Special Hardship Licence Applications 

The accrual of demerit points has the capacity to put a person’s driver’s licence status in peril. Offences which carry the imposition of demerit points include speeding or using a mobile telephone while driving. Many offences carry demerit point accumulation liabilities for careless drivers and you can refer to the attached schedule from Queensland Transport for further information on points loss for various offences.


You may also check your points balance with Queensland Transport.

The number of demerit points which may be accrued before a licence is suspended varies according to the type of licence held by the driver.

The holder of an open licence will receive a warning letter if they accrue 7 points within a 3 year period may have their licence suspended if they accrue 12 points.

For Learner and Provisional licence holders, 4 points within a year puts the driver at risk of suspension.

When a driver reaches the suspension point, they will receive a letter from Queensland Transport offering a “Notice to choose”. At this point the driver may elect to serve the licence suspension attracted by the points loss, or agree to a Good Behaviour Driving Order (GBDO) for one year. On the GBDO, the driver may not incur any further demerit points in that year:- if they do so, their licence will be suspended for double the period that it would have been had they elected to serve the initial suspension attracted by the points loss.

Upon receipt of a “Notice to choose”, a Driver must make the election within a strict time frame outlined on the Accumulation of Demerit Points – Notice to Choose document. Failure to do so means the driver will be automatically suspended. It is critical that a driver keeps Queensland Transport appraised of their contact details to ensure they receive correspondence.

If you receive notice of a licence suspension, you may be eligible to apply for a Special Hardship Licence if you can satisfy the Court that the licence suspension will cause extreme hardship to you by depriving you of your means of earning a living or will cause severe and unusual hardship to you in some other way.

Strict timeframes apply to lodging an application for a Special Hardship Order, which must be filed with the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the suspension commencing. The application must also be served on the Department of Transport, who will have an opportunity to support or oppose the application.

Not all drivers are eligible to apply for a Special Hardship Order. Applicants must not have had their licence disqualified or suspended within the 5 years preceding the application, nor been charged with Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle. Applicants must have held a valid licence at the time of the suspension.

An application form can be collected from a Magistrates Court registry or Department of Transport office.