Special Hardship Licence

Are you going to lose your licence…and your job?

What happens if your driver's licence is critical to your job and you have just received a suspension notice?

In Queensland, if your licence has been suspended and you are likely to suffer extreme hardship as a result you may be entitled to apply for a Special Hardship Order ("SHO").

Previously you had to apply for a SHO within 21 days of your licence being suspended.

However from 1 April, 2019 the legislation has changed now allowing a driver on a suspended licence to apply for a SHO at any point during their 6 month suspension period. You should bear this in mind in case your circumstances change at some time during your suspension period.

You may apply for a SHO if you accumulate more than 2 demerit points on a good driving behaviour period or have exceeded the speed limit by more than 40km/hr and can show that:

  • You are a fit and proper person to continue to drive;

  • Refusal to grant a SHO would cause extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of your means of earning a living; or

  • Severe and unusual hardship to you or your family, other than by depriving you of your means of earning a living.

A SHO is a Court Order that allows you to drive on certain restrictions which may include the days and times you are allowed to drive.

To be eligible to apply for a SHO you must:

  • be the holder of a valid open or provisional Queensland licence;

  • not have had your licence disqualified, suspended or cancelled in the last five years;

  • not have been convicted by a Court of dangerous driving in the last five years.

To apply for a SHO you must make an application to the Magistrates Court. It is necessary to provide affidavit evidence to the Court to show the Court you are a "fit and proper person" to be granted a SHO and that you will extreme hardship, such as your employment being terminated as a result of your suspended licence.

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