Limited / Work Licences

If you have been suspended or disqualified from driving due to one of the following reasons we may be able to assist you in applying for a temporary / limited driver’s licence:

  • a conviction under the Land Transport Act 1998 (“the Act”); or
  • accumulation of 100 demerit points or more within a two-year period.

Example 1

“Richard was enjoying a few beers at his daughter’s house while watching the rugby. When it was time to head home he felt confident to drive. He had no previous convictions and he viewed himself as a responsible driver. Halfway home Richard was stopped at a Police check-point and his alcohol to breath ratio was 460 mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. Richard was charged with driving with excess breath alcohol (EBA). Once Richard’s court date rolled around he was convicted and he lost his licence for the minimum period for his offence, which was six months, and he was ordered to pay a $600.00 fine. Richard owns his own small trucking company and driving throughout the lower North Island is essential to effectively operate the business. After a stand-down period of 28 days Richard’s application for a limited licence was successful and he was able to drive as required to operate his business.” 

Alcohol limits

The Land Transport Amendment Bill came into effect on 01 December 2014 and lowered the alcohol limit for drivers aged 20 years and over from 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath to 250mcg. The blood alcohol limit lowered from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (0.08), to 50mg (0.05). Driving with a breath alcohol reading within that lower range of 251 to 400 mcg will now set you back $200.00 and 50 demerit points. A breath alcohol reading above 400 mcg will still result in a conviction for driving with excess breath alcohol, like Richard above. Two readings between 250mcg and 400mcg within a two year period will result in an accumulation of 100 demerit points and result in suspension from driving for 3 months.

28 day stand down period

Section 104 of the Act sets out the offences which require a 28-day stand-down period before a Court may grant a limited licence. Those offences include; logbook offences, alcohol related offences and reckless or dangerous driving offences.

Example 2

“James was 23 years old and had saved enough to purchase the car he always dreamed of owning. While James was usually a fairly careful driver he was excited about his new car and enjoyed repeatedly revving the engine while waiting at red lights. One day when the light changed his car leapt forward and skidded through the intersection narrowly missing an on-coming vehicle. James was pulled over by Police and charged with reckless driving and convicted soon aftewards. He was disqualified from driving for a period of 9 months. James had recently gained employment as a painter and was required by his employer to drive to different job sites throughout the city where he lived. Unfortunately, James was unable to apply for a limited licence as he had been convicted of driving with excess breath alcohol 2 years previously. James lost his job and has had difficulty finding another without a driver’s licence. 

Some people may not apply

Section 103(2) of the Act sets out a list of offences and prohibits the application for a limited licence by a person who has been convicted of two or more of those offences within a five-year period. The listed offences include alcohol related offences and reckless or dangerous driving. 

Example 3

“Susan was in a rush to pick up her children from their schools after she finished work. She was halfway to her daughter’s primary school when she was pulled over by Police while travelling at 61 km per hour. Soon afterwards she received an infringement notice in the mail, which she paid by the due date. When she paid the fine 20 demerit points were also added to her accumulated demerit points bringing her total to 100 points within a two-year period. Soon afterwards Susan was served with a notice informing her that she was suspended from driving for a period of three months. Susan lived close to her workplace and could walk to work but she was a single mother and had no way to transport her children to their schools or for other purposes if she could not drive. She immediately applied for a limited licence to drive her children and was successful. 

Tests to reach to be granted a limited licence

Before it will grant a limited licence, the Court must be satisfied that the applicant can meet one or both of the tests set out in section 105(2) of the Act. The applicant is required to show either; extreme hardship to themselves (whether in relation to employment or otherwise) or undue hardship to a person other than the applicant (whether in relation to employment or otherwise). The test for extreme hardship is high but will often be met if the applicant is faced with losing their job without a licence. The test of undue hardship to another has been satisfied when an applicant can demonstrate that being unable to drive will cause hardship to their children, like Susan above.

Contact us with any questions or click here and complete our online legal toolbox form.