Services

Criminal Litigation; firearms, limited licences

LIMITED LICENCES

If you have been suspended or disqualified from driving and the loss of your licence will cause you extreme hardship, or other persons undue hardship, you MAY be eligible to apply for a limited licence.

These licences have become commonly known as ‘work licences’ as the majority of these applications are made by people who need to drive as part of their job.

A limited drivers licence will generally enable you to drive solely for the purpose of either carrying out your work or getting to or from your work. If, as a consequence of your being disqualified or suspended from driving for a period of time, you will be unable to carry out your work, thus putting your employment in jeopardy and causing you financial hardship, Mactodd may be able to help you obtain a limited drivers licence. Matters of road and public safety will always be of primary importance.

Different processes apply depending on whether you have been disqualified by order of the Court or whether you have been disqualified through the accumulation of excess demerit points in a certain period (currently 2 years).

If you have been disqualified from driving by a Court, for example as a result of a conviction for excess breath or blood alcohol, you must observe a 28 day mandatory stand down period. This means that you cannot make an application for a limited licence until 28 days has expired from the date of your conviction.

• There is an application fee payable to the Ministry of Justice which currently stands at $153.33.

• The application must be filed in the Court in which you were disqualified.

• Queenstown District Court generally sits once every fortnight on a Monday.

• In Queenstown, the application is required to be filed no later than 7 days before the Court hearing.

• You need to make a written application and support this with sworn affidavit evidence.

• If seeking a limited licence for work purposes, your employer may be required to swear an affidavit to support your application. Please note that generally letters of support from employers are insufficient for these types of application and your employer must be willing to swear an affidavit.

Mactodd can assist with the drafting of any necessary applications, affidavits and draft Court orders as required.

In relation to offences of careless driving, you do not need to observe the mandatory 28 day stand down period and can make an application for a limited licence at an earlier stage.

If you have been suspended from driving for the accumulation of excess demerit points, you can make an application for a limited licence as soon as you have been served with the Notice of Suspension. However, please note that the general restrictions on the availability of the Court only every 2 weeks here in Queenstown and the usual requirement to file an application 7 days in advance do still apply. With demerit points, you can file your application in any Court and Mactodd can advise you as to the availability of other Court sittings that may suit your needs if Queenstown Court is not available within your desired timeframe.

With any limited licence application you must be in a position to place evidence before the Court that you will suffer extreme hardship as a result of not being able to drive, or that others will suffer undue hardship. This is generally done by adducing evidence that if you are not in a position to drive you are at risk of losing your employment or that your employer or work colleagues will suffer undue hardship as a result of you being unable to drive.

A limited licence is exactly what it says. It is a licence to drive in limited circumstances. You are likely to face restrictions on the areas in which you can drive, the days of the week and the hours of the day in which you can drive. You will also face restrictions on what vehicles you can drive. Any application for a limited licence must contain details of the specific vehicles, days, hours and routes you wish to be able to drive on. It must also set out the reasons why you need to drive.

Limited licences are applications made to a Judge sitting in a District Court. They are in no way guaranteed and people are not entitled to them as of right. The statutory tests must be met.

You should also be aware that there are certain circumstances where you will simply be unable to make an application for a limited licence. If, for example, you have 2 convictions for driving with excess breath or blood alcohol within the space of 5 years, you will be unable to make an application for a limited licence. There are a number of other situations where you are unable to apply for a limited licence and therefore you are strongly advised to take legal advice as to your eligibility to make the application before doing so.

Matters of road and public safety will always be of primary importance. If you have a significant history of offending under the Land Transport legislation and/or a significant history of speeding, the police are entitled to and would be likely to oppose your application for a limited licence. These are also matters that will be taken into account by any Judge ultimately deciding on whether to grant you a limited licence or not.

If you are successful in obtaining a Court order permitting you to make an application for a limited licence, you will thereafter have to make an application for that licence to the New Zealand Transport Agency and fees are payable to that agency quite separate from the Court fees in the usual way.

The easiest way to avoid the complications of having to make an application for a limited licence is to ensure you do not put yourself in a position where you are either disqualified or suspended from driving.

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility.