Western Australia is the only State in Australia which empowers the courts to grant an extraordinary licence to a person who is currently subject to a court-imposed licence disqualification or cancellation. An Extraordinary Licence remains valid for the duration of your licence disqualification and must be renewed every 12 months.
An Extraordinary Licence is a special purpose licence that permits you to drive for one or more of the following purposes:
a) carrying out your duties of employment;
b) earning your primary source of income;
c) or obtaining urgent medical treatment.
An Extraordinary Licence will not permit you to drive for any other purpose, such as collecting your children from school or social trips. An Extraordinary Licence permits you to drive on specific days, at specific times in a specified area. Generally, an order will permit you to drive within a geographical radius of Perth Magistrates Court or the local Courthouse where you live and work.
Who can apply for an Extraordinary Licence?
You can apply for an Extraordinary Licence if your licence has been suspended or cancelled by a Court for an offence such as Reckless Driving, Drink Driving, Dangerous Driving, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol or Driving while Disqualified.
If you are disqualified for demerit points or for breaching a 12-month Good Behaviour Period commonly known as the “Double or Nothing” scheme, unfortunately you are not eligible to apply for an Extraordinary Licence.
When can I apply for an Extraordinary Licence?
In most circumstances you can apply for an Extraordinary Licence after waiting 21 days from the date that the court disqualifies your licence. If you have prior convictions for Drink Driving or Refusing to Provide a Sample of Breath for Analysis and have been convicted for a second or subsequent offence, the waiting period is 2 – 4 months.
How do I apply for an Extraordinary Licence?
An application is made to the Magistrates Court by lodging an application with the Magistrates Court and paying the prescribed fee. The application must be supported by an Affidavit, which is a written signed statement of the evidence that you intend to give in support of your application which is sworn on oath or affirmation.
What happens at the hearing of my Extraordinary Licence application?
The application will listed for a court hearing, you are required to attend the court hearing. At the court hearing you will likely be required to give oral evidence and you will be cross-examined by a lawyer representing the Department of Transport. If your application is opposed by the Department of Transport, the court will hear submissions from the Department and from you or your lawyer before making a decision about whether to grant you an Extraordinary Licence.
What criteria do I need to meet to obtain at Extraordinary Licence?
You must satisfy the Court that you satisfy one of the following criteria:
Unless granted an Extraordinary Licence -
1. you (or a member of your family) will be deprived of the only practicable means of carrying out your duties of employment;
2. you (or a member of your family) will be deprived of your principal means of earning an income;
3. you (or a member of your family) will be deprived of urgent medical treatment.
If you satisfy one or more of the above criteria, the court must then consider whether the grant of an Extraordinary Licence is appropriate in the circumstances of the case. In making this decision, the court is required to consider:
a) Your character generally including your Criminal and Traffic History;
b) Whether you have committed any driving offences since being disqualified from driving;
c) Whether granting you a licence would pose a danger to public safety and any steps you have taken to address the risk to public safety;
d) The circumstances of the offence for which you were disqualified,
e) Whether you are likely to comply with conditions of an Extraordinary Licence
What evidence am I required to provide in support of my application for an Extraordinary License?
If you are an employee or have been offered a job and you are seeking a licence to enable you to carry out your job, you will need to provide a reference letter from your manager on business letterhead. The reference letter must include the following information:
· Employer is aware reference is to be used in your application for an extraordinary license.
· They are also aware that you are disqualified from driving for offences of …
· Your employment position and how long you have been employed in the position.
· Days and times of work.
· Locations that you are required to drive to in carrying out your duties of employment.
· Stating what will happen to your employment if you are unable to obtain an Extraordinary Licence – will you lose your job?
You will also need to provide evidence of your financial position, for example:
· Mortgage statement/Rental Agreement.
· Personal bank statements.
· If you are self-employed, business bank statement and BAS.
· Recent tax return.
It is also a good idea to obtain some personal character references, these should include the following information:
· How they know you and how long they’ve known you for.
· They are aware that the reference is to be used in your application for an extraordinary license. They are also aware that you are disqualified from driving for…
· Their knowledge of your character, work ethic etc.
· Steps you have taken to reduce your alcohol consumption (if you are disqualified for drink driving)
· They are confident that you will abide by conditions of EDL.
If you are disqualified for drink driving, you should also provide evidence that you have moderated your alcohol consumption. This can be done by having your doctor refer you for a liver function test, CDT test or Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) Test. Your doctor will need to provide a brief letter interpreting the results of the test, confirming whether the results are consistent with moderate or no alcohol consumption.
If you have convictions for drug offences or driving with a prescribed drug in your oral fluid, you should undertake at least two drug tests showing negative results and have your doctor provide a letter confirming the result.
What conditions will I be required to comply with while on an Extraordinary Licence?
The usual conditions attached to an Extraordinary Licence are that you maintain a blood alcohol level of 0.00 at all times while driving a vehicle, maintain a logbook and make an entry and the beginning and completion of each journey, display E plates at all times while driving, drive strictly only for the purposes permitted by your licence and comply with all road laws.
Will I be subject to the Alcohol Interlock Scheme while on an Extraordinary Licence?
If you have been convicted of Driving Under the Influence (>0.15) or a second offence of mid-range drink driving (>0.08) within a 5-year period, you will be required to comply with the Alcohol Interlock requirement for the duration of your Extraordinary Licence. If you do not obtain an Extraordinary Licence, you are required to comply with the scheme for 6 months once your regular drivers licence becomes valid.
If my application is refused, how long do I need to wait before I can reapply?
The waiting period is 6 months from the date of refusal.
What happens if I breach the conditions of my Extraordinary Licence?
The Court must cancel your Extraordinary Licence unless persuaded that there are special reasons to not cancel the Extraordinary Licence.
What happens if I commit a demerit point offence while on an Extraordinary Licence?
When you apply for a renewal of your Extraordinary Licence, the Department of Transport may refuse to renew the licence and require you to make a fresh application to the Court once your existing Extraordinary Licence expires.