Applying for a restricted driver licence

If your driver licence has been (or is about to be) cancelled or suspended, you can apply for a restricted driver licence.

You must provide evidence that:

  • having your licence cancelled or suspended will impose ‘severe and unusual hardship’ on you or your dependents. Loss of employment on its own may not be enough
  • giving you a restricted driver licence will ease that hardship
  • there is no alternative transport reasonably available to you. You may need to produce bus timetables and taxi quotes; and prove that friends, relatives or workmates can’t drive for you
  • giving you a restricted driver licence will be consistent with the public interest. Your previous driving history is relevant here, so you must state any traffic convictions or infringement notices (both in and out of Tasmania). You can get a statement of these from Tasmania Police

Be aware that, if you’re granted a restricted driver licence after being convicted of a drink-driving offence, the magistrate has the power to increase how long you’re disqualified for (by up to twice the original period).

If you are granted a restricted driver licence, you are not allowed to drive until you get a copy of your Order from the court registry and you receive your restricted licence from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (through a Service Tasmania shop).

You can’t get a restricted driver licence if:

A) Under the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999:

  • your licence is (or is liable to be) suspended because you’ve accumulated demerit points, and you have (or had) the option of entering into an undertaking for a period of good driving behaviour
  • you do not hold a current Australian driver licence and can’t apply for one, because of the demerit points you’ve accumulated
  • you are a novice driver who hasn’t held a provisional licence for a continuous period of 12 months or; you are a P1 licence holder who has been (or will be) regressed to an L2 licence
  • you have been disqualified from driving in accordance with an excessive drink driving notice that hasn’t been cancelled or determined by a Court
  • you’ve never held any Australian driver licence

B) you committed an offence under the Road Safety (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1972 and:

  • your offence was committed while you were disqualified, or within 3 years after ending any disqualification (under this Act)
  • your offence was driving with a blood alcohol content equal to or greater than 0.15%
  • your offence was driving under the influence of a drug or alcohol
  • your offence was objecting to a blood/urine sample analysis
  • your offence was refusing or failing to submit to a breath analysis/blood sample/medical examination
  • you held a learner or provisional licence at the time of your offence (unless your offence was driving with an illicit prescribed drug in your blood)
  • you drove a vehicle without the appropriate licence (for example, driving a truck without a relevant truck licence) at the time of the offence (unless your offence was driving with an illicit prescribed drug in your blood)
  • you drove a prescribed vehicle at the time of the offence (for example a taxi, bus, luxury hire car, or a vehicle with a GVM exceeding 4.5 tonnes)

How to apply

You must:

  1. complete the Application Restricted Driver Licence form
  2. attach all your evidence
  3. take this to your local Magistrates Court, and pay a filing fee.
  4. Court staff will check your application and give you a listing date and time for Court (not less than 7 days from date of lodgement).
  5. you must then serve a copy of your application and evidence (at least 7 days before the court date) to:
    1. the Police Prosecution branch closest to the Magistrates Court
    2. the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (through a Service Tasmania shop)

The person who accepts a copy of your application must sign the "acknowledgement of service" document. You must then bring and produce this document with you to Court.

Evidence to provide

From your employer

If you need to drive as part of your job, ask your employer to come to your court hearing to give evidence to support this. In some cases, a signed letter from your employer may be accepted..

For an alcohol-related offence

You may need to produce a letter from your doctor certifying that you’re not alcohol dependent.

Evidence of being disqualified

You must produce evidence that:

  • you have been (or you will be) disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence; or
  • your licence is (or will be) suspended because you’ve accumulated demerit points

If your application relates to being disqualified for excessive speed, a drink driving notice, or demerit points, you must produce the notice you received from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. This notice states the date your disqualification will begin; you must ask for the restricted driver licence to be issued on this date.

Your driver licence details

You must supply details of your Australian driver licence.

You can get a statement of your licence details from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

If your licence has already been cancelled or surrendered, you can get its details at any Service Tasmania shop.

Prior convictions

You must provide a copy of your prior conviction check as part of your application. If you do not have any prior convictions, you will still be required to obtain a statement from Tasmania Police to show this.

Prior conviction checks can be obtained by application to Tasmania Police.

Conditions

The court can impose conditions on your restricted driver licence, such as:

  • limiting your driving to specific routes
  • limiting your driving to specific days or hours of the day
  • imposing a no-alcohol condition
  • making you keep a detailed log book of journeys, to be produced to a police officer if asked.

You may also be required to take part in the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program. You can find more information about this at the Department of State Growth website.