“Specialized Driving Permits”: New Indiana Law About Getting Back on the Road After a Suspension
Last year in this post, I discussed the challenges of getting your driving privileges back after a license suspension. Specifically, you could apply for a “hardship license” that would allow you to continue driving for specific purposes – primarily to get to and from work — under certain conditions.
That was then and this is now. As of January 1, 2015, “hardship licenses” in Indiana, along with probationary licenses, are no more. Instead, under IC 9-30-16, Indiana drivers whose licenses have been suspended can petition a court to issue a “specialized driving permit.” Such a permit, when granted, is valid for at least 180 days.
The specialized driving permit will contain conditions about how and when the driver can get behind the wheel, including such limitations as:
- requiring the use of ignition interlock devices;
- restricting driving to certain hours of the day; or
- limiting driving between specific locations and the person’s residence.
If your license has been suspended, you will NOT be eligible for a specialized driving permit under the new law if you:
- have never had a valid Indiana driver’s license,
- hold a commercial driver’s license,
- refused to submit to a chemical test offered under IC 9-30-6,
- have been convicted for an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle that causes the death of another person, or
- previously received a specialized driving permit and were convicted of violating a condition of the permit (a Class C misdemeanor).
If you obtain a specialized driving permit, you must maintain proof of insurance, carry a copy of the order granting your driving privileges on your person or in your vehicle, and produce a copy of the permit upon a police officer’s request.
As noted, you must petition a court for a specialized driving permit, and it is important to remember that even if you aren’t ineligible under the law, you are by no means guaranteed to get a permit. Whether to grant a petition and issue a permit is entirely within the judge’s discretion.
If you need to get back on the road and are looking to obtain a specialized driving permit, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced Indiana traffic violation attorney to determine whether you are eligible and to assist you with getting your driving privileges back.
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