Clarity Law

Specialist Traffic Law Firm Queensland
Wednesday, 10 January 2024 18:32

How many demerit points do you have on a special hardship order?

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If you are granted a special hardship licence how many demerit points do you have while on the SHO?



In the event of a licence suspension where the need to continue driving is imperative, such as for employment purposes, individuals may qualify to apply for a Special Hardship Order (SHO).

A SHO is a legal order issued by the court, permitting a driver with a suspended provisional or open licence to continue driving under specified and restricted conditions.

It's important to distinguish a SHO from a restricted (work) licence, which is applicable in cases of convictions for drink or drug driving offences.


Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a SHO, the applicant must possess a Queensland provisional or open driver licence that has been suspended due to either:

  1. Accumulating 2 or more demerit points during a one-year period of good driving behaviour.

  2. Committing a high-speed driving offence, exceeding 40km/h over the speed limit.

Applicants with a suspended learner's licence are not eligible to apply for a Special Hardship Order.



Applicants are ineligible to apply for a SHO if, within the five years preceding the licence suspension, they have:

  1. Experienced a cancellation or suspension of their Queensland driver licence.

  2. Been disqualified from obtaining or holding a Queensland driver licence.

  3. Had their authority to drive in Queensland on a non-Queensland driver licence suspended.

  4. Become ineligible to apply for a Queensland driver licence due to:

    • Excessive demerit points.

    • Conviction of driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit while unlicenced.

    • Conviction of operating a vehicle dangerously.


However, exceptions may apply if the individual has faced:

  • Suspension for failing to appear in court for a drink or drug driving charge.

  • Immediate licence suspension due to an alleged drink or drug driving offence.

  • A 24-hour suspension related to a matter concerning drink or drug driving.

  • Suspension imposed by the State Penalties Enforcement Registry.


Understanding these criteria is essential for individuals navigating the SHO application process, ensuring they meet the necessary conditions for eligibility.


So how many points do you get on a special hardship order?

You have zero demerit points on a special hardship order.  Any offence that attracts any demerit points will mean your hardship order will be cancelled.

A list of offences that attract demerit points can be found here

Also if your special hardship order is cancelled you will lose your licence for double the double the order period.

Example:- You are 4 months into a 6 month SHO period, you get an infringement notice for speeding 9 km/h over the speed limit.  The offence attracts 1 demerit points so your SHO will be cancelled and your licence will be suspended for 12 months.


Can I appeal if my special hardship order is cancelled if I get demerit points?



Can I apply for another SHO if my current SHO is cancelled?

Not for 5 years.


How do I get more information or engage you to act for me? 

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you

  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm

  3. Click here to select a time for us to have a free 15 minute telephone conference with you

  4. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  5. Send us a message on Facebook Messenger

  6. Click the help button to the right and leave us a message


We are a no pressure law firm, we are happy to provide information to assist you, if you want to engage us then great, if not then you at least have more information about varying a special hardship order.

You won’t be chased or hounded to engage us.


Need more information?

We have a range of articles on Special Hardship Orders on our blog.  Some of the most recent have included:

Steven Brough

Steven Brough is the Founder of Clarity Law.  He is one of the most experienced traffic lawyers in Queensland having appeared in court many thousands of time throughout Queensland since 2010.  He has authored over 100 articles about every aspect of traffic law in Queensland.

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