How to appeal a licence disqualification

If you have been found guilty of a traffic offence, a court may order the disqualification of your licence. How long your licence is disqualified for will depend on the offence. You may however be able to apply to have your licence disqualification removed in certain circumstances.


Applying for removal

In order to qualify for a licence disqualification appeal you must:

    1. have been disqualified by a Queensland court from holding a driver’s licence for more than 2 years; and
    2. it has been more than 2 years since the date of the disqualification.

If your licence is in danger of being disqualified but you have not yet had your court hearing, you may be able to apply for a restricted or work licence. However, applications such as these must be made before a judgement is ordered by a court. If you are currently awaiting a final hearing date, it is imperative that you seek legal advice urgently in relation to obtaining a restricted or work licence.


What you need to apply

In order to submit your application you must:

    • obtain a copy of your traffic history from the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
    • obtain a copy of your criminal history from your local police station;
    • ensure that your details are accurate; and
    • fill out the application form and lodge it with the court.
    • write an affidavit. This explains why you want your licence back, how your circumstances have changed, and should give detailed reasons as to why the return of your would be appropriate.
    • serve a copy of the application and affidavit on:
      • Police Prosecutor for Magistrates Court; or
      • Commissioner of Police for District or Supreme Court (most common).
    • attend your court date.


What the court will consider

When deciding whether to remove your disqualification, the court will take into account:

    • your character;
    • the reasons you were disqualified;
    • your behaviour since your disqualification;
    • any rehabilitation you have undertaken;
    • whether there is a significant need for a licence;
    • any medical reasons; and
    • any other factors the court determines relevant to your circumstances.


How we can help

Preparing your application can be difficult and timely. One of our experienced criminal lawyers can guide you through your application step by step to ensure you have the best possible chance of success.

Your primary difficulty will be proving to the court that a return of your licence is appropriate in the circumstances. It is a common myth that a driver’s licence is a right; in most cases, the court will be very skeptical about returning a licence after it has been disqualified. This is where the assistance of a traffic lawyer can be invaluable. We can present your reasons to the court in an ordered and well thought out fashion, giving you a greater chance at being returned to the road. If you want to find out more, click here to view our traffic law specialists page.


What happens if your application is successful?

If the court approves your application, your licence disqualification will be removed. This does not mean you will be granted a licence. You must make a separate application to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for a new licence. You may have to pass the standard driving tests before you can obtain a new licence. If the reason you were disqualified was related to a drink driving offence, you may be required to participate in the alcohol ignition interlock program once your disqualification has been removed.


Licence renewal

A licence renewal notice should be sent to you about 4 weeks before your licence expires. It is your responsibility to notify the Department of Transport and Main Roads within 14 days if you change your address or your name. Find out more about how to change your address here.



If your licence has been disqualified and you wish to discuss getting back on the road, please contact us  on (07) 3252 0011 to book a consultation with one of our traffic lawyers today.

The Penalties for Driving Without a License or Recently Expired Driver License

Under Queensland law, if you are charged with driving without a licence or driving on a recently expired licence you may face a number of penalties including imprisonment, fines or disqualification of drivers license.  


Driving without a License 

What happens if you are caught driving without a legally valid licence? 

You will be charged with an offence under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld) 


What is the Penalty for driving without a licence? 

Under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act the maximum penalty for driving without a licence is: 

    • 60 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment or  
    • 40 penalty units and 1 year’s imprisonment. 

You may alternatively receive an infringement notice if:  

    • The person has not been convicted of driving without a licence in the preceding 5 years; and 
    • The person has not had their driver licence disqualified in the previous 2 years for drink driving; and 
    • The person has been the holder of a valid driver’s licence previously. 

If given an infringement notice, you must not be:  

    • An interlock driver whose driver licence was not granted after a disqualification period for drink driving; 
    • An interlock driver who did not hold a valid Queensland driver’s licence (or had it expire over 4 weeks ago) at the time of the offence and the person’s interlock period has not ended. 


What does the court take into account? 

The court will consider a few things when deciding on what penalty you will receive including:  

    1. Aggravating or Mitigating factors   
    2. Public interest; 
    3. Criminal and Traffic history; 
    4. Relevant Medical history, Mental or Physical Impairment or Physical Capacity; 
    5. Other Relevant Matters  
    6. If the offence was committed in the prosecution or attempted prosecution of another offence and what the nature of the offence is; 


Driving with a recently expired license 

What happens if you drive with a Recently Expired licence? 

You may be subject to an infringement notice under the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999. 


What is a Recently Expired Licence? 

A licence which expired less than a year before the offence was committed. 

It could also be a licence which was withdrawn less than 1 year previously because the holder of that licence had a mental or physical incapacity which made it unsafe for them to drive a car. 


What is a Recently Expired Licence? 

If you have been charged with driving on a recently expired driver licence, a police officer may grant you a permit authorizing you to drive to a stated place to safely store your vehicle. 

The permit must:  

    1. Be in an approved form; and 
    2. State the number of the infringement notice; and 
    3. State the term, not longer than 24 hours, for which it is issued; and 
    4. State the conditions, if any, on which it is issued. 


Will my license be suspended?  

In some circumstances, the court must automatically disqualify a person from driving including:  


Been caught driving without a valid licence? Seek legal advice 

There are serious ramifications if you are being charged with driving without a licence. This is the same if you are driving on a recently expired driver’s licence.  

If you unsure of your legal rights and options you should speak to an experienced Brisbane Traffic lawyer 

If you would like to make an appointment to discuss your situation, please call us on 07 3252 0011. 


Links for further resources:

Commercialising intellectual property – Assignment and Licensing options for copyright

Are your literary or musical works getting republished or reproduced? Do you need to commercialise your intellectual property? How can you keep your original works safe?

Licensing and Commercialising your Copyright

Choosing the right method of intellectual property commercialisation can often be tricky to navigate, and will wholly depend on a copyright owner’s preference about control and continual ownership.

Under section 196(1) of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), copyright is personal property, and under this section can either be assigned or licensed to another person to use in a specific way.

These are the two primary ways copyright can be exploited for financial gain.


Copyright Assignments

Copyright assignments relinquish ownership of the copyright to the other person (the ‘assignee’), often in exchange for a sum of money.

Assignments may not be forever. Instead, they might only be partial (where copyright is assigned only for a limited time, on specific terms).

How do I assign my Copyright?

There are certain formalities that you must comply with should you wish to assign copyright. Under the Act[1] the assignment of copyright (whether full or partial) will not be valid unless the assignment is contained in writing. The Act also provides that the assignment can be limited to a specific region in Australia or for a specific time period.

It is also essential that if you intend to make a partial assignment, the assignment is expressed without unlimited terms or absolutely.

If this happens there will be right to have the copyright reverted to you.[2] If the partial assignment is expressed in unlimited and absolute terms, however, whether or not you intended for the copyright to revert to you after a particular period of time may not matter, and there may be no right of reversion.

In these circumstances it is important to engage a lawyer familiar with drafting.


Copyright Licensing

Copyright licensing is only temporary, and differs from assignments in that copyright owners are allowed some form of control over the intellectual property rights throughout the duration of the license. Licensing does not transfer copyright ownership to the other person (the ‘licensee’), rather it provides the licensee permission to use your intellectual property in a way outlined in its copyright rights.

In this circumstance, you can still sue a third party for copyright infringement as you are still its owner under the Copyright Act.

Normally, permission to use the copyright owner’s work is acquired in exchange for royalties or a lump sum payment. However, the license may exist as a bare license, authorisation or permission where no consideration (money) is exchanged.

Generally, as a copyright owner, you may choose to grant either an exclusive or non-exclusive license.


Exclusive Licenses

An “exclusive licence” is an agreement whereby a copyright owner entitles a licensee to use the owner’s copyright to the exclusion of all others (including the copyright owner him or herself).

Under an exclusive licence agreement, the right of exploitation may be limited to particular timeframes, geographical locations and may only be used for specific purposes. Ownership ultimately remains with the original owner.

Under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), licensees under exclusive licence agreements have greater rights than licensees under a non-exclusive licence Agreement. This includes the opportunity to sue a third party for copyright infringement (along with the owner who also retains this right against a third party). In Australia, a licensee of an exclusive license can also sue a copyright owner for copyright infringement should the copyright owner breach the terms of the exclusive licence.

Exclusive licencing arrangements are more suitable for licensees who wish to pay for exclusive exploitation of the copyright of the owner, and do not wish to share it with others.


Non-Exclusive Licenses

Under a “non-exclusive licence” a copyright owner does not have to limit the use of the copyright to one person. That is, under this type of arrangement, the copyright owner can extend the licence to multiple parties at one time. This can be a more effective method of commercialisation of a copyright owner’s intellectual property.

Non-exclusive licence arrangements are more appropriate for copyright owners who wish to retain control over the commercialization of their products and copyright. In this arrangement, distinguishable from the exclusive licence, the copyright owner can continue to use his or her copyright concurrently to use by the licensee.

How do I licence my copyright out to others?

Under section 10 of the Copyright Act, to be valid an exclusive licence must be reduced to writing. Other types of licences should also be reduced to writing in the form of a licensing agreement. Generally, the terms of a licence will be set out in a formal Copyright Licence Agreement.


Have questions about copyright assignment or licence?

We’ve put together more information about the types of copyright licences in our resource centre. For more information on how to commercialise your intellectual property, please contact our Intellectual Property team on (07) 3252 0011.

Additionally, if you are an employee and are unsure of whether you own the work you have created during the course of your working relationship with your employer, contact a member of our Intellectual Property team on the number above. Or, to read about whether you own your copyright as an employee, click here.

Written by Lawyer edited by Jackson Litzow (student placement).


[1] Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) s 196(3).

[2] Sumner v Beyond Properties (2003) 59 IPR 268.

Difference Between Lease And Licence: Why It Matters

As William Shakespeare pondered centuries ago, “What’s in a name?”

Shakespeare may have been prophetic – in a modern legal context, the name given to a document or agreement may not reflect its true nature. If you have permission to use someone else’s land for a particular purpose, you may have entered into a written agreement with the landowner which sets out the terms and conditions of your occupation. The agreement may be called a licence or licensing agreement suggesting that you have a personal right to enter and use the premises.

However, on closer inspection, your so-called licence could turn out to be a lease giving you an interest in the land itself together with the rights and responsibilities of a tenant.

In these circumstances, the judicial view is that substance takes precedence over terminology with courts examining the true nature of the agreement rather than its language to ascertain the genuine intentions of the parties.

Clarifying the practical difference between a lease and a licence could help you to determine your rights and obligations and avoid costly litigation in the long term.


Lease vs. Licence – the Practical Difference

The key distinction in the difference between a lease and a licence is that a lease affords the tenant or lessee an interest in the leased premises which is manifested in the right to exclusive possession (see the case of Radich v Smith [1959] HCA 45 discussed further down).

Exclusive possession entitles the tenant to remove unwanted visitors (potentially including the landlord) during the term of the Lease.

By contrast, a licensee merely has a licence agreement to occupy the property and has no right to exclude others during the licensee’s period of occupation.

To highlight the difference between a lease and a licence, we have provided a selection of the rights and responsibilities of a tenant under a lease contrasted with those of a mere licensee who does not have the same interest in the land:


Common Law Right to Sue an Intruder in Trespass

Tenant under a lease: As discussed, a lease entitles the tenant to ‘exclusive possession’ of the Premises, which includes the right to expel an unauthorised visitor. This means that the tenant may have an action in trespass against the landlord if s/he enters the land without the tenant’s consent and without authorisation under the terms of the lease.

Licensee under a license: No such right of exclusion is available – the owner / licensor of the land may be free to enter the land at will.


Registration of Lease – Protection Against Competing Interests

Tenant under a lease: A long-term lease (for a term exceeding 3 years) in Queensland must be registered on the title in order to “transfer or create an interest in the lot”. See Section 181 and 182 of the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld). In the Queensland context, registration is optional for short-term leases of 3 years or less. Once registered, it will enjoy the protections of indefeasibility, meaning that the tenant’s interest in the land will take priority over other, unregistered instruments.

Licensee under a license: A licence cannot be registered and therefore it does not vest the licensee with an interest in the land.


Obligation to Pay Rent and to Keep in Repair

Tenant under a lease: Section 105 of the Property Law Act 1974 (PLA) provides that the tenant is obliged to pay the agreed amount of rent and keep the premises in good repair (except in the case of fire, flood or similar event rendering the premises unfit for the purpose). This provision can be excluded or modified by the express words of the lease.

Licensee under a license: The licensee’s repair and maintenance obligations, and the amount of rent payable, will depend upon the terms of the licence.


Breach of the Obligation to Keep the Premises in Good Repair

Tenant under a lease: If the tenant breaches this repair obligation, under Section 112 of the PLA, any damages recovered by the landlord must be proportionate to the resulting decrease in the value of the premises. The landlord cannot forfeit the lease for a failure to repair without complying with the Section 124 notice requirements (see below).

Licensee under a license: The licensee’s repair and maintenance obligations, and the amount of rent payable, will depend upon the terms of the licence.


Repair Obligations Will Depend Upon the Terms of the Licence

Tenant under a lease: Section 107 of the PLA allows the landlord a limited right of entry to view and make repairs to the leased premises (representing an exception to the tenant’s right of exclusive possession). However, this can be excluded by the express terms of the lease.

Licensee under a license: The licencor can generally enter the premises at any time and for any purpose (whether to make repairs, view the premises or otherwise). If the licensing agreement limits the licensor’s capacity to enter the premises, the license may constitute a lease.


Right to Assign or Sublease to a Third Party

Tenant under a lease: Per section 121 of the PLA, the landlord cannot ‘unreasonably’ refuse to consent to the proposed assignment or sublease. This section cannot be excluded by the express provisions of the lease, but will only operate in circumstances where the landlord’s consent is expressly required.

Licensee under a license: The licensee has a mere personal right to use and occupy the property, and is not able to enter into an assignment or sublease unless the express terms of the licence agreement allow it.


Right of Forfeiture / Re-entry

Tenant under a lease: Section 124 of the PLA provides that if the tenant is in breach, the landlord cannot forfeit the lease and retake possession of the premises without first giving the tenant notice of the forfeiture and a reasonable time to rectify the breach or pay any ‘reasonable compensation’ for the damage. (However, this protection is not available for leases / tenancies of 1 year or less.)

Licensee under a license: A licensee enjoys no such protection. In theory, a licence may be terminated at the will of the landowner / licensee even though contractual damages may apply.


Subdivision Approval Requirements Under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld)

Tenant under a lease: A lease of part of a lot (that is not part of a building) for a term exceeding 10 years (including options to renew) will constitute a ‘reconfiguration of a lot’ requiring subdivision approval from the local authority.

Licensee under a license: Not so for licences.


Shared Occupancy

Tenant under a lease: A lease affords the tenant an exclusive right of possession and is therefore unsuited to shared use / occupancy.

Licensee under a license: A licence is suitable to shared use (making it appropriate for a number of arrangements our church clients enter into).


Case Law: Radich v Smith – Lease or Licence?

In the case of Radich v Smith [1959] HCA 45 (“Radich’s case”), a small business owner, Maria Radich, entered into a deed of agreement to operate her milk bar out of a lock-up shop in Sydney’s Mossman area.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ms Radich was granted the “sole and exclusive license and privilege to supply refreshment to the public…and to carry on the business of a milk bar.”

However, despite the use of the term licence, the High Court ultimately found that Ms Radich had been granted a lease of the premises for the agreed period.

Justice Windeyer held that, “I imagine all concerned would have been astounded if they had been told that the appellant [Ms Radich] had no right to exclude persons”, especially given that the premises was a lock-up shop and therefore not readily accessible to others outside Ms Radich’s business hours.

His Honour further noted that it would be equally astonishing if the owners of the shop were able to “licence other people to carry on any activity there” provided only that this did not interfere with Ms Radich’s business operations.

Clearly, Ms Radich was implicitly entitled to remove unwanted visitors and to conduct her milk bar business without unauthorised entry or interference. This gave her a right to ‘exclusive possession’ of the premises for the term of her occupation, an arrangement more consistent with a leasehold interest. She was therefore entitled to have her rent determined by the Fair Rents Boards (one of the protections afforded to tenants in New South Wales at that time).


Determining the Parties’ Intentions

Justice Windeyer noted that the difference “between a lease and a licence” is ultimately “a question of intention.”

But, His Honour proceeded to say:

Intention to do what? Not to give the transaction one label or another. Not to escape the legal consequences of one relationship by professing that it is another. Whether the transaction creates a lease or a licence…depends upon the nature of the right which the parties intend the person entering upon the land shall have in relation that land.

His Honour therefore acknowledged that language has the potential to mislead – certain terms may be adopted, sometimes unconsciously, sometimes with the deliberate intention of concealing the true nature of the parties’ agreement and evading the attendant legal ramifications.

Therefore, even if your agreement is called a lease (or a licence), this is not necessary conclusive. It is essential to consider the entire agreement (not just isolated terms) in order to determine the rights and interests the parties intended to create.