Can I Request Specialized Driving Privileges if My License is Suspended?

In Indiana, there are plenty of reasons a driver’s license may be suspended. Whether you forgot to pay a ticket or were convicted of a traffic offense, you are at risk of losing your driving privileges. However, some people are eligible for a hardship license, which Indiana statutes refer to as specialized driving privileges. Both terms mean the same thing: a restricted license allows individuals to drive to and from work, school, and certain other necessities while their license is suspended. There are several hardship licenses in Indiana, and an attorney can help you become familiar with them. Call Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock P.C. for a case evaluation to learn your options. 

What Are Specialized Driving Privileges?

After your driver’s license is suspended, you lose your driving privileges and cannot lawfully operate a motor vehicle. However, these consequences can generate significant hardship for people who need to drive to drop off their kids at school, get to work, and do other everyday tasks— and that’s true for most people. License suspension can cause loss of employment, trouble finishing obligations and even cause housing insecurity, all due to committing a traffic offense.

Fortunately, Indiana law provides options after driver’s license suspension. In certain circumstances, the court may grant a stay of suspension by issuing an order for specialized driving privileges. A limited license allows you to drive while under certain statutory requirements that are determined based on your unique circumstances. 

When Do the Courts Grant Specialized Driving Privileges?

Criminal convictions often result in a court-ordered license suspension. For example, driving while intoxicated or leaving the scene of an auto accident can warrant a license suspension. What many people don’t realize is that they may be eligible to apply for a hardship license during the period of suspension. The request needs to be made to the court that initially suspended your license, and many will approve the request if the right conditions are met. 

No Insurance Suspension

All Indiana drivers need to have auto insurance. Driving without auto insurance will lead to a license suspension lasting between 90 days and 1 year. Fortunately, a hardship license is available for those who lost their driving privileges due to this reason. Generally, an individual may qualify for this hardship license if they could not get auto insurance due to an extenuating circumstance and now they currently have insurance coverage. Even if the applicant’s license was previously suspended, they might qualify. 

Habitual Traffic Violator Suspension

The Indiana BMV may designate a person to be a Habitual Traffic Violator (HTV) if they commit a certain number of violations within a 10-year period. Depending on how severe the convictions were, an HTV can have their license suspended for 5 years, 10 years or permanently. During these lengthy sentences, however, Indiana law allows hardship licenses to be available. 

Unpaid Tickets

Unlike the aforementioned situations, the court does not typically grant a hardship license for an unpaid ticket. Instead, the offender should pay off the ticket if possible, although certain exceptions may exist. 

Talk to An Attorney

If you have a suspended license and want to know if you are eligible for specialized driving privileges, talk to the attorneys at Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock P.C.