What if I exceed 2 demerit points on a good driving behaviour period or have exceeded the speed limit by more than 40 km/h (high speed suspension)? Can I obtain a special hardship licence (SHL) or special hardship order (SHO)?
A special hardship licence or special hardship order is a licence issued when:
- you have exceeded 2 or more demerit points on a good driving behaviour period, or
- you have exceeded the speed limit by more than 40 km/h (high speed suspension).
It is also known as a hardship licence, SHO, demerit point licence, good driving behaviour licence or special hardship order.
If you accumulate too many points against your Driver Licence, Queensland Transport will send you a letter giving you the choice of:
- a licence suspension (usually 3 months), or
- a 12-month good behaviour driving period.
If you choose the licence suspension, or do not reply to the Queensland Transport letter, then you have no appeal and cannot get any other licence during the relevant suspension period.
If you opt for a good behaviour driving period and lose two or more points during that time then you can, in limited circumstances, apply to a Magistrates Court for a special hardship order to enable you to drive for particular purposes only. The grounds for applying are:
- that losing your licence will result in extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of the means of earning a living, or
- that losing your licence will cause you or your family severe or unusual hardship.
If you have had your licence disqualified by a Court or suspended in the last five years you are not eligible to apply for a SHL.
If you are granted a SHL, your licence suspension ends from that date but you can only drive in accordance with the conditions in the special hardship order. Generally, the licence conditions will specify that you may drive for work purposes or certain defined occasions (for example, taking a family member hospital on a regular basis to receive treatment).
The application for the SHL must be lodged and undertaken in the Magistrates Court nearest to where you reside.
Any application for a SHL will require detailed affidavits from yourself and, in some instances, your employer.
Do you need assistance with your special hardship licence?
FC Lawyers have assisted many clients in obtaining a SHL. FC Lawyers is willing to discuss whether you may qualify for a SHL.
Contact our team today to discuss your driving matter.
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