If you are disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence, there may be scope for applying to the District Court for a limited licence (sometimes referred to as a work licence). The statutory test is that if the licence is not granted, the applicant will suffer extreme hardship or some other person will suffer undue hardship, whether in relation to employment or otherwise.
If your job depends on having a driver’s licence or if another person is dependent on you to drive, then you may qualify. The circumstances obviously vary with the individual case.
Most disqualifications arise from drink/drive convictions, but with the recent changes to the drink/drive laws resulting in demerit points for low level excesses and stricter enforcement of speeding restrictions, suspension for accumulated demerit points will result in the need for more limited licences. The accumulation of 100 demerit points or more in a two year period will result in a three month suspension. The suspension period starts as soon as you receive the demerit suspension notice.
Disqualification for a drink/drive offence or dangerous or careless driving results in a 28-day stand down period before a limited licence can be obtained, but there is no stand down period for suspension arising from accumulated demerit points.
Persons who have convictions in the previous five years for offences such as repeat alcohol or drug offences, driving whilst disqualified, and other serious driving offences cannot apply for a limited licence.
If you are, or about to be, disqualified, and you want to apply for a limited licence, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible in order to expedite the process of obtaining a limited licence.