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Everything you need to know about the WA Extraordinary Licence

EDL

If your licence has been disqualified for any reason, or you are facing a disqualification based on a recent incident – you can apply to keep your licence and continue to drive. 

The extraordinary driver’s licence (EDL) is granted at the court’s discretion and is only granted under a limited number of circumstances. 

But what exactly is an EDL and how do you get one?

This article explains everything you need to know about extraordinary licence WA, how to get them and what to expect.

What is an EDL?

An EDL is an extraordinary driver’s licence granted only in certain circumstances by the court to someone who has had their licence disqualified or is currently facing disqualification. An extraordinary licence WA allows someone to keep driving under strict circumstances and will face harsher penalties if found in violation of the conditions of the EDL. 

Who can get an Extraordinary licence WA?

Not everyone can apply for an EDL. To be eligible you must be under a court-imposed licence disqualification or suspension. You must also have observed the disqualification period as stated on the disqualification or suspension notice before you can submit a valid application.

What do I need to prove to get an EDL?

To get an EDL you will need a valid reason. Here are three reasons that the court will consider when looking at your application:

  1. You need to drive in order to obtain urgent and necessary medical treatment for yourself or a family member. 
  2. Driving is an integral part of your income and taking away your licence will cause financial hardship on you or your family. 
  3. You need to drive yourself or a family member to work and there are no other means of transport available. 

When can’t you apply for an EDL?

Certain circumstances will prevent you from applying for an EDL:

  • If you haven’t paid a fine or infringement and your licence has been cancelled as a result you will not be able to apply until the fine or infringement has been paid. 
  • If you are under suspension due to excessive demerit points – you will not be able to apply until the suspension is lifted. 
  • If you were disqualified from driving in another state – you cannot apply for an EDL in Western Australia. 
  • You cannot apply for an EDL straight after receiving a disqualification notice. There will be a period of time stated on the notice stating when you may apply.

How, when, and where can I apply for an EDL?

The process of applying for an EDL is different depending on how old you are and in what court your disqualification was issued. You will only be allowed to apply for an EDL after the time specified by the disqualification order. This will vary depending on the offence. 

Here are the basics on how to apply. 

  1. Identify what court issued your disqualification – this is where you will submit your application. This will usually be at the registry of your local Magistrates Court. 
  2. If you are under the age of 18, you will need to file your application with the Children’s Court.
  3. If you were disqualified as a result of a conviction, you will also need to apply with the Magistrates Court – or children’s court if you’re under 18. 
  4. Fill out the relevant forms, which can be found on the WA magistrates website.
  5. You will need to pay a fee when you apply – the amount will be set by the court registry. 
  6. Once your application is submitted, you will receive a hearing date – which is always at least 2 weeks after your initial application. Your exact date will depend on how busy the court is.

How does the court decide on your application?

Applying for an EDL seems like an easy process. However, the intricacies behind the rules and regulations are an integral part of what the Court will consider when granting an EDL. At the hearing, the court will look at several factors in determining the outcome of an extraordinary licence WA application:

  • Personal circumstances – including family life, responsibilities, occupation, location, and medical issues. 
  • Public safety – the court will examine the person’s driving record, including the circumstances of the relevant offence that led to the disqualification. 
  • Personal character – any written or personal character references will be taken into consideration. 
  • The likelihood of the applicant obeying or disobeying the EDL licence conditions.
  • The Department of Transport legal officer’s attitude towards the applicant’s EDL application.
  • Conduct and attitude since the disqualification – the court will examine any potential subsequent offences or changes in lifestyle after the disqualification. 

Can I drive normally with an EDL?

An extraordinary licence WA is not a full licence. There will be different restrictions placed on the circumstances of where and when you can drive. Here are some common features of an EDL:

  • Restrictions on days and times when you can drive.
  • Reasons for driving are limited – for example, only being allowed to drive to work or to collect medical or food supplies.
  • The locations and roads where you may or may not drive.
  • The kind of vehicle you are allowed to drive. 

My licence has been cancelled AND I’m under suspension. Can I still get an EDL?

Sometimes a licence may be cancelled while the driver also simultaneously faces a disqualification. This is usually the case when a novice driver who holds a Provisional (P plate) licence has their licence cancelled and faces disqualification. In these circumstances, it is still possible to apply for an extraordinary licence WA – as long as you are under disqualification at the time of application. You can also apply if you have never held a licence but are facing disqualification.

What are the consequences of breaching an EDL?

The consequences for breaching the conditions of your EDL can be serious, depending on the original offence, and your conditions for driving. For further information, feel free to consult our office. 

Do I need a lawyer for my EDL hearing?

When it comes to your hearing, it will be up to you to present evidence as to why you need an EDL. While you don’t need a lawyer present at your EDL hearing, your chances of success will be much higher. Qualified criminal lawyers who know the correct procedure and can support you in court. Maximise your chances and get in touch with Perth’s criminal lawyers today.

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