Clarity Law

Specialist Traffic Law Firm Queensland
Thursday, 09 February 2023 19:06

Hardship Licence's for Taxi and Ride Share Drivers

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In Queensland, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) recognizes that some passenger transport workers may face unexpected and exceptional circumstances that may prevent them from holding a valid driver's licence. To address this issue, TMR offers a special hardship licence to eligible passenger transport workers who need to continue driving for work purposes despite their licence suspension.

A special hardship licence allows transport workers to drive for usually work purposes only with some exceptions for extreme personal needs, it is a temporary measure to support workers in maintaining their livelihood while they serve their licence suspension. In Queensland, passenger transport workers include taxi drivers, truck drivers, bus drivers, uber, didi and other  ride share drivers and other commercial passenger vehicle operators.


Eligibility Criteria for a Special Hardship Licence

To be eligible for a special hardship licence, transport workers must meet the following criteria:

  1. Their licence has been suspended for a specific period by TMR for reasons of excessive demerit points or exceeding 40 km/h over the speed limit.
  2. They can demonstrate that they will suffer extreme hardship if they are unable to drive during the period of their licence suspension.
  3. They have not been disqualified from holding a driver's licence in the last 5 years and have not held a special hardship licence in the last 5 years.

We have a full article on special hardship licence eligibility.


How to Apply for a Special Hardship Licence

The process for obtaining a special hardship licence is that 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.
  • Once the affidavits are completed and filed you need to attend your local Magistrates court to argue before a Magistrate to be granted the hardship licence.


Driver Authorisation in Queensland

Driver authorisation is a system used by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Queensland to assess the suitability of individuals to drive passengers in vehicles. The purpose of driver authorisation is to ensure the safety of all road users by verifying that passenger vehicle drivers have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to operate these vehicles safely.

The question then arises whether if you are to lose your licence because of demerit points or a high speed offence does your driver authorisation continue?


Special Hardship Licences and Driver Authorisation

A driver of a public passenger vehicle must hold either

  1. a current Australian open driver licence;
  2. a restricted driver licence issued under section 87 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995

A restricted licence under section 87 is a work licence issued by the courts for a drink or drug driving offence and isn’t related to a special hardship licence.

Therefore for the Drivers Authorisation to be valid a special hardship licence must be considered to be an open licence.  The law also states that if a court makes a special hardship order for a person the suspension of the person’s open licence ends when the order is made.

The law therefore allows a Drivers Authorisation to continue if a transport worker is granted a special hardship licence if however the hardship licence is not granted then the licence is suspended and the DA also ends


Could my Drivers Authorisation still be suspended even if a hardship licence is granted?

It is possible, but generally unlikely, that the offences that led to the need for the special hardship licence are such that even if special hardship licence is granted that TMR still actually suspend the DA.

TMR looks generally at the following factors to determine if past offences with affect a passenger transport workers DA;

  • the severity of offences;
  • the frequency of offences;
  • and whether offences occurred in a public passenger vehicle

Lets take the example of a uber driver who is caught driving 60 km/h over the speed limit in a school zone with paying passengers in the car.  In that case TMR might think the offence so serious that even if a court issued a special hardship order that they would suspend or cancel the DA.


What goes into the special hardship application?

We have a full article on what goes into a special hardship application, the court process and what happens after the hardship licence is granted. 


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.


Where are your offices located

We have 7 offices across Southeast Queensland.  Please always ring first as your local office may be unattended if our staff are in court.  We have spent years developing systems that mean in most cases you wont even need to come in to see us to engage the best legal representation.




Gold Coast



Hervey Bay


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

 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 special hardship licences.


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 Friday, 10 February 2023 19:09
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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