Applying for a special hardship must be done in the approved form and an application must be accompanied by supporting evidence in the form of affidavits.
Normally, an application for a special hardship order requires 3 things:
- A designated application form,
- An affidavit from the applicant which sets out why they should be granted a special hardship order, and
- An affidavit from the applicant’s employer setting out the implications that a licence disqualification will have for their employment.
Self-employed individuals, however, can prepare a single affidavit setting out their need for a special hardship order and the implications for their business if they are not able to drive in a single document.
The format of the application is set out by law (it must be made ‘in the approved form’) so it is very important that the correct form is used. Furthermore, the format and content of an affidavit for a special hardship order is quite particular and we strongly advise that, if you wish to apply for a special hardship order, you prepare your application and supporting material correctly to avoid delay and, at worst, a refusal.
Once the material is prepared, the process for making the application requires the applicant to ‘file and serve’ their application and affidavits. This means filing a copy of the application with the registry of the court which will sentence them and serving a copy of those same documents on the relevant prosecuting authority (almost always the Department of Transport).
Once a correct application is filed, a hearing date will be allocated in the Magistrates Court (meaning the applicant will need to attend court and argue the merits of their application, normally against a lawyer employed by the Department of Transport).
After a correct application has been filed, and a hearing date allocated, a copy must be served non the Department of Transport and, once this is done, the person’s suspension is lifted until the day before the hearing.