Specialized Driving Permits or Hardship Licenses - Harper & Harper

Specialized Driving Permits or Hardship Licenses

For most adults in Indiana, having a driver’s license is a necessity.  Without the ability to drive, you may be unable to find or maintain employment, get to school, or take care of your children.  If you have a suspended license, you know that it is a serious hardship.  Thankfully, the attorneys at Harper & Harper can assist you with obtaining a limited license so that you can drive to and from the most important responsibilities in your life, such as work or school.

In Indiana, such limited licenses are now called Specialized Driving Privileges (formerly known as a hardship license).  Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Specialized Driving Privileges:

Am I eligible for Specialized Driving Privileges?

You may be eligible for Specialized Driving Privileges (SDP) even if you have received a suspension related to a criminal charge, you were suspended as a habitual traffic violator (HTV), or if your suspension was for failing to provide proof of insurance.  The court will determine your eligibility for SDP based on your individual circumstance.

What is the process?

You must first file a petition with the court.  The court will then set the matter for a hearing.  At the hearing, the court will hear the details of your particular situation such as the reason for your suspension and what kind of privileges you are requesting (whether it is for driving to work or school, where you will be driving, and which hours of the day).  The court has discretion to deny your petition for specialized driving privileges, however our attorneys will assist you in every step of the process to ensure the best chance of a positive outcome.

What happens after Specialized Driving Privileges are granted?

The court will determine the length of time you are granted Specialized Driving Privileges.  Generally, privileges may be granted anywhere from a few months up to two years, depending on your situation.  The court may also impose certain conditions when granting a limited license.  For instance, if your suspension is due to an alcohol-related offense, the court may require you to install an interlock ignition device in your vehicle.  This device requires you to pass a breath test before starting your vehicle.

The court also determines the places where you will be allowed to drive and during which hours of the day.  Most often, the court will grant you the ability to drive to and from work and nowhere else.  However, you may be granted the ability to drive to certain childcare responsibilities, medical appointments, drug/alcohol counseling, or certain personal obligations and/or social activities.

After the court grants specialized driving privileges, you will be required to keep a copy of the order in your vehicle.  Additionally, you will be required to carry proof of insurance.

If you need help getting back on the road or if you have questions about the process, please contact the attorneys at Harper & Harper at (219) 762-9538.

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