By Jon A. Keyes March 2013

An Indiana driver's license can be suspended for many reasons. Failing to pay a ticket. Failing to have automobile insurance. As a result of a conviction. As a result of being a habitual traffic violator. If your Indiana driver's license is suspended, you may be eligible for a "hardship license." This term generally refers to a restricted or conditional license that allows someone to drive to and from work during their license suspension. Below is a summary of certain "hardship licenses" that are available in Indiana.

First Time License Suspension. Indiana law provides that most people can obtain a hardship license if it is the first time his/her driver's license was suspended. An applicant for this hardship license must prove due to the nature of his/her employment, the driver's license suspension would work an undue hardship and burden upon the applicant and his family. While this hardship license is available for almost all types of suspensions, it is only available if the applicant has never before had his/her license suspended.

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 a license suspension. Thankfully, 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. This hardship license may be available even if the applicant had previously had his/her license suspended.

Habitual Traffic Violator Suspension. If an individual commits enough traffic violations during a 10 year period, the Indiana BMV may determine that individual is a Habitual Traffic Violator ("HTV"). Depending upon the severity of the traffic violations committed, a person determined to be HTV can have his/her license suspended for 5 years, 10 years, or for life. Thankfully, Indiana law provides that hardship licenses may be available during these lengthy suspensions. A person suspended for life may be eligible after 10 years, a person suspended for 10 years may be eligible after 5 years, and a person suspended for 5 years may be immediately eligible for a hardship license.

If you have a suspended driver's license or questions about hardship licenses in Indiana, contact the attorneys at ALLEN WELLMAN McNEW HARVEY, LLP. They can analyze your unique situation and determine whether you may be eligible for a hardship license.