An Indiana driver’s license can be suspended for multiple reasons including:
Failing to pay a ticket
not having automobile insurance
being a habitual traffic violator
If your Indiana driver’s license is suspended, you may qualify for a “hardship license.” This term commonly refers to what Indiana statutes now call “specialized driving privileges”. They both refer to the same thing— a restricted or conditional license that allows someone to drive to and from work and potentially other life necessities during their license suspension. Below is a summary of certain “hardship licenses” that are available in Indiana.
A Court Ordered Suspension as a Result of an Arrest or Conviction
Many criminal convictions will result in court ordered license suspensions. General examples include:
convictions for operating while intoxicated
driving while suspended
and leaving the scene of an accident
Most people do not realize that they are eligible to ask for a hardship license even if a court has ordered his/her license suspended due to a conviction. The request for a hardship license must be made in the court that suspended your license, but many courts will grant a hardship license under the right set of circumstances.
No Insurance Suspension
Indiana requires that all drivers operating a motor vehicle have certain minimum coverage automobile insurance. Failure to have automobile insurance will result in either a 90 day or 1 year license suspension. Fortunately, a hardship license is available for those suspended for this reason. In general, a hardship license is available if the failure to have automobile insurance was inadvertent and the person now has automobile insurance. This hardship license may be available even if the applicant had previously had his/her license suspended.
Habitual Traffic Violator Suspension
If an individual carries out enough traffic violations during a 10 year period, the Indiana BMV may determine that the individual is a Habitual Traffic Violator (HTV). Depending on the severity of the traffic violations committed, a person determined to be HTV can have his/her license suspended for 5-10 years or for life. Thankfully, Indiana law provides that hardship licenses may be available during these tedious suspensions.
Unlike the described situations above, most courts do not like to grant hardship licenses for unpaid tickets. Most courts would prefer you pay off the tickets, although there are certainly exceptions to every rule.
If you have a suspended drivers license or questions about hardship licenses in Indiana, schedule an appointment at www.rileyandahlerlaw.com or call our office at 219-866-3435. We can analyze your situation and figure out if you may be eligible for a hardship license or not.