Restricted driver licence fact sheet

What is a restricted driver licence?

This type of licence is issued by a Magistrate when your drivers licence has been suspended or cancelled and you need your licence to drive in some circumstances.

When can you apply for a restricted driver licence?

You can apply for a restricted driver licence if you hold an Australian driver licence and it has been cancelled or suspended because:

  • You have exceeded the number of demerit points available to you on your licence (if you hold a full licence this means you have exceeded 11 demerit points and if you hold a provisional licence you have exceeded 3 demerit points); OR
  • A licence disqualification order has been made by an Australian Court; OR
  • You have broken a law that automatically cancels or suspends your licence.

You cannot apply for a restricted driver licence in the following circumstances;

  • If your licence has been suspended or cancelled and you are eligible to apply for a period of good behaviour and you have not taken up that option; OR
  • If your licence has been suspended or cancelled because of an accumulation of demerit points and you have NEVER held a full licence (if you hold a provisional licence and were entitled to a full licence and have just not applied for it - this does not apply to you); OR
  • If you have accumulated 12 demerit points or more in 3 years or less OR
  • You have not held a provisional licence for a continuous period of 12 months and you are a P1 licence holder who will be placed back on to an L2 licence; OR
  • You have been disqualified from driving under an excessive drink driving notice (0.15 grams per 100 millilitres of blood for a full licence or 0.07 grams per 100 millilitres of blood for a provisional or learner licence); OR
  • You have committed an offence during a period of disqualification or within 3 years after the end of any disqualification for alcohol driving offences; OR
  • Your offence was DUI (driving under the influence) of alcohol or drugs; OR
  • You have objected without reasonable excuse, to a sample of your blood or urine being analysed; OR
  • You were the holder of a provisional or learner licence; OR
  • You are not authorised to drive; OR
  • You were driving a prescribed vehicle (i.e. bus, taxi, truck).

I am eligible to apply - what now?

An application for a restricted driver licence must be made to the Magistrates Court.

This application must;

  • Be made in writing (use the Application for a Restricted Driver Licence linked above);
  • Include your name, home address and mailing address;
  • Include your driver licence number (if your licence has already been surrendered you can contact Service Tasmania to obtain these details);
  • Include details of disqualification (complete Part A for a Court ordered disqualification and Part B for any other disqualification);
  • Include the grounds for your application;
  • Include the orders sought;
  • Include the notice received from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles if the disqualification was not Court ordered;
  • Include a record of prior driving convictions in Tasmania and other States and Territories, to get this information you need to make a request for a National Police Certificate (see: Consent to check and release a National Police Certificate) even if you do not have any prior convictions you still need to make this request and you will receive paperwork confirming you have no prior convictions, which needs to be included with the application.

Public interest

In this section of the application you need to explain to the Magistrate why giving you a restricted driver licence, when you have previously offended, would not put the public at risk. This is where your prior convictions play an important role. If you have many prior driving convictions it will be hard to prove that it is in the public's interest to allow you to drive. If your loss of licence was related to driving whilst under the influence of alcohol you should request a letter from your doctor providing evidence that you are not alcohol dependent.

Severe and unusual hardship

It is necessary to prove to the Magistrate that by not being able to drive you or your family will suffer severe and unusual hardship. You will need to include the names of your dependants that you say will suffer severe and unusual hardship. If the reason behind the hardship is financial, such as without a licence you will lose your employment, you will need to complete the 'Details of Financial Hardship' table included in the application. This shows the Magistrate what financial commitments you have to pay each fortnight and any sources of income you receive including employment income.

If you will lose your employment due to not holding a driver licence you will need to provide evidence of this either in a letter or statutory declaration from your employer. Your employer will also be required to  attend Court to give this evidence. The letter/statutory declaration from your employer should address whether you require a driver licence to keep your employment and the hours you are required to drive for your employment.

Whatever hardship reasons you state, you need to remember you will be required to provide evidence of this. Inconvenience alone will not be enough to satisfy severe and unusual hardship.

Details of restricted driver licence sought

In the application you need to state the reason for needing to drive for example; to take children to school, drive to employment etc. You then to provide details of the travel that will be done for example; driving between my home at 123 Smith Road, Smithville to my place of employment at AAA Mechanical 111 Jones Road, Smithville.

You will also need to include evidence about other forms of transport available to you including bus routes/timetables, taxi quotes, or evidence of transport available through the use of friends, work colleagues or family. You will need to provide evidence why these methods of transport are not a suitable alternative.

You will need to provide details of the vehicle or vehicles you will be using if you are granted a restricted driver licence and the days and times you are requesting permission to drive. You need to be specific, so if you work Monday to Friday you need to state the time you are required to drive on each day eg; 8am to 8:30am to travel to work and 5pm to 5:30pm to travel from work to home.

Details of employment

If you are employed this is where you complete the details relevant to your employment.

Statutory declaration

This is where you swear that the information in the application is true. This needs to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for Declarations. The Legal Aid Commission can provide you with a list of Justices of the Peace that are available in your area, simply call 1300 366 611.

Your application is complete - what's next?

You need to check you have the following attached to your application;

  • Statement of prior convictions (National Police Check)
  • Letter from doctor (if alcohol related conviction)
  • Letter from employer (if relevant - they must also attend Court on the day your application is listed)
  • Evidence of suspension or disqualification
  • Notice from Registrar of Motor Vehicles stating date disqualification starts (you will receive this if your disqualification is for excessive speed, an alcohol related offence or demerit points)
  • Any available evidence regarding alternative transport.

Once your application is signed and witnessed you then need to attend the Magistrates Court, lodge the application and attachments with a registry staff member and pay a filing fee. You can view the fees by clicking on this link: Magistrates Court Fees.

The Court will then list the application before a Magistrate and you will be given a Court date which will be written on your copy of the application. You then need to serve a copy on either Police Prosecution (the closest one to the Magistrates Court that the application is listed in - call Tasmania Police on 131 444 for locations) OR the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (via Service Tasmania). This means that you take a copy of the application to either Police Prosecution or Service Tasmania and ask a staff member to acknowledge that you have given them a copy of the application by signing the Acknowledgement of Service (Part H) on your copy of the application. Note: Do not serve your application on either Police Prosecution or the Registrar of Motor Vehicles until the Magistrates Court staff have checked your application and it has been lodged and given a Court date. If you have a lawyer representing you, they will arrange for the application to be served.

You then need to attend Court on the day your application is listed. You will need to bring your copy of the application that shows a signature acknowledging service on either Police Prosecution or the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. If you are asking anyone to give evidence on the day you need to make sure they are aware of the date they need to attend court, for example an employer.

In Court

You will need to be prepared to give sworn evidence in support of your application. Your employer will also be called to do this. You will be cross examined by Police.

Orders

You should only ask for a restricted driver licence for such times you really need it. The Magistrate may make orders restricting you to driving a particular vehicle to and from particular locations, at certain hours and on certain days of the week, by the shortest possible route and require you to keep and maintain a log book. You may be ordered to not drive with any alcohol in your body. If a Magistrate grants a restricted driver licence where you have been disqualified for an alcohol related driving offence, the Magistrate can also increase your period of disqualification remaining at the time.

Offences

You must carry your restricted driver licence with you. It is an offence for you to drive in breach of your restricted driver licence. If you are caught breaching your restricted driver licence you may lose your restricted driver licence, receive a further period of disqualification, a fine or a term of imprisonment.

Important points

  • There is no automatic right to be granted a restricted driver licence, this will be for the Magistrate to decide based on your application and evidence.
  • You should provide as much evidence and information as possible and relevant in your application.

Last updated: 15-February-2017