What You Can And Can’t Do on a Restricted License
The majority of individuals rely on their automobiles for transportation. Whether for a DUI conviction or for accumulating too many traffic infraction points, a suspended license is at the very least inconvenient. For many drivers, not having a license could mean losing their work, failing to graduate from college, or being unable to transport their children to and from school.
But don’t go ahead and get a bus pass just yet. A “limited” or “hardship” license may be available to you. A limited license permits a driver to travel to and from specific locations when their license is suspended. Here is what you can and can’t do on a restricted or hardship license!
What Can You Do With a Restricted License?
All driving privileges are not restored with a restricted license. Restricted licenses come with restrictions on when and where the driver is allowed to drive.
Although state rules differ, a restricted license allows you to drive solely to and from your job, school, drug or alcohol treatment programs, and medical appointments. In many states, parents with restricted licenses can also drive their children to and from school and other important appointments.
Restricted licenses are also subject to time limits in some states. For example, a motorist may be permitted to drive only during daylight hours or within particular times set by the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Who’s Eligible for a Restricted License?
Every state is unique. However, a driver’s eligibility for a limited license is normally determined by the cause for the suspension, the motorist’s driving record, and the type of license. Drivers who have had their license suspended for major driving offenses such as vehicular murder, hit-and-run, or reckless driving, for example, are not eligible for limited licenses in several states. Other states allow a limited license for the first suspension, but not the second. In most cases, a hardship license will not allow you to regain your commercial driver’s license.
In particular circumstances, a motorist may be eligible to obtain a hardship license only after completing a “hard-suspension” period. The person cannot drive at all throughout the harsh suspension period, which is usually 30 days. For DUI-related suspensions and revocations, hard-suspension periods are prevalent. During this time, it is important to keep in mind that any steps you take to regain your license (such as taking traffic school or paying court fines) will still help you. As such, take this suspension time to get the harder chores out of the way to help you regain your license a bit faster!
How Do You Obtain a Restricted License?
Check To See if You Qualify for a Restricted Driver’s License
Restricted driving privileges are not available to everyone who has been convicted of DUI. In some situations, the judge may have advised you that you are eligible for a limited license. However, in many circumstances, the judge ignores this. Drivers who (a) had their license suspended or revoked when they were pulled over for DUI, or (b) refused to take a chemical test after being arrested for DUI are generally ineligible for a limited license. If you don’t fall into one of those categories, you should be eligible.
Wait 30 Days, or Until Your “Hard Suspension” Has Ended
Before you may get your restricted driver’s license, you must first wait a certain amount of time. This time is only 30 days for most DUI offenders, as required by the DMV. However, as part of your criminal sentence, the judge may impose a period of “hard suspension.” Hard suspension means you won’t be able to drive at all. A severe suspension will be imposed on all sentences for a second, third, or subsequent DUI within a ten-year period. You can either wait for the hard suspension to end, or you can shorten the period in some situations by agreeing to install an ignition interlock device in each automobile you possess.
Enroll in a DUI Course
If you don’t follow the terms of your sentence, the DMV will refuse to award you any driving privileges. The most basic requirement is that you attend DUI traffic school, which consists of a series of seminars that teach you how to drive safely. It’s important to note that you don’t have to wait until you finish the lessons to receive your restricted driver’s license—you can start right away. Obtain proof of enrolment from your DUI school. This document will be required when you apply for your license.
Enroll in Other Court-Ordered Programs
Some DUI penalties require you to participate in additional programs. Addiction therapy options include AA groups, drug addiction support groups, and rehab. You must enroll in this treatment program before applying for your restricted license, but you do not have to finish it before applying for your restricted license.
Inquire About Proof of Enrolment
Make sure you have the correct auto insurance. Before you can drive, you must demonstrate “evidence of financial responsibility.” This essentially entails proving that you have enough insurance to cover your driving risk. DUI offenders require a greater amount of vehicle insurance than other drivers, which means that their premiums will be higher. Inform your car insurance company that you require SR-22 paperwork for the DMV.
Fill Out an Application for a Restricted Driver’s License
You can apply for your restricted driver’s license at your local DMV once you’ve completed all of the stages above. Bring your certificate of enrollment, SR-22, and any court paperwork related to your term with you. You must pay a $125 fine (or $100 if you were under the age of 21 at the time of the DUI.)
We hope our article on what you can and can’t do on a restricted or hardship license has helped you grasp your situation a bit better! While a DUI charge can be stressful, take solace in the knowledge that your situation is only temporary. In fact, if you continue to practice safe driving and take all the necessary steps to regain your license, your suspension period will seem extremely short!
If you are a driver looking to purchase work vehicle insurance, be sure to reach out to Serenity Group. We are dedicated to ensuring that the insurance buying process is as easy, streamlined, and simple for you as possible!