Applying For A Restricted Licence

If you have been disqualified from driving or your licence has been cancelled or suspended by the Court – or if you expect one of those things to happen – you may be able to apply to the Magistrates Court
for a restricted driver licence.

Am I eligible?

First check whether you are eligible to hold a restricted licence by reading information on eligibility.

If you apply for a restricted licence but are ineligible to hold onethe Court will not refund your application fee.

You should seek legal advice if you are unsure about your eligibility or your application.

ACT Restricted Drivers Licence

How much will it cost?

When you lodge an application for a restricted licence, you need to pay the applicable court fee.  The applicable fee can be found in the schedule of fees for criminal matters. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can apply to the Court to waiver the fee.  If your application for a restricted licence is granted by the Court, the Road Transport Authority (RTA) will charge you another fee to issue the restricted licence.  Applicable restricted licence fees can be found on the Access Canberra website.

When can I apply?

You may apply for a restricted licence before your expected disqualification or during your disqualification period.

How do I apply?

To apply for a restricted driver licence, you must take 6 steps (Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2000, s 46):

  1. complete an application (Form   2.7) and affidavit (Form   6.11) – available online or from the court front counter.
  2. swear the affidavit in front   of a Justice of the Peace, lawyer or Notary Public. A JP is available 9.30 am-12.30 pm daily at court.
  3. lodge these with the   Magistrates Court and pay the court fee.

Person attending front counter

The counter staff will give you copies to serve on the RTA and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and two ‘affidavits of service’ for you to complete once you have served them. The counter staff will also tell you your hearing date and time.

  1. serve the application and affidavit on the RTA and the AFP (City Police Station) as soon as possible (and within 14 days) to give them time to prepare for the hearing. ‘Serving’ the RTA and AFP means leaving a copy with one of their employees at their front counter. To serve on the RTA attend Level 5, Cosmopolitan Centre (Woden Town Square entrance), 21 Bowes Street, Woden. When you arrive in the foyer, call Transport Licencing from the phone provided.

Active Courtroom

  1. fill in the affidavits of   service, swear them in front of a JP, lawyer or notary public, and lodge them   at court; and
  2. attend court for the hearing   of your application.

Exceptional circumstances

Even if you are eligible to hold a restricted licence, the Magistrate must be satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist which justify letting you hold one (Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2000, s 47).  The Magistrate must consider all of the following:

  • offences (including infringements) against road transport legislation committed by you in the ACT or elsewhere in Australia;
  • any relevant rehabilitation or remedial action you have undertaken, or will undertake;
  • the risk to safety of other road users if you hold a restricted licence;
  • how likely it is that you, or anyone else affected by the outcome of your application (eg members of your family), would suffer or incur any unreasonable inconvenience or loss if you were not granted a restricted licence;
  • whether it would be unreasonable to expect you to use an alternative means of transport, including public transport;
  • how likely it is that your health, or the health of a person who depends on you, will suffer or be put at risk if you don’t hold a restricted licence; and
  • how likely it is that you will comply with any conditions of a restricted licence.

Evidence to support your application

Your affidavit should clearly set out the evidence in support of your application. You should write detailed reasons on why you are making the application and what exceptional circumstances exist to justify you holding a restricted licence.  It is important that you provide full and accurate details.

Attach to your affidavit evidence supporting the things you say in it.

For example, if you need to drive your child to hospital regularly, you should attach a letter or certificate from your child’s doctor setting out why and when your child needs to be driven.

Worker loading Truck

Driver in Hi-Vis

If you need your licence to perform your job, you should attach a statement from your employer setting out your employment and duties, why and when you need to drive and the consequences if you can’t drive.

If you do not include any supporting evidence, the other parties (the RTA and the AFP) may not be able to consider your application properly, which may mean the Magistrate adjourns it to later date to give them time to do this.

Alcohol and Drug Awareness Course

People convicted of drink or drug driving must complete an alcohol and drug awareness course before the RTA can grant them a restricted licence. Further information can be obtained from the ACT Government Justice and Community Services website.

Legal advice

The information provided here is intended as a guide only. It should not be relied upon or treated as if it were legal advice. If you are unsure about whether you may be eligible for a restricted licence, you should seek independent legal advice. Contact Legal Aid ACT on (02) 6243 3411 or 1300 654 314 concerning free legal advice, or view the Legal Aid ACT fact sheet on