Chapters of the article
Remission of the remainder of the prohibition of activity
Remission of the remainder of the sentence is possible after at least half of the total sentence has elapsed. Exceptions are offenders who commit serious crimes, repeat offenders and offenders sentenced to an exceptional prison term (i.e. more than 20 years). For these, conditional remission of the remainder of the sentence is possible only after 2/3 of the total sentence has elapsed.
This situation most often arises in the case of prohibition of activity. The prohibition of activity consists in prohibiting the offender from exercising his profession or function for which moral or professional competence is required. This applies, for example, to doctors, civil servants or bank employees.
A prohibition may also be imposed on a specific activity for which a special authorisation or permit is required. The most common prohibition is that of driving as a result of traffic offences. This ban is the most frequently imposed ban on an activity and we will focus on it in this article.
Application for conditional discharge of the remainder of a driving ban
You can lose your driving licence for several reasons. One of the main options is that you accumulate 12 “penalty” points. You will get these for breaking the rules of the road. The worse the offence, the more points you get. With 2024 came an adjustment and overall simplification of the points system.
For the most serious offences rated at 6 points (e.g. driving under the influence, driving the wrong way on the motorway, etc.) twice and enough will now apply, while for moderate offences rated at 4 points (e.g. speeding 30km/h outside a village) three and enough will apply. The point assessment will be made more severe for some offences, while for others it will be more lenient.
There are other ways to lose your licence besides accumulating 12 points. One of them is drinking and driving. If you drink less than 1 per mille, your licence can be suspended for 6 months to 1 year. If you have more than 1 drink, you could lose your licence for up to 10 years and face criminal proceedings.
Other possibilities include illegible number plates or driving without a licence (e.g. a lorry without a licence). In addition, you should beware of repeated minor offences such as speeding or failing to give way. However, your licence can also be revoked on medical grounds if a doctor decides you are unfit to drive. These situations arise, for example, if you are getting older, have a visual or heart condition, epilepsy or mental illness.
If you are over 65, remember that you must attend a medical examination to assess your fitness to drive. It is compulsory to have this examination again at 68 and every two years thereafter.
How to apply for remission of the remainder of a driving ban
If you have lost your licence because you have been disqualified from driving (i.e. have accumulated 12 points), it is not possible to apply for a waiver in advance. In this case, you can always apply for your licence back after 12 months have elapsed.
However, if you have lost your licence for another reason, you can apply for a remission of the rest of your sentence after half of it has expired. To get the rest of your sentence waived, you will need to apply to the authority that gave you the sentence. There is no specific form for this. However, it should contain the following information:
- Who you are applying to – the authority that gave you the sentence;
- Who is making the application – your name, home address, contact details;
- The driving ban decision number;
- The reasons justifying your application, i.e. why the rest of your sentence should be waived – Here it is a good idea to include information that could work in your favour (e.g. a certificate from your employer stating that you need your driving licence to work or that you are, for example, caring for a disabled family member who needs to be taken to the doctor regularly).
The court will look at your reasons, but also whether you are leading a good life and whether you can be expected not to reoffend. If they grant your application, they will make an order which you will receive in writing. However, the licence itself will not be returned to you; you will need to apply for that separately.
Are you applying for remission of the remainder of your sentence?
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How to apply for the return of your driving licence
You must apply to the local authority where you live. The application itself does not have a set format, but should include the following information:
- Information about you – your name, permanent address, date of birth and registration number;
- The date on which the decision to revoke your driving licence becomes enforceable;
- What type of driving licence you are applying for (which group or sub-group);
- The reason for which your driving licence was confiscated – here you should state that you have been given a driving ban;
- What court imposed the penalty and when.
In addition to the application form itself, you need to attach other documents:
- Adecision to suspend the remainder of your sentence issued by the court;
- Amedical fitness certificate, which must be no more than 30 days old on the date of application. This will be issued by your registrar or any other medical practitioner;
- If you have been banned from driving for more than 6 months, you must provide a mental capacity assessment. A psychological examination is carried out by a traffic psychologist;
- If it has been more than three years since your licence was revoked, you will also need to provide an assessment of professional competence, which you will obtain by taking a driving test at a driving school.
If you have completed and supplied everything in order then the office must issue a decision to return your licence within 30 days and you can collect your licence from there.