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December 16, 2014
An Extraordinary Drivers License: The Times Are A Changing

By Steven Blyth, Partner

Approximately two years ago the government moved to tighten laws concerning the granting of extraordinary drivers licenses.

The commission of many traffic offences including reckless driving, dangerous driving, drink driving and driving under suspension often resulted in drivers licenses being disqualified or cancelled.

The disqualification of a driver’s license means that for a period of time a person is not entitled to drive a motor vehicle, but at the expiration of that period of time, the person can resume driving.

The cancellation of a license entirely removes the person’s license and requires that person to go through the entire process of obtaining a drivers license, including passing relevant tests.

Tightened Restrictions Put in Place

Section 76 (3b) of the Road Traffic Act severely tightened up and restricted the capacity of a person to apply for and obtain an extraordinary drivers license.

The 3 criterion that now exist in order to obtain an extraordinary drivers license are:

1. That license is needed to enable the applicant to obtain urgent medical treatment for an illness, disease or disability suffered by the applicant or a person who is a member of the applicant’s family.

2. The refusal to grant an application for an extraordinary drivers license will place an undue financial burden on the applicant or his family by depriving him of his principal means of obtaining income.

3. To not grant an extraordinary license will deprive the person of the only practical means of travelling to and from the place at which that person is employed.

Accordingly, an application for an extraordinary drivers license will no longer be granted in circumstances where the lack of a license is an ‘inconvenience’ to a person (i.e. if a person is able to travel to and from their place of work by public transport, if a person cannot not perform a second and non primary job such as working as a mobile security officer, or, if a child of a person needs regular but non urgent medical treatment, an extraordinary drivers license will not be granted).

Providing Evidence in Support of One of the Three Criterion

It is now more than ever, necessary to provide to a court, evidence that establishes one of the three criterion for obtaining an extraordinary drivers license exists.

In particular when relying on paragraph two above, an employer is now expected to provide a letter to the court confirming a person’s employment, and that unless that employee has a drivers license, that person will be unable to perform their employment duties, and will lose their employment or will not be employed (as the case may be).

Contact Steven Blyth, Partner at LBH on