07 Feb Indiana Hardship License for Work
Indiana Hardship License – Getting a Driver’s License for Work & Family
If your Indiana driving privileges have been suspended, you know how difficult it can be to get to and from work and take care of your family obligations. Luckily, Indiana passed a new law that can get you back on the road, legally, even while your driver’s license is still suspended. If you qualify, an Indiana hardship license may be the key to getting you back on the road.
Specialized Driving Privileges (Hardship License) in Indiana
Indiana changed the hardship license laws in 2015, making it easier for people with long-term driver’s license suspensions to get a license. If your driver’s license is suspended for being a habitual traffic violator, for not having insurance or for a criminal conviction involving a vehicle, you may qualify for a hardship license.
If granted, the court can order the license suspension stayed and issue an order directing when and where you can drive. These orders often include permission to drive to and from work, church, the grocery store, medical appointments, a child’s school or daycare and legal appointments.
Who Qualifies for an Indiana Hardship License?
Most people with a pending driver’s license suspension will qualify to apply for specialized driving privileges. However, if you have never been an Indiana resident, your license is suspended for refusing a chemical test, or you have had specialized driving privileges previously and violated the terms at least twice, you will not qualify. Additionally, if you are a CDL holder, you can apply for a hardship license, but you cannot use that hardship to operate a commercial vehicle. You can see more details in the statute found HERE.
How to Apply for an Indiana Hardship License?
Depending on why your driver’s license is suspended, you may have to file more than one petition for specialized driving privileges. If your license is suspended by the Indiana BMV, you must file a petition in your county of residence. However, if a court has suspended your driver’s license, you may be required to file a petition for that suspension directly in that court. For example, if you live in Marion County and have been suspended by the Indiana BMV for HTV, but you are also suspended from a criminal case in Hamilton County, you will have to file separate petitions for specialized driving privileges in Marion and Hamilton counties. These rules can be confusing and that is why having an experienced traffic law attorney working with you can be the difference between getting a license to drive to work of having your petition denied.
Getting Back on the Road After the Hardship License Hearing
In many cases, your request for an Indiana hardship license will require a court hearing. You must prepare for this hearing ahead of time with your attorney. Your lawyer can explain what questions may be asked and what documents you should bring. You will typically want to have insurance with limits of 100/300 and make sure any outstanding tickets are paid. If you have to file a request for a reinstatement fee waiver, you may also be able to address that at the hearing.
If the petition is granted the court will review and sign a final order detailing when and where you can drive and any other requirements the court wants to impose, such as ignition interlock. Once signed, the order is submitted to the Indiana BMV and your license statute will be updated from Suspended to Valid-Conditional. After that, as long as you carry the order with you and drive only when allowed, you will be back in valid status for as long as the order is in place.
Indiana Hardship License Attorney
At Chambers Law Office, we represent clients in petitions for an Indiana hardship license or specialized driving privileges in Indianapolis and throughout central Indiana, including Marion, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson and Hendricks counties. Julie Chambers was a deputy prosecutor for nearly five years before opening her practice, including serving as a traffic court deputy prosecutor in Marion County, and she brings that unique experience to every case she handles. If you have questions about an Indiana hardship license so you can drive to work again, contact Chambers Law Office today at 317-450-2971.