The Department of Transport and Main Roads have recently reviewed the regulations surrounding special hardship orders.

What is a special hardship order?

A special hardship order is a court order allowing you to drive for specific reason(s) under restricted conditions, despite the fact your provisional or open licence has been suspended.

Your licence may be suspended because you have been charged with a high-speed driving offence (41km/hr and over) or you have accumulated too many demerit points and have not been able to get successfully through a good behaviour driving period.

How do I get a special hardship order?

You must prove to the court:

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

You must prove to the court the suspension of your licence would cause one or both of the following:

You or your family would suffer extreme financial hardship; and /or
You or your family would suffer severe and unusual hardship

If you satisfy these tests the court may grant a special hardship order.

What has changed with special hardship orders?

Previously, the regulations only allowed 21 days from the time of suspension to make a special hardship order application.  As off 1 April 2019, the 21-day application period has been removed.

What does this mean for me?

This is acknowledgment of the fact that  hardship may arise at some point after 21 days into the suspension of your licence.

Therefore, if your licence is currently suspended and there are special circumstances that have arisen requiring you to drive, you can apply at any time for a special hardship order.