We offer a package deal of $950 plus GST [plus filing fee] for drafting the application, draft orders, supporting affidavits and for representing you in court.

Please note, due to a change in legislation if you provide a reading of 800 micrograms [or more] of alcohol per litre of breath or exceeds 160 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood you will not be permitted to apply for a limited licence. please make contact for further information if this applies to you. 

If you have lost your licence but need one to work or to transport your children, you may be able to apply for a limited licence. A limited licence allows you to drive for a limited purpose such as driving to and from work, during limited days and times.

To apply for a limited licence, you have to make an application to the District Court. You don’t need a lawyer to make an application but we recommend you seek legal assistance since the court system can be stressful and confusing. Also, if your application is unsuccessful, you will not be entitled to apply for a limited licence for another three months. Therefore, it is best to seek legal assistance early on.

Who can apply for a limited licence?

If you have lost your licence and you believe there is an extreme hardship to yourself or undue hardship to another, you may apply for a limited licence. However, you CANNOT apply for a limited licence if you:

  • have been disqualified from driving for an indefinite period under section 65 of the Land Transport Act; or
  • are currently disqualified as a result of being convicted of driving while disqualified or driving outside of the terms of your limited licence [that includes driving whilst suspended [excess demerit points]]; or
  • have committed a serious driving offence that has a minimum of six months disqualification within five years [of a previous like offence-if this may apply to you seek advice]; or
  • are disqualified from driving a passenger transport vehicle such as a bus/taxi and you want a limited licence in order to drive that vehicle.

Stand down period

If you were disqualified from driving for an offence with a mandatory sentence of six months disqualification from driving (e.g. drink driving) there is a mandatory 28 day stand down period. This means the Court will not hear your application for a limited licence until 28 days after the date you were disqualified (sentenced in court). However, this does not prevent you from filing earlier but a date for the hearing will not be set until the 28 day period has expired.

If your offence has a mandatory sentence of less than six months [for example careless driving [which leaves the period of disqualification to the discretion of the court]] there is no mandatory stand down period. You may apply in the District Court at any time.

If you are suspended for excess demerit points there is no stand down period.

How long does it take before I get my licence?

The first stage is to gather all the required information and draft an application, orders and affidavit's [at least your own], an affidavit is a sworn statement. The District Court in Hamilton accepts applications five days a week. However, the hearing is allocated when the time is available in the court's calendar. These are held each day [often in Court Room 2 at 10.00 a.m.]. The application must also be filed with the Police who may object to the application. During the hearing, you will need to argue why you should be granted a limited licence. It may be possible to discuss the terms set out in the draft order with Police that requires amendment [of the draft orders] for the Police to agree [or not oppose] the application. If the Court rules in your favour, you may then obtain the limited licence from the NZTA. You will be issued with a temporary one to use while your photographic limited licence is being manufactured and mailed to you.

BUT be aware a limited licence is a privilege, not a right and a District Court Judge takes many matters into account and has an overriding duty to consider public safety. It is NOT a tick box exercise.

How much does it cost to apply for a limited licence?

The cost of filing an application for a limited licence at the District Court is $150 court costs if you lost your licence due to a criminal offence or $200 plus $50 court costs ($250) if you lost your licence due to excess demerit points.

Although you don’t have to obtain a lawyer, it will make it easier for you if you do. Lawyer’s fees range and we suggest ringing around to find the best deal. We offer a package deal of $950 plus GST for drafting the application, supporting affidavits and representing you in court.

The cost for obtaining a limited licence itself from NZTA is $39.50.

What does the court consider when deciding whether to grant a limited licence?

The Court will consider whether:

  • you are eligible to apply for a licence; and
  • if you will suffer extreme hardship or someone else (such as your children/employer) will suffer undue hardship as a result of losing your licence; and
  • if there is any public safety risk in granting you a licence. A disqualification from driving is intended to punish the offender, not their family or employer. As such, the standard for hardship is greater for you as the applicant (extreme hardship) than those that are affected by your loss of licence. Consequently, it is harder to prove extreme hardship as you would need to show driving is a crucial part of your employment and without a licence, you risk losing your livelihood. Bear in mind, courts don’t care that you might be inconvenienced by having to take the bus to work. Undue hardship on someone else (such as an employer) is much easier to prove. You would need to show that not being able to drive would cause undue hardship to your employer to have to re-assign or temporarily employ someone else to do your job. Undue hardship to your family if you couldn’t drive would need to be more than merely the inconvenience. You would need to show greater than normal hardship on your family if you couldn’t drive, such as a disabled partner/parent relies on you to drive them to appointments etc.

How will you be limited under the limited licence?

If you are granted a limited licence, the court will specify:

  • why the licence was granted;
  • the circumstances in which you are permitted to drive (e.g. to and from work);
  • the details of the vehicle you are allowed to drive;
  • the days and times of the week that you are allowed to drive;
  • the areas in which you are allowed to drive.

This website contains general information about legal matters. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer.   If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.