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Apply for a Restricted Licence in Queensland

In Queensland, if you have an open, provisional or probationary licence and you have been suspended or disqualified from driving as a result of a conviction for certain traffic offences, it may be possible for you to obtain an interim or restricted licence so that you may continue working.

Restricted Licence in Queensland


The rules and processes relating to restricted licences in Queensland are managed by the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 and the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010. Restricted licences can be issued under s 87 of the Act.

How to apply for a restricted licence in Queensland

To apply for a restricted licence in Queensland, you must make an application to the court where your driving offence matter is to be heard.

You must apply using the approved form (Form F3181 – Application for an Order Directing the Issue of a Restricted Licence). You must also make yourself available to give evidence and to be cross-examined as a witness if necessary. Other witnesses may be called by either the prosecution or in your defence.

When to apply for a restricted licence in Queensland

If you wish to apply for a restricted licence in Queensland, the application must be made:

  • at the proceedings when your conviction for the driving offence is recorded
  • before the court makes an order which will disqualify you from driving.

The court will make an order for a restricted licence either:

  • at the proceedings when your conviction for the driving offence is recorded or
  • in conjunction with an order which otherwise disqualifies you from driving.

Information to include when making an application

This type of licence is difficult to obtain. You must satisfy the court that:

  • bearing in mind the safety of the public and other road users, you are a fit and proper person and should be able to drive in these limited circumstances
  • you or your family would experience extreme hardship if you could not earn a living.

If you are self-employed, you must include an affidavit setting out your personal circumstances, including details of your work, the financial hardship that will result from your disqualification from driving, and your work-related driving requirements.

If you are employed by someone else, you must include an affidavit from your employer which explains your need for a licence and what will happen if you cannot drive for the disqualification period.

The affidavits must be in the form approved by the court, and must be witnessed as instructed.

Possible outcomes of your application

If you do not apply for a restricted licence, or the court does not grant your application, you must not drive for the period of the disqualification.

If the court does grant your application, the Judge or Magistrate will make an order instructing the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to issue you with a restricted licence. They will set out in the order what restrictions apply to you.

You must then attend the TMR with copies of your court order for issue of a licence. Your restricted licence applies from the date of the court order for the duration of the period set by the court. This may be up to twice the period for which you would otherwise have been disqualified.

Appealing the court’s decision

If you apply for a restricted licence in Queensland and your application is rejected, your only option is to seek judicial review through administrative law processes in QCAT. Case law has determined that it is not a decision which can be appealed through the courts.

In addition, any decision of QCAT is final and cannot be appealed.

Driving on a restricted licence in Queensland

For all successful applicants, your licence will be restricted to use for purposes directly connected with your work, or how you earn your living. You must not drive for any other purpose, such as driving your children to school, picking up groceries, or attending a medical appointment.

It may also restrict the type of vehicle you are permitted to drive, the times of day or periods of time during which you are allowed to drive, and the people you are permitted to carry as passenger.

The court may also order that you wear a work uniform while driving, and maintain a log book.

What to do if your circumstances change while on a restricted licence

If you have been granted permission to drive on a restricted licence and your circumstances change, you may apply to the Magistrates Court in the area in which you live for a variation on the restrictions attached to your licence.

The application must be in the approved form and, as before, you must be willing to present yourself to the court to give evidence and to be cross-examined as a witness. Others may again also be called to testify.

You must provide written notice of your application to the police at least 14 days prior to the hearing. The police are entitled to be represented at your hearing and to contest your application.

This article reflects the state of the law as at 2 February 2016. It is intended to be of a general nature only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require legal assistance, please telephone 1300 636 846 or request a consultation at


Michelle Makela

Michelle Makela is one of our Legal Practice Directors and the National Practice Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master’s in Criminology. Michelle has had a varied career, working in commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. Michelle joined Go To Court Lawyers in 2011. She now supervises a team of over 80 solicitors across Australia.

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