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You made a mistake. You drank and drove, and a court charged you with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). The state of Indiana suspended your license after your conviction.

Not having a valid driver’s license proves detrimental to your ability to commute to work, travel to and from family events or even run basic errands. Should you hold no prior conviction for an OWI, you may have the ability to petition for a specialized driver’s license.

Hardship licenses and requirements

Specialized driving privileges, also known as hardship licenses, give those with suspended licenses the freedom to drive to and from various approved locations. Should the suspension of your license make it impossible to sustain yourself without the ability to drive, an Indiana court may approve your petition.

The first step in obtaining restrictive driving rights includes the filing of a specialized license petition. The petition must:

  • Be verified by you
  • State your age, date of birth and address
  • State your reasons for relief and the relief you are petitioning for
  • Be filed in your county
  • Be filed in a circuit or superior court

After you file, the court may analyze your circumstances and decide if a hardship license would be beneficial to both you and other citizens. Indiana court understands that this type of license proves to be a responsibility that needs substantial consideration. Especially if your conviction involved drinking and driving, giving you the ability to drive may risk the safety of other drivers.

After the court decides that a hardship license should be approved for you, the court may determine elements of your ability to drive. These deciding factors may include:

  • The requirement of the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • Restrictions of hours and days when driving is allowed
  • Specific pre-approved locations where you may drive

Your responsibility to petition for a hardship license includes both maintaining proof of financial responsibility insurance and carrying a copy of the agreement in your vehicle. It proves essential to not bend the rules of your agreement with Indiana court, or you could face significant fines and jail time. As an Indiana citizen, you can rectify your mistake by following all guidelines of your hardship license while working to regain all your driving rights.