What is it?
In Western Australia, an extraordinary driver’s licence, also known as an ‘e-licence’ or ‘EDL’ or ‘EMDL’, is a licence that authorises a person who is otherwise disqualified from driving in certain circumstances. An extraordinary licence is granted at the discretion of a Magistrate. It can only be granted for court imposed disqualifications. You cannot apply for an extraordinary licence if you are subject to a demerit point suspension.
How to apply
To apply for an extraordinary licence, the applicant must lodge the application form and pay a fee to the Magistrates Court. The fee is approximately $150 and is payable at the Court registry when the application is lodged. The application form can be found on the Magistrate’s Court website.
Once your application has been accepted by the court, you will be given a date to attend court and appear before a magistrate. At the appearance, you appear in court before a magistrate. There will be a representative for the Director General of Transport who may argue against you being granted an extraordinary driver’s licence. Usually, you will be required to answer questions under oath from both the Magistrate and the Director-General’s representative.
You will be expected to provide evidence in support of your application. It is not sufficient to simply re-state the grounds in your written application. For example, if the basis for your application is that you will be unable to access urgent medical treatment that relates to a current medical condition, you would be expected to provide:
- Evidence of that medical condition
- Evidence of the treatment to which you require access
- Evidence demonstrating that alternative means of transport will not allow you appropriate access to your treatment
There are minimum waiting periods that apply before you can lodge your application. The waiting periods vary according to the offence that resulted in you being disqualified. The waiting period is usually 21 days, but it can be up to 3 months for some offences. In addition to the legislated waiting period, there is usually a 14 day minimum between lodging your application and appearing in court.
Do I Need a Lawyer
No, you do not need a lawyer to apply for an extraordinary driver’s licence. However, there are a number of advantages of instructing a lawyer in an application for an extraordinary licence. An experienced lawyer will be able to draft your written application and ensure that it addresses the relevant criteria that the Magistrate is required to consider. They will also be able to advise you on what sort of evidence you need in support your application.
Most importantly though: an experienced lawyer will be able to represent you at your court appearance. Appearing in court is rarely a pleasant experience, particularly when your livelihood or wellbeing is at stake. Having a legal representative by your side who is familiar with the courtroom environment can alleviate much of the stress and anxiety and make the whole process run smoothly.
The question of whether or not to engage a lawyer is entirely up to you. Many people have successfully obtained an extraordinary licence without legal representation. It is also true that engaging a lawyer is not a guarantee that you will be granted an extraordinary licence. However, an experienced lawyer should be able to strengthen your application to give it the best possible chance of succeeding. Think about how much your licence is worth to you and ask yourself if the enhancement that a lawyer can provide is a worthwhile investment.