In circumstances where your provisional or open driver’s licence has been suspended following accumulation of two or more demerit points whilst driving during a good driving behaviour period or if you are convicted of a high speed offence of driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit you may be able to obtain a special hardship order from the court which would have the effect of reactivating your suspended driver’s licence.
Not unlike an application for a work licence following an offence of drink / drug driving, you must meet certain eligibility criteria in order to be entitled to apply.
An important point to remember is that you must lodge the application with supporting affidavit material with the court within 21 days after your licence has been suspended.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that upon receiving written notification that your licence has been suspended following the accumulation of points during a good driving behaviour period or a high speed offence, that you contact a law firm to determine whether you are eligible to apply for a special hardship order.
If you are eligible to apply for such an order, we are required to prepare the necessary applications and supporting affidavit material to meet the relevant criteria required by the legislation.
This material is then filed before the court and at which time we will be able to provide you with the date and time that this matter will be heard by the court.
Please note that the letter from the Department of Transport will state the date of your licence suspension. Until the Department of Transport is notified of an application for a special hardship order being filed with the court, you will not be able to drive. Even if you have actually filed the application, if you are pulled over by the police prior to having notified Queensland Transport, you will most likely be charged by the police with the offence of driving without a licence.
This is why we lawyers are always eager to have clients visit our office upon receipt of the letter from Queensland Transport so that the material may be filed at the first available opportunity thereby reducing the period of time that you are unable to drive freely.
At the first return date of the application (the date that your application is heard by the court), we will appear with you and do all of the talking to the magistrate. Your experience will therefore be as easy and comfortable as it can be in the circumstances.
If you are successful in having your application granted, the court will make orders setting out the particular way your restricted licence will operate. For example, you may only be able to drive between the hours of 8.30am and 5.00pm from your home to your work and for no other reason. You may also be required to wear a uniform. If you breach any of these orders, you will be subject to a charge by the police.
Please note that the order you receive from the court is NOT a licence and you will still not be entitled to drive until the order has been processed by Queensland Transport who will note the specifics of the order on your driver’s licence which will then enable you to drive within the criteria set out by the court. Should you have any queries regarding applying for a special hardship order please do not hesitate to contact our office.