Clarity Law

Specialist Traffic Law Firm Queensland
Monday, 28 November 2022 16:14

Special Hardship Order Applications

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Special Hardship Order Applications

A special hardship licence is a type of licence that allows you to drive under a set of conditions even though your driver licence has been suspended.

A special hardship licence or special hardship order is a licence issued when you 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).  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 demerit points, Queensland Transport will write to you giving you the choice of a licence suspension (usually 3 months) or a 12 month good behaviour driving period where you have 1 demerit point for 12 months.  If you choose the suspension or do not reply to this letter, then you have no appeal and cannot get a hardship licence.


Am I eligible for a Special Hardship licence?

You could be eligible for a Special Hardship Licence if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have been charged with driving more than 40km over the speed limit OR
  • You were on a 12 month good behaviour period and incurred one or more demerit points or


  • You need your driver licence for work or for another special reason

You are not eligible for a Special Hardship licence if:

You are not eligible for a work licence if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You have been charged with any drink or drug driving offence or failing to supply a breath or saliva sample at the police station.
  • You hold a licence that is not a current Queensland Driver Licence (not a Learner permit)
  • You have had your licence disqualified, suspended or cancelled in the last 5 years.

What does a Special Hardship Application need to include? 

When preparing a work licence application, you will need the following documents:

  • A special hardship order application form
  • An affidavit from you showing that you are a ‘fit and proper person’ to continue to hold and licence and that you or your family would stuffer extreme hardship because you are unable to work or severe and unusual hardship for another reason.
  • An affidavit from your employer – If you are self-employed you do not need this. If you have multiple employers, you will need one from each employer.

What do I need to include in my affidavit?

An affidavit is a written statement which is sworn in front of a lawyer or Justice of the Peace and is used as evidence in court. In your affidavit you need to include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your occupation
  • Your family situation including who you live with, if you have children and if you provide support or assistance to anyone.
  • Details of your job:
    • o Your job title
    • o The company you work for
    • o How long you have held your job
    • o The hours you normally work
    • o The frequency with which you work overtime
    • o Why you need to drive for you job (e.g. is it just to and from work or do you drive as a part of your job)
  • Details of your financial situation:
    • o How much you earn from your job
    • o How much anyone else in your family earns from their job or receives from Centrelink
    • o Your weekly expenses
      • Rent / mortgage
      • Rates
      • Bills
      • Childcare / school fees
      • Groceries
      • Insurance
      • Credit card payments
      • Personal loan payments 
    • If you need the special hardship order for study, medical reasons or another special reason you should include information about why you need your driver licence and how you would suffer sever and unusual hardship without it.
    • Details of the offence/s you committed
    • Details of why you are a “fit and proper person”

What do I need to include in my employers affidavit?

If you are employed by a company you will need to get your immediate boss or a member of the HR department to provide you an affidavit which says you will lose your job if you don’t have a licence. This affidavit should include:

  • Your employers name
  • Your employers address
  • Your employers job title
  • Information about your job
    • o How long you have been employed
    • o What hours you are required to work
    • o Why you require your licence
    • o That if you don’t have your licence you will lose your job
  • Your employers assessment of your character

special hardship order queensland

What goes into the special hardship application?

The application form for a special hardship is form F4401.  It is available from the court registry or a Queensland Transport office.

The hardship licence application needs to include;

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation

It will then ask a series of qualifying questions to make sure you are eligible to apply for a hardship licence.

The application form then has a place for the court to insert the court date and time of hearing and a further spot for Queensland Transport to acknowledge receipt of the application.

Once my affidavits and application are ready what do I do next?

Now that your affidavits are completed you need to file your application with the court.

In order to do this you will need to take 3 copies of each affidavit (which have been signed and witnessed by a JP or Solicitor) with you to court. Once at the court you should attend the registry and ask for a copy of the Special Hardship Order Application form. This form is self explanatory and requires you to put some details such are your name, address and driver licence number onto it.

Once the application is filled out you will then file a copy with the court registry. There is a fee associated with filing this application, for up to date fees please check the court website. Once your documents are filed the court will then give you a date for your matter to be heard. They will give you back the other two copies of the documents. One of those will need to be filed with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the other copy is for you to keep.

All material should be filed a minimum of 3 business days prior to the hearing of your work licence application. This is to provide both the court and the prosecutors time to check the information in your affidavit.


How much do you charge for a special hardship application?

We charge a fixed price of $2,000 and this covers the drafting of the affidavits and appearing in court with you.

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

We have been operating since 2010 and undertaken over 1,000 successful special hardship licence applications throughout South East Queensland.

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. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4. Click here to select a time for us to call you back
  5. Visit our main website page


Need more information?

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

Last modified on Thursday, 16 February 2023 18:43
Lucy Ferguson

Lucy is a senior traffic lawyer at clarity law | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.