Limited Licences 

What is a limited licence?

If you’ve been disqualified or suspended from driving, you may be able to apply for a limited licence which allows you to drive in limited situations, times, or areas. Also known as a 'work licence', a limited licence might be granted if your disqualification or suspension would cause extreme or undue hardship to you or another person. For example if you have a business as an owner/driver, or if you have a disabled relative who is unable to go to hospital appointments without you to drive them. 

Who can apply for a limited licence?

You can apply for a limited licence (work licence) if:

  • you have been disqualified by court order for reasons other than repeat alcohol/drug offences or driving while disqualified or
  • your licence has been suspended due to the total number of demerit points you've accumulated 

There are a number of situations in which your application may be declined. These include:

  • You have a 28-day licence suspension for excess speed or alcohol
  • Your licence was suspended or revoked on medical grounds
  • You are indefinitely disqualified because of repeat alcohol or drug driving offences
  • You are disqualified for driving while already disqualified or suspended

More information about situations in which your application for a limited licence may be declined, is on the NZTA factsheet, Limited Licences

How do I apply for a limited licence?

The application for a limited licence can be a complex procedure.

You don’t need a lawyer to apply for a limited licence, but having a lawyer help you get together the required documents and present them to court, can make the process much easier for you.

If you want to save money by doing it yourself, have a look at the Community Law guide, Applying for a Limited Licence. This guide explains the procedure and includes sample affidavits. Another option is to buy a do-it-yourself kit from one of the limited licence specialists.

There are two steps to applying for a limited licence:

1. Apply for a court order authorising you to obtain a limited licence

You will need to make a written application saying why you need a limited licence, which particular vehicle you want to drive, and where and when you wish to drive. You’ll also need to swear an affidavit (a clearly set out document which is sworn on the Bible or affirmed on oath, which can be used as evidence in court), and may need to obtain affidavits from other people as well explaining why you need a limited licence. The people making these affidavits may also need to appear in court as well. Court fees will apply.

If the court order is granted, you can proceed to the next step.

2. Apply for a limited licence at any NZTA driver licensing agent

You will need to:

  • complete a DL15 application form,
  • pay the limited licence application fee (around $40), and
  • provide some proof of your identity and address

If NZTA approves your application, they will issue you with a temporary limited licence to use while your photographic limited licence is processed and posted to you. You will need to have both the limited licence and the court order with you whenever you drive.

If you receive a further disqualification while you hold a limited licence, the limited licence will be revoked.