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Suspended Licence

Applying for a Special Hardship Licence

If you’ve incurred a serious road or traffic penalty, it’s possible you could lose your licence and in some cases this is effective immediately.

Losing your driver’s licence can have many inconvenient ramifications for you and your family, including the ability to earn an income and the lack of transport options.

What can you do

In Queensland, in many cases it is possible to obtain your licence back for employment purposes if you can prove in court that it’s necessary for the purposes of earning an income or in cases of extreme family hardship.


If you have lost your licence in Queensland, you can apply for a Special Hardship Order (SHO) if you have been convicted of driving 40km/h over the speed limit, or if you have accumulated two or more demerit points while subject to a good driving behaviour period.

You can’t apply if your licence has been cancelled, if you were unlicensed at the time of offence, or if you were convicted of driving dangerously. There are also a number of disqualifying provisions regarding previous convictions and suspensions in the preceding 5 years.

You must be able to prove that you require your licence for work purposes – either during work hours or to travel to and from - or to prevent hardship on yourself or your family.

Time restrictions

It is important to act quickly. You must lodge the application within 21 days of your licence being suspended, where you will need to prepare an affidavit and lodge an application through the Magistrate’s Court.

How Slater and Gordon can help

A Special Hardship Licence can incur strict restrictions depending on your employment and particular circumstances. It’s important to know your rights by speaking to an experienced criminal lawyer where you are at risk of losing your licence to ensure there is as little financial strain on you and your family as possible.