If you are charged with drug or drink driving in Queensland you may be able to apply for a work licence to continue to drive. This article explains who can apply for a work licence, what the process is and whether the court will likely grant a work licence

A driver’s licence and the ability to drive can be one of the most valuable services provided by the Government.  It is not until that ability to drive is threatened that how important that licence is to your day to day activities and work is revealed.  In Queensland the courts have only limited circumstances where they can grant a licence where a person is facing a suspension or disqualification.  These are where a person is charged with drink or drug driving and without a licence they will lose their job or where a person has incurred 2 or more demerit points on a good driving behaviour period or exceeded 40 km/h.  These types of applications are highly technical.

Work Licences

A work licence (also known as a restricted licence or day licence) is a special type of licence that may be issued by the court to persons convicted of a low or mid range drink driving charge (a BAC reading under .15) or a drug driving charge (driving with a relevant drug).   A work licence replaces your normal Queensland drivers’ licence for the period of the disqualification imposed by the court.

A work licence can only be used for work purposes; you cannot use a work licence to drive to the shops or dropping kids off at school.  A work licence is designed to allow you to continue to earn a living where a driver’s licence is an essential component to you earning a living.

To be eligible to apply for a work licence you must:

  • hold a current Queensland open driver's licence for the vehicle you were driving
  • have had a blood alcohol level of less than 0.15% or if it was a drug driving charge what it was driving with a relevant drug and not drug driving under the influence
  • not have been driving for your job (there are certain exemptions) or already under a work licence when arrested
  • not have been driving under a licence that required your blood alcohol level (BAC) to be zero e.g. if you are on a learner, provisional, probationary or restricted license.
  • In the last 5 years not lost your licence

In order for the court to grant a work licence you must show the court that you are a 'fit and proper person' and that if you don't get a work licence this will cause you or your family extreme hardship by depriving you of your means of earning a living.

The court may restrict the hours and circumstances in which you can drive.  A work licence requires extensive affidavit evidence of both yourself and your employer to convince the court you should receive a work licence.  A work licence must be applied for before you plead guilty, you cannot apply for a work licence after the court finds you guilty of drink driving or drug driving.  Clarity law are experts on work licences, we have acted for all types of people in their applications, from self-employed people and business owners to professional drivers and salespeople.  By engaging Clarity Law you will get professionally drafted affidavits and expert representation in the court.   We are happy to discuss, free of charge, whether you can apply for a work licence and what restrictions the court may impose on you.

If you need more information click here to complete a form for us to contact you or visit our work licence page.


Need more information?

We have a range of articles on work licences on our blog.  Some of the most recent have included:


Special Hardship Licenses

A special hardship, SHO or demerit points licence is a form of work licence issued when you exceed 2 points on a good driving behaviour period or have exceeded the speed limit by more than 40 km/h.

If you accumulate too many 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. If you choose the suspension or do not reply to this letter, then you have no appeal and cannot get any other licence during the suspension.

If you opt for a good behaviour driving period and lose two or more points during that time, in limited circumstances you can apply to a magistrates court for a special hardship order to enable you to drive for particular purposes only. The grounds for applying are:

  • that losing your licence will result in extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of the means of earning a living, or
  • that losing your licence will cause you or your family severe or unusual hardship

If you have had your licence disqualified by a court or suspended in the last five years you are not eligible to apply for a special hardship licence

If you are granted your special hardship application your licence suspension ends from that date but you can only drive in accordance with the conditions in the special hardship order. Generally the licence conditions will specify you may drive for work purposes or certain defined occasion’s e.g.  taking someone to hospital on a regular basis to receive treatment.

The application for the special hardship licence must be undertaken in the Magistrate’s court nearest to where you live.

Any application for a special hardship licence will require detailed affidavits from yourself and in some cases your employer.  We are happy to discuss, free of charge, whether you can apply for a special hardship licence and what activities the court may allow you to drive for.  If your licence is important you should not apply to the courts without an experienced traffic lawyers assistance.

If you need more information visit our special hardship licence page.


Need more information?

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


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 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. Visit our main website page

We cover all courts in South East Queensland from the Gold Coast to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and out to Toowoomba.  We have 6 offices in South East Queensland to assist people. 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. You will not be chased or hounded to engage us.  Remember its critical you get advice before going to court, failing to get a licence or one that is too restrictive will have an impact on you, your family and your employment or business.

This article general information only and not legal advice and is written subject to our disclaimer that can be read by clicking here