Important Changes to Special Hardship Order Applications
The Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010 governs Special Hardship Orders. This regulation has recently been amended.
For those wishing to apply for a Special Hardship Order, it is important to understand how these changes may affect you.
Change 1 – Removal of 21 Day Time Limit
Prior to 1 April 2019, eligible drivers had 21 days from the date of their suspension to apply for a Special Hardship Order. This restriction has now been removed to allow drivers to apply for a Special Hardship Order at any time during their suspension period.
This amendment takes into account the fact that circumstances can change throughout the suspension period. The removal of the time limit allows applications to be made when a person becomes eligible for a Special Hardship Order, regardless of how much of the suspension has been served.
If you are currently serving a suspension period (for the accumulation of demerit points or a high speed offence) and think you may be eligible for a Special Hardship Order, contact our office to arrange a conference.
Change 2 – Removal of Demerit Points Allowance
As of 1 July 2019, drivers on a Special Hardship Order are unable to accumulate any demerit points. If they do so, the driver will be subject to a suspension period of double the original suspension period.
For example, if the original suspension period was 6 months, the accumulation of demerit points will result in a 12 month suspension.
Previously, the demerit point threshold for drivers on a Special Hardship Order was 3.
Will These Changes Apply To Me?
Both changes will apply to all drivers making an application for a Special Hardship Order from 1 July 2019.
If you are currently on a Special Hardship Order and want to know whether these changes apply to you, we strongly recommend obtaining specific advice.
Seek Legal Advice
While this article is intended to provide you with a guide of the general principles that operate in Queensland, it is not to be considered legal advice and may not cover important aspects that apply to your individual circumstances.
If you want to apply for a special hardship order or are unsure if you are eligible, you should seek our advice.