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Definition of ‘Hardship License’

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Although all states have similar rules for who qualifies for a driver’s license, there are some states that offer hardship cases for individuals who normally would not be able to obtain one.

What is a Hardship License?

A DUI hardship license is a temporary driver’s license that is issued when the standard driver’s license has been suspended due to a DUI conviction and the temporary permit has run out.

In most states, there is usually a period of time between the driver’s license being suspended and the issuing of the temporary permit. In addition, there may be a short period of time between the ending of the temporary permit and the issuing of a hardship license.

This type of license is not to be confused with a standard hardship license that is issued to teenagers who are 14 or 15 years old that may apply for a license based on specific circumstances as listed in the law.

If a person is convicted of a DUI, their driver’s license is automatically suspended for a pre-set period of time. Most states will have available a temporary permit with restrictions which may include an ignition lock on the vehicle. In addition, a person with previous DUI or similar convictions may not be eligible for the temporary permit, much less a hardship license.

How to Get a Hardship License?

Each state has its own laws about obtaining a hardship license after a DUI conviction. The following are four states which are fairly typical of the rest of the country in applying for and receiving a hardship license under these circumstances.

Florida: To obtain a hardship license Florida resident must have only a single DUI conviction and either exceeded the 0.8 level on the breathalyzer or refused to take a breathalyzer test. However, you can only apply for the license after 30 days have passed since the temporary permit expires.

Texas: Here, you will need to make a request to the court for a court order and provide a SR-22 form to the DPS. Pay the $10 fee and the reinstatement fees to obtain a hardship license, sometimes called an occupational license. However, this type of license is not available for CDL holders.

Arkansas: A petition to the court must be made for those with a DUI conviction. Applicants must demonstrate economic impact and how the permit will help them overcome it. This includes individuals who must drive as part of their work. Once issued, the license is restricted to certain times of the day and only to work, school, or medical appointments.

Indiana: Similar to other states in that the application must be sent to the court. Once issued, the hardship license is only good for going to and from work, driving if part of the work, going to worship services, or visiting children under court ordered visitation rights.

Each state has its own particular rules and regulations when applying for a hardship license based on a DUI conviction. It is generally best to consult with a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases to get the best advice in applying for a hardship license.

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