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Loss of marine licence

Marine licence suspension or cancellation

If you hold a recreational marine driver licence or personal watercraft licence, your marine licence may be cancelled or suspended if:

Disqualification from holding a marine licence

A marine licence will be cancelled if a court disqualifies a person for a conviction under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994 (TOMSA). A court can also disqualify a person for other offences involving a state-registered ship or navigation of a ship if that person was in control of the ship and:

  • driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or with prescribed concentration of alcohol in blood or breath (Section 79, Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995)
  • failed to supply a breath specimen for testing (Section 80, Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995)
  • engaged in dangerous operation of a vehicle (Section 328A, Criminal Code).

When your marine licence is cancelled all your marine licences issued under TOMSA are cancelled including commercial, recreational, pilot and engineering licences.  Once disqualified by a court, you must take a copy of the order to a:

  • MSQ regional office to surrender your TOMSA commercial marine licence/s. You will need to complete the marine licence application form (F3103) to cancel your licence.
  • Transport and Main Roads customer service centre to record your disqualification against your recreational marine licence/s in the licensing system. You will need to complete the recreational marine driver/personal watercraft licence or marine licence indicator application (f2334) and surrender your Queensland driver licence if you have a RMDL or PWCL indicator code on it. Your driver licence will be returned when the code has been removed (fees apply).   

Penalties apply for continuing to operate on a disqualified marine licence.

MSQ also has administrative procedures to 'show cause' and/or suspend a state issued marine licence after a person is convicted of an offence under TOMSA or in the interests of marine safety. The show cause and suspension procedures will be dealt with separately from the court disqualification process.

As a delegate of the national regulator under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the National Law), MSQ may seek the suspension or revocation of a certificate of competency after a person is convicted of an offence under the National Law, if the holder is deemed to not be a fit and proper person to hold the certificate or if it is in the interests of marine safety. These actions will be taken in accordance with the National Law and Marine Order 505 (Certificates of competency—National Law) 2013.

Options if disqualified by a court

Appeal a disqualification

If you do not agree with a disqualification order, then you can appeal against the disqualification following the appropriate court procedure. When an appeal is made, the disqualification is suspended and your marine licence is reinstated pending the outcome of the appeal.

If the conviction is overturned or the disqualification removed, the reinstated licences remain in force for their usual term.  If the conviction is upheld or the disqualification upheld, the period of disqualification that had not expired when the appeal started takes effect from the date of the appeal decision. 

Restricted marine licences

If you have been disqualified, and you are an eligible person, you may make an application for a restricted marine licence. An application for an order directing the issue of a restricted marine licence form (F4470) should be submitted at the court mention after conviction but before the court makes a disqualifying order.

To be eligible for a restricted marine licence you must be able to demonstrate that:

  • you are a fit and proper person to continue to hold a restricted marine licence, having regard to the safety of other marine users and the public generally
  • you need a restricted marine licence to earn your living
  • refusal to make an order for a restricted marine licence would cause you or your family extreme hardship.

You will not be eligible to make an application for a restricted marine licence if:

  • you did not hold a marine licence under TOMSA when the offence was committed and immediately before the disqualification
  • within the last 5 years you were disqualified from holding a marine licence, your marine licence was suspended or cancelled by MSQ, you were previously convicted of an offence under TOMSA including a drink driving or dangerous operation of a vessel offence or the you were convicted elsewhere of any offence that would have been a marine offence in Queensland
  • the offence for which you are being disqualified:
    • was committed while engaged in an activity directly connected with your means of earning a livelihood
    • or you were operating a ship without holding the required licence
    • or you already held a restricted marine licence.

If a court grants an application for a restricted marine licence, you will be issued with an order directing that a restricted marine licence be issued to you during the period of disqualification subject to conditions. The order will outline the circumstances directly connected with your means of earning your livelihood and may also impose conditions on the type, purpose, times or waters in which a ship may be operated.

If you are granted a restricted marine licence, you must take a copy of the order to a:

  • MSQ regional office to have the restrictions placed on your TOMSA commercial marine licence/s. You will need to complete the marine licence application form (F3103) to place the court ordered restrictions by amending your marine licence (fees apply).
  • Transport and Main Roads customer service centre to record the restrictions against your recreational marine licence/s in the licensing system. You will need to complete the recreational marine driver/personal watercraft licence or marine licence indicator application (f2334) (fees apply).   

The applicant must carry their restricted licence conditions (the court order) with them at all times when operating on a restricted marine licence.

Getting a marine licence back after disqualification

If you were disqualified from holding a marine licence and you have served the period of the disqualification, you can apply for a new marine licence.

If you were absolutely disqualified from holding a marine licence you can apply to a court for removal of the disqualification 2 years after the disqualification date. An application for removal of marine licence disqualification can be lodged at the Magistrates Court at any time to hear the application.  If your application is approved, you can apply for a new marine licence. If your application is refused, you may be eligible to reapply again one year after the refusal date.

At the end of the disqualification period or removal of the disqualification you will need to make an application for a new marine licence. You must meet the full requirements for the issue of a marine licence (fees apply). 

Last updated
15 February 2017