Relicensing of drink drivers in Victoria. Relicencing laws. Relicence, relicenced

 Relicensing requirements for Drink Drivers in Victoria

Most people convicted of drink driving in Victoria must lose their drivers licence. Their Victorian driver's licence will be cancelled and they will be disqualified from obtaining one for at least 6 months. If your reading is less than 0.05% or you are a first time offender under 0.07% you might be able to keep your licence. If your Victorian licence is cancelled by a court or by an on-the-spot fine, you need to be aware of the steps you must follow before you will be permitted to be relicensed. 

If you who hold a licence issued outside Victoria that permits you to drive in Australia there is nothing you need to do to be able to drive again in Victoria after your period of disqualification has ended. However, if you ever want to obtain a Victorian drivers licence after being disqualified for drink driving in Victoria you will need to follow these re-licensing steps.

Summary of relicensing steps

  1. One month prior to the end of your disqualification period, attend your local Magistrates Court to complete the application form for a relicensing application. A fee of about $100 applies.
  2. Complete a drink driving education program. You can find an accredited agency here. The course costs approximately $150 - $200 and takes a few hours on two nights about a week apart.
  3. Complete a Licence Restoration Assessment. These are also done by accredited agencies and cost approximately $150 - $200.
  4. After 28 days you return to court to face the Magistrate and answer questions in court. If all goes well you will get your licence back.
  5. Your licence will have a zero condition for 3 years. The Magistrate who hears your application may also impose an interlock condition.

Table of Relicensing Requirements

0.001 - 0.069%
0.070 - 0.099%
0.100 - 0.149%
0.15% or more,
or s.49(1)(a),
or a non-BAC offence2
10 Demerit Points

Yes, if the Court did not cancel your licence. 4


No - provided  your licence was cancelled.5

Education Course9
Mandatory if under 25, else will be required by court.
Mandatory if under 25, else will be required by court.
Mandatory if under 25, else will be required by court.
Court will require it.
Court will require it.
Alcohol Assessment Report6
Licence Eligibility Report 11
Alcohol Interlock licence condition (when re-licensed)
Yes if under 26, else Court Decides10
Yes if under 26, else Court Decides10
Yes, Mandatory
Yes, Mandatory 8
Licence Restoration
and Z condition7
Yes, if last offence was after 10 October 2006
Yes, if last offence was after 10 October 2006
Yes, if last offence was after 10 October 2006
1 It is your first offence if in the 10 years prior to the date of your application you have had only one drink drive related offence recorded.

2 Non-BAC drink driving offences include driving under the influence of alcohol, refusing to provide a test sample, and refusing to stop at a breath testing station etc. These requirements also apply to drivers convicted of manslaughter, negligently causing serious injury or culpable driving causing death, where alcohol was a contributing factor.

3 This applies if you are guilty of more than one prior drink drive related offence within the last 10 years at time of application. Drink driving related offences include refusing a breath test, drug driving, culpable driving where alcohol was a contributing factor, and interstate drink driving offences.

4 If you were under 0.07% and you kept your licence then 10 demerit points will be recorded.

5 If you were under 0.05% and the court let you keep your licence 10 demerit points will be recorded.

6 See the section on alcohol assessments below.

7 You will be subject to a Zero BAC condition for 3 years, or if you have an Interlock condition the zero condition lasts until the Interlock condition is removed, whichever is longer.
8 If your licence was cancelled on or before 13 May 2002, the court will decide whether you have an interlock condition on your licence.

9 Even when the drink driver education course is not mandatory, most magistrates will not permit you to be relicenced unless you have completed a drink driving education course.

10 See the section on interlocks below. P-platers and drivers under 26 at the time of their last offence must have a 6 months interlock condition.

11 Everyone who applies for a licence restoration order must obtain a licence restoration assessment at an accredited agency within 28 days prior to their application being heard by the court.


Licence Elegibility Orders

Legislation requires some drivers to go to court to obtain a Licence Restoration Order ("LRO") before they can be relicensed. You are required to obtain a LRO before VicRoads will let you apply for a Victorian licence if:

  • your reading was 0.07% or higher, (or if your offence was prior to 10 October 2006, then 0.10% or higher)
  • you were convicted of drug driving (s.49(1)(ba)) or driving under the influence (s.49(1)(a)), or
  • it was your second drink driving related offence within the last 10 years,
  • you were convicted of refusing a breath test or some other police requirement.

One month prior to the end of your disqualification period you should attend your local court and make application to be relicensed. There is a fee of about $80.00. If you were not convicted by a court, the court will not have any record of you losing your licence, so you better take a printout of your driving history, or a copy of the fine, so that the court can verify the date you lost your licence. You should by now have made arrangements to do a drink driver education course, as all applicants for relicencing are expected to have done the course by the time their application is heard. 28 days notice of the LRO application must be given to the police and the court. The police used to come to your house on a surprise visit to check your fridge for alcohol and give you a random breath test so they can gather material with which to oppose your relicensing application. They are not likely to do that since interlocks have come in.

Most Magistrates will require an applicant for a LRO to undergo a drink driving education course even if the legislation does not make this mandatory. This is logical because the legislation about driver education courses is woefully inadequate. Your government is ridiculously tough on taking away your licence but doesn't seem to want to educate drivers of the risks of drink driving (see table above). So it's a good idea to do the education course whether you are obliged to or not. You should ask the court when you lodge your LRO application if you have to do the education course.

All applicants for a licence restoration order need to complete a Licence Restoration Assessment within 28 days prior to the date of hearing of the LRO application. The agencies that do the drink driver education course will also be able to assist you with that. Cost is around the $140 - $180 mark.

When you appear in court you need to show the certificate of completion of the education course, and demonstrate to the court that your consumption of alcohol has ceased or is greatly reduced so that you are not likely to be a danger to other road users. You will need to give evidence in court and you can expect to be questioned by the police and the Magistrate, particularly about the knowledge you gained during the driver education course. Many Magistrates will refuse to grant a LRO if the applicant has any outstanding court fines, so it is best to pay these or convert them to community work before making your application. Note that parliament entrusts magistrates with full discretion as to whether or not you should be relicenced, but gives magistrates no discretion about whether or not to cancel your licence in the first place.


Drink Driving Education Courses

If you have been found guilty of a drink driving offence it may be necessary for you to undergo an accredited drink driving course either as part of your sentence or as a pre-condition to being permitted to be re-licenced:

  • All persons who receive a bond (and keep their licence) will have a condition imposed that they complete a drink driving course (s.50A(3)).
  • All drivers under the age of 25 years if it is a first offence and the reading is less than 0.15% (but for some reason it is not mandatory if they are repeat offenders or over 0.15% - go figure... see s.50A(1)).
  • Most drug driving offenders under 25 years old.
  • Sometimes people who do not lose their licence can be required by VicRoads to do the course.

Regardless whether the legislation requires you to do the course, Magistrates will usually refuse to grant a licence restoration order if the driver has not done a drink driver education course. So you had better do one anyway else risk having your re-licensing application adjourned while you satisfy this condition.

Call the DIRECT line on 9416 1818 or toll free 1800 136 385 to find out where you can attend a drink driver education course.


Interlock Conditions

Interlock devices are breath test machines hard wired onto the ignition system of your vehicle. They will not allow the vehicle to start unless a 0.00% breath sample is provided. See the Alcohol Interlock page for full details about interlock conditions.


Z conditions. Zero Conditions

A Z (zero) condition means that you must not have any measurable alcohol in your blood. s.52 Road Safety Act.

The following drivers are subject to Zero conditions:

  • P Platers or probationary licence holders.
  • L Plate drivers.
  • Drivers of public tranport vehicles (trains, trams, buses, taxis)
  • Drivers of large vehicles (trucks) over 15 tonnes.
  • All persons who are subject to an interlock condition.
  • Any driver who has been granted a licence restoration order in the past 3 years.
  • Anyone who has no licence.
  • Anyone whose licence has been suspended or cancelled.
  • Commercial driving instructors in the course of teaching an unlicenced person.
  • Motor cyclists who held a motor cycle licence for less than 12 months.



Alcohol Assessments (The grey section below does not apply unless your most recent drink driving offence was committed prior to 10 October 2006)

Before Interlocks existed, repeat offenders and people with very high readings were assessed to determine their suitability to be relicenced.

Alcohol assessments (under s.50(4B) Road Safety Act) are relevant these days in the following cases only:

• A first offence over 0.15% committed prior to 10 October 2006, or
• A first offence of refusing a breath test committed prior to 10 October 2006, or
• Repeat offenders where the most recent offence was prior to May 2002.

The law requires two alcohol assessments. The first must be done 12 months prior to you applying to be relicenced. The second assessment has to be done in the 28 day period prior to your relicence application hearing. That means the two assessments must be at least 11 months apart. It is possible to make application to the court to shorten the time period between the two assessments. This will often be the case for people who suffered immediate licence loss prior to their court case because they might have less than 11 months left to serve at the time they are sentenced.

Any driver is or will be subject to an interlock condition does not need to do the two alcohol assessments. They will have interlock assessments instead. The problem is that eligible first time offenders will not know if a Magistrate will order an interlock until they get to court on the relicencing application. By then you are 12 months too late to do your first assessment. Just because you did the two assessments does not mean you will avoid getting an interlock condition imposed.

First offenders who are over 0.15% or have a non-BAC offence need to decide if they want to avoid an interlock or not. If you don't want an interlock, then you must do the two assessments. If you are happy to suffer an interlock, then you might take the risk of not doing the two assessments and ask the Magistrate to impose an interlock instead.

Alcohol assessments are performed by the same organisations that do the drink driver education courses. Look them up in the Yellow Pages, or ask your local court or police station.


Legal Assistance

Many drivers have engaged Sean Hardy to assist them to be relicensed. Most people attend to the relicensing process without any need for legal assistance. If you believe you need legal assistance to help ensure you regain your licence or avoid an interlock then contact Sean to make an appointment. The interlock legislation is quite complicated (see s.50 and s.50AAA of the Road Safety Act) and if you sit in court for a few days you will see Magistrates also struggle to understand all of the interlock legislation. Sometimes interlocks are discretionery in which case it might be possible to mount arguments to dissuade the court from imposing an interlock condition.


Related Pages:
Interlock Conditions
Breath tests
Drink Driving Penalties


Related Sites:
VicRoads relicensing Page
The Next Step VicRoads relicensing brochure (It is not quite accurate. See my table above)
Interlocks VicRoads brochure
Magistrates Court relicensing and interlock orders (It is not quite accurate. See my table above)
State Govt Interlock Info

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