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What is a Hardship License?

hardship license

We don’t know how life as a suspended driver is for you, but it is a source of great embarrassment and inconvenience for some of us. Most importantly, it is a financial burden. No one can prepare for the consequences of such an occurrence. 

Hardship License

With this problem in mind, several states have created what we know as a hardship license to make things easier in this case. Nonetheless, your eligibility for a hardship license depends on the state you reside in and the nature of your suspension.  

The states issue this license when they suspend or revoke a normal driver’s license. With this special license, you can drive, but only if you meet the exceptional circumstances and have reasons as the license allows. At the very least, you can manage to drive back and forth to work until you can restore your normal license.  

When Do I Need a Hardship License?

The state can suspend your normal license for several reasons. Reasons can range from driving without insurance and under the influence to going above the speed limit and not wearing a seatbelt. No matter the reason for suspension, you can only win a hardship license if you can prove that not having a standard license creates a hardship for you and your family. Some states are more lenient than others in this regard.  

What Are the Requirements?

The requirements for attaining a hardship license vary by state. If nothing is else, the process is surely time-consuming  

Take the example of Illinois; drivers need to write to the secretary of the state for permission, sit for a hearing, and undergo any counseling or courses the state may require. If you’re living in Florida, then the most you will have to endure is pass through a twelve-hour traffic school. Most states now require that an Ignition Interlock Device be installed in your vehicle if you lose your license due to a drunk driving conviction. 

However, you must not live under the false illusion that your “hardships” will end with a hardship license. You may be fortunate enough to get your state’s approval, but the RDP (restricted or hardship driving permit) will come with many restrictions.  

You will have legal permission to drive your vehicle but only to allowed locations, such as schools, daycares, work, and some stores for your groceries and medications. In most states, the hardship license also comes with a curfew, so you have to find alternative transportation if you plan to go out past curfew.  

Before you can gain approval, you need to present your car insurance as evidence too. In a DUI case, many states will ask your insurer to file an SR-22 as a testimony of your insurance coverage. If you drop or lose the coverage, the DMV will receive a notification and revoke your RDP.  

Final Thoughts 

A hardship license isn’t a revokation of any punishments set by the state. You will still have to pay fines, attend driving school, or do whatever you have been required to do for your traffic infractions. A hardship license is meant to allow those who need to driver for a living to survive.  In the end, it is better to abide by the traffic laws set by your state and drive safetly. 


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