Applying for licence after disqualification
You can apply to renew your driving licence up to 56 days (90 days for high risk offenders) before your driving disqualification is due to end.
You should receive a renewal reminder from the DVLA 56 days before your driving disqualification is due to end (or 90 days before your driving disqualification is due to end, if you are classed as a High Risk Offender (HRO)).
You do not have to wait for a renewal reminder in order to apply for a driving licence after disqualification. Simply send the relevant application pack to the DVLA to apply. Renewal reminders often arrive late and sometimes dont arrive at all!
For cars, mopeds and motorcycles
A D1 Pack - Application for a driving licence for a car, moped or motorcycle will need to be completed and returned to the DVLA along with the appropriate fee.
For lorries, minibuses and buses
A D2 Pack - Application for a driving licence for a lorry, minibus or bus will need to be completed and returned to the DVLA along with the appropriate fee. Applications for a vocational driving licence will be referred to the traffic commissioner, more information here.
If you do not receive a renewal reminder you can order the relevant application pack from the DVLA online. Alternatively you may be able to collect the relevant application pack(s) from your local post office.
IMPORTANT: If you have completed the drink driving rehabilitation course it will take some time for the course provider to notify the sentencing court of this fact and for the sentencing court to subsequently notify the DVLA who will then apply the reduction in disqualification.
The time it takes to apply the reduction in disqualification after course completion often results in renewal reminders being sent out late. If you have completed a DDR course you are advised to acquire the relevant application pack(s) either online here or at your local post office and submit your application 56 days (90 days for high risk offenders) before your driving disqualification is due to end.
Applying early is particularly important for high risk offenders who will be required to take a DVLA medical.
DVLA Medical for high risk offenders
In some cases the DVLA will need to make medical enquiries before they issue you with a new driving licence.
If you are classed as a high risk offender then you will need to take and pass a DVLA medical before you will be legally entitled to drive and issued with a driving licence.
The DVLA medical will be carried out by an independent GP (DVLA Appointed Doctor) and there will be an additional and separate fee to be paid for the medical to be carried out, in addittion to the driving licence application fee.
Retaking your driving test
In some cases where a motorist has been disqualified from driving until they re-take their driving test (or an extended driving test), they will have to apply for a provisional licence by completing a D1 application pack and then make the necessary arrangements to retake a theory and practical driving test as outlined here.
The Magistrates will have told you if you need to retake your test at the time you received your sentence.
Vocational Driving Licence Categories
Lorries, minibuses and buses
When a driving licence is applied for after a disqualification for drink driving related offences the DVLA will usually only reinstate a driving licence with non vocational category entitlement(s) only.
In order to apply to have any vocational categories reinstated you must complete a 'D2 Pack - Application for a driving licence for a lorry, minibus or bus'. You can order a D2 Pack online here.
The DVLA will refer all vocational driving licence applicants to the traffic commissioners who are independent regulators of the licensed commercial vehicle industry and are responsible for the licensing and regulation of drivers who operate heavy goods vehicles, buses & coaches.
The traffic commissioner will review all cases referred to them and decide if the applicant is a fit and proper person to obtain or hold such a licence before deciding on the appropriate course of action. They may deal with the case entirely in writing ('on the papers') or they may require that the applicant attend a driver conduct hearing in person.
Traffic commissioners are authorised to order a person to be disqualified from holding a full vocational licence until they pass an appropriate driving test. This usually happens when a person has not or will not drive on a vocational driving licence for 5 years or longer or where there are doubts concerning a persons professional driving.
Vocational drivers who are dissatisfied with the traffic commissioners decision may lodge an appeal with their local magistrates or sheriffs court within six months of the date on which the driver is notified of the decision.