed by the court and second is the conduct of the individual following the driving ban, that is, whether more driving offences were committed after the person was convicted.

You *may* be able to get your licence earlier by applying for it to the court which sentenced you under Section 42 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. However you can only apply after a certain length of time has elapsed since you were banned.

When to apply to the court

You must submit an application in writing to the court where you were convicted.

...if your ban is less than 2 years

For driving bans less than 2 years, you will have to complete the whole ban; no chance of getting it sooner unfortunately.

...if your ban is between 2 to 4 years

For driving bans between 2-4 years, you can apply after 2 years.

...if your ban is between 4 to 10 years

For driving bans between 4-10 years, you can apply after half the ban term has elapsed (eg for a 6 year ban, you can apply after 3 years or for an 8 year ban, you can apply after 4 years)

...if your ban is over 10 years

For driving bans more than 10 years, you can apply after 5 years.

As you can see above, you cannot escape the driving ban for short disqualifications, that is, bans less than 2 years. However if you have been requested to complete a drink driving rehab course, you would be able to get up to one quarter of your ban lifted no matter how long your ban is for (eg for a 1 year ban, you can get your licence back after 9 months if you complete the rehabilitation course).

Your application to have your licence early will be considered by the court which sentenced you in the first place and things like your character or the driving offences made after the ban was imposed may result in refusal of returning your licence sooner. So make sure you have been a good citizen following your disqualification to prevent any disappointment. If your application is rejected by the court, then you will have to wait 3 months before you can make another appeal to get your licence back.

Another point worth noting is that many people take the advice of a solicitor specialising in motoring offences to help them build a strong case before contacting the court, so it might be worth getting in touch with one if you're keen or desperate to get your licence back.

gices Published 21 Jan 2009
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Driver SOS (UK)

Get help with your own questions, discover what's new and talk with people doing the same thing

This is a premium community exclusive to our members to discuss all things motoring where some of the discussions have been made public but read-only for you to get a taste of what it's like on the inside. Membership is £9.99 for 30 days access, collected through Paypal and can be subsequently renewed or cancelled as you see fit.
2900 members . 1218 topics . 2221 posts
debbieharrison 03 Oct 2015

can i get my licence back early after a six month ban

gypsy-johnmacdonald 30 Dec 2014

my dad got a 3 year driving band the courts said he don't need to sit another driving test.his band has been up for about 13 years ago now CAN I STILL RENEW IT?

normanpayne 04 Apr 2014

can I buy a car privately then sorn it
I have 8 months of 2yrs ban left

gices 05 Apr 2014

You've already waited 14 months, why risk it now?

Cake 04 Oct 2019

Pleaded guilty to the offence

A friend of mine is coming to the end of his driving ban. The sentencing was in January and he pleaded guilty to the offence in the December. I had assumed his ban would last until the January date but he has recently been sent his driving licence from the DVLA and has been told it has been re-issued as of the December date when he pleaded guilty. He was previously sent a form to complete and the date was already filled in as the December date. Is he right to drive or is this a mistake? I know the DVLA get sent their information from the court. He obviously needs to get back on the road as soon as possible for work etc but I want to advise him on what to do as he would face prison if he inadvertently breaks the condition of his ban. Any advice would be really appreciated! Thanks in advance.

[Migrated from previous topic 12739 dated 03 Dec 2016]

parry2016 28 Oct 2016

Just a quick question is have been getting banned since I was 14 years old I'm now 27 my bans add up to about 12 years altogether and (I've never had a licence) had a 3 year ban 2 years and 3 months ago and done 9 months in prison for violent offences which were dropped so 6 months remand time and 3 months for the driving offence itself and I'm looking at going to court for my licence as I've not drove in that time I've been on my ban and have a son who is 16 months old but now lives 45 minutes away from me what's the chances of getting my licence for seeing my son and trying to go legit and got my own place and want to do the right thing by my child? Thanks

leroymatthews 22 Feb 2016


Offence dates

  • Offence date: 19 Oct 2013
  • Expiry date: 19 Oct 2016
  • Removal date: 19 Oct 2017

Offence details

  • IN10: Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks
  • Penalty points: 6
  • Fine: £100.00

Court/Fixed penalty office

2355: Wakefield and pontefract Magistrates’ Court


anonymous_2 02 Aug 2013

My first ban was totting up points for no insurances this was 18 points I got 6 months then after I was 38 micro grams 3 over and got another 6 months then I was caught disqualified driving got an extra year then got caught on that and got 3 year ban. I assumed my licence was back on the 3 yr mark so I was insured named driving and someone hit me whilst stationary at 70mph nearly killing me and because I had 1 month left, was banned 5 years and did a prison sentence. Now I'm nearly half way through and am hoping they will allow mine as I rely on that and my class 1 to work but the weird thing is I have to retake my car test even though I have had licence 10 years but get my class 1 back automatically that's a result but hope I will be awarded it early, does anyone think I've got no chance because of constant re-offending>

gices 11 Oct 2013

You have offended too many times...

jammydodger1989 29 Apr 2013

can i get my license back as im banned for 21 month but seved 16 upto now. i need it for a job as all my jobs include driving. plus i have 3 kids to provide for but little income without my car??

gices 11 Oct 2013

No, your ban term must be over 2 years (24 months) for the court to consider your application.

anonymous_2 22 Apr 2013

I have a 7 year ban for death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. I had an accident and my friend who was my passenger was killed. I have to resit my test but before my ban I was an HGV Class 2 Driver.

Will my class two license be reinstated along with my car license once I get it back.

gices 11 Oct 2013

The restoration of previous entitlements such as Category C (large vehicle) or Category D (bus) is subject to the approval of the local traffic commissioner.

anonymous_2 07 Jul 2012

I have been banned from driving for 40 months. I have served 24 months of this ban. How do I apply to the court for a reduction? Is it a form i fill out or do I get a solicitor. What path should i take?

gices 11 Oct 2013

You just need to write a letter to the court which disqualified you in the first place along with details such as date of offence/conviction and supporting evidence why you should be given your licence back.

anonymous_2 07 Jul 2012

I received a 3 year ban for refusing a breath test at my home after parking up 2 hours earlier. 6 months later i received an additional 1 year ban on top for driving whilst banned. I have nearly done 2 years of this 4 year ban. I am out of work now, and finding it hard to get back into employment without my driving license as my profession requires travelling.

gices 11 Oct 2013

If your driving licence is a must for you to get a job, then you have better chances.

Trevor_Lowry 02 Jul 2012

Can you do the reduce course yourself or do you have to ask court for it? I am banned for 10 yr driving while disqualified.

gices 03 Jul 2012

It's up to the court to refer you onto the course. They decide who SHOULD and who SHOULDN'T do the course.

PaulBallinger 18 Oct 2010

Can I get my licence back early if it is stopping me from getting a job?

HenryLyoidd 01 Nov 2010

No. Unless, its for the armed forces or the royal m pleasure.. Basically forget about it.