If you’re suspended or disqualified from driving you may be able to apply for a limited licence.
A lawyer can help you apply for a court order authorising you to get a limited licence. They’ll get documents ready and present them to the court.
Applications are considered by the courts on a case-by-base basis, using the criteria in sections 103 to 105 of the Land Transport Act 1998.
If the court order is granted, you must get a limited licence from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency before you drive.
You can apply at any driver licensing agent.
You'll need to:
Your application will be automatically filtered to establish if the agent can issue a limited licence immediately or if your application needs to be reviewed by Waka Kotahi.
The filter will consider things like:
If your application meets all the criteria, your application maybe immediately approved. The agent will give you a temporary licence.
If your application can’t be immediately approved, the driver licensing agent won’t give you a temporary licence. The agent can’t discuss the reasons why your application can’t be immediately approved, or discuss the possible outcomes of your application.
The agent will forward your application to Waka Kotahi for further assessment. Waka Kotahi will assess your application within 4 working days of receiving it. If you haven’t heard back within 4 working days, please contact us.
If your application is approved, we’ll give you a reference number to take back to an agent to get a temporary driver licence while your photo driver licence is manufactured and sent to you.
If your application is declined, we’ll send you a letter telling you the reasons why and about your right of appeal to the district court.
You’ll receive a pink photo driver limited licence in the mail. You must always carry this licence AND your court order when driving. You must always follow any conditions listed on the court order.
If you get another disqualification while holding a limited licence, then your limited licence is automatically revoked and you’re not entitled to drive anymore. You must surrender your revoked limited licence to the court, the police, Waka Kotahi or an agent.
If you’re suspended under a driver licence stop order (DLSO) while holding a limited licence, your limited licence is automatically revoked and you’re no longer entitled to drive. You must surrender your revoked limited licence to the Ministry of Justice.
After your limited licence has expired, and your disqualification or suspension has ended, you’ll be unlicensed. You can’t drive again until you’ve got a new driver licence.
Any licence card you had before your disqualification or suspension was permanently cancelled.
To get your licence back:
If you were disqualified or suspended for 12 months or less you’ll need to pay the application fee of $48.00.
If you were disqualified for more than 12 months before the courts authorised your limited licence, you’ll need to pay the application fee of $100.10. You’ll need to resit the appropriate tests or courses, but you won’t need to pay any extra test fees. There are no fees to change, cancel or rebook your test.
If you only have an overseas driver licence, you won’t be allowed to drive again in New Zealand until you get a New Zealand driver licence.
If you drive after your disqualification or suspension has ended, but before you get your licence back, you could be fined and forbidden to drive. If you continue to drive without reinstating your licence, you could be charged with driving while forbidden and have the vehicle you’re driving impounded.
Examples of where Waka Kotahi must decline issuing you a limited licence include when:
Examples of where Waka Kotahi may decline issuing you a limited licence include when:
*If a 28-day stand-down period applies, you can still apply to the court within that 28-day period. However, any court order issued within the 28-day stand-down period should clearly state that no limited licence can be issued within that 28-day period.
Waka Kotahi will apply the 28-day period even if it’s not stated on the court order.