June 2020



                                                                   Savannah Carter

Had your licence suspended or been disqualified from driving?  Need your driver licence for your job or caring for family?  Rest assured you’re likely able to get a limited driver licence (also known as a work licence).

What’s a limited licence?

A limited licence lets you continue driving throughout your suspension or disqualification with some restrictions.  You won’t be able to just drive anywhere, anytime, but you will be able to drive where you need to go, when you need to. 

Can I get a limited driver licence?

There are some criteria.  You have to show the disqualification or suspension will cause extreme hardship to you, or undue (unfair) hardship to another person.  For example, this might be if you’d lose your job if you can’t drive, or your employer will suffer if you can’t drive, or a family member who relies on you for transport to school or medical appointments will suffer.

If you’ve been convicted of certain driving related offences within the past five years you won’t be eligible for a limited licence.  We can assess whether any of these apply to your situation.

What’s the difference between driving disqualification and suspension?

Disqualification - For some driving offences it’s mandatory that you be disqualified from driving.  If you’ve been so disqualified, you have to wait 28 days to get a limited licence.  But that doesn’t mean you should wait to apply! You can still apply as soon as possible, but the start date for your limited licence will be 28 days from your disqualification date rather than straight away.

Suspension - If you accumulate 100 or more demerit points in any two year period the NZTA must suspend your licence for three months.  The good news is that there’s no 28 day waiting period so you can get a limited licence straight away.

How do I apply?

We help our clients get these licences a lot.  They require a court application and the Police get to have a say.  We find it’s best if the limited licence application is as specific as possible about the days, times, vehicles, and locations our clients need to be able to drive in.  You’ll also need to explain why other alternatives aren’t an option, such as taking the bus or having someone else drive you.  We put all of that into an application and written statement before a judge. 

How long does it take to get a limited licence?

It depends, but usually about a month.  We can prepare most applications within a few days.  It then normally takes 1-3 weeks to get a court date.  Once a judge approves the application you can apply to the NZTA for your actual limited licence which should take no longer than 4 days. 

We can help

If you, a family member or an employee need a limited licence, or if you would like to discuss your options or the cost of applying for a limited licence in your circumstances, please contact us to speak to a member of our experienced litigation team today.