Changes To Driving Whilst Disqualified (DWD), Suspended (DWS), Or Cancelled Regulations In NSW

On October 28th 2017, the penalties related to Driving Whilst Disqualified (DWD), Suspended (DWS), or Cancelled in New South Wales have changed. In this post, we’ll discuss the new changes, and how they could affect you.

New Maximum Penalties

Under the previous penalties, if an offender was caught driving while suspended (DWS) or disqualified (DWD), for the first time in a five-year period, they would face a minimum license disqualification of 12 months, and subsequent violations in a five-year period would face a minimum of a two-year disqualification.

However, with the new changes, the new maximum penalties are as follows:

OFFENCE PREVIOUS MINIMUM DQ AUTOMATIC DQ MINIMUM DQ
1st Offence DWS or DWD 12 Months 6 months 3 months
2nd Offence DWS or DWD 2 years 12 months 6 months
Fine Default Suspension – 1st Offence 3 months 3 months 1 month


Removal of Habitual Offender Declarations

Under the new changes that came into effect on the 28th of October, Habitual Offender Declarations will no longer exist. However, if you are subject to an existing Habitual Offender Declaration, you have the opportunity to quash the RMS-imposed disqualification in court.

Challenging License Disqualifications

If you are subject to a license disqualification, you may now make an application to the NSW local court to remove the disqualification period if you haven’t committed an

offence within a certain period of time. The application to challenge this court-imposed disqualification can only be made every 12 months.

The relevant offence free period is now four years, if any of the offences resulting in the disqualification were committed for any of these following offences:

  1. A Major Offence which includes driving while drunk, and or driving with an illicit drug present in the system
  2. An offence of exceeding more than 30km per hour above the speed limit
  3. Drag racing or Menacing Driving

The relevant offence free period is now two years, if the disqualifications were imposed for committing an offence whilst subject to a habitual offender or any other offence.

For these proceedings, there are important factors to be taken into account:

  • Public Safety
  • The applicants driving record
  • Whether the person was in a position to drive a motor vehicle within the offence-free period
  • Any relevant conduct subsequent to the imposition of the disqualification
  • The nature of the offences that gave rise to the disqualification
  • Any other relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to work, family responsibilities, health, finances, and whether any other mode of transportation is available, and;
  • Any other matter the Court thinks proper to consider

If you have any questions about the new regulations concerning Driving Whilst Disqualified (DWD), Suspended (DWS), or Cancelled, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The contents of this post are meant to give general guidelines to persons affected by these matters, and cannot be considered as legal advice provided by Thexton Lawyers. If you do require further advice, contact us today.