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Specialized Driving privileges (hardship license) Kosciusko and Wabash County

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


Previously referred to as a Hardship License, the laws for a Specialized Driving Privilege License allow a court to grant driving privileges to people with all types of suspensions, including those who may not have qualified before. (IC 9-30-16-3; IC 9-30-16-4). For instance, as a part of many Operating While Intoxicated criminal cases (OWI) the court will hand down a driver’s license suspension which can have significant impact on ones ability to provide for oneself and their family. Specialized driving privileges were created to give some potential relief to such suspensions while giving the court discretion to restrict that ability in any manner appropriate under the circumstances.


In order to apply for a Specialized Driving Privilege License, a person must first determine if they have a court ordered suspension or a BMV issued suspension. If a person has a court issued suspension, a petition must be filed in that court to request driving privileges. If a person has a BMV issued suspension, a petition must be filed in that person’s home county. One common disqualification for specialized driving privileges is if you refused to consent to the implied consent testing under Indiana law to determine impaired driving.

At its basic level, IC 9-30-16 is ultimately a law that grants Indiana courts and Indiana judges the ability to grant a stay of suspension, or specialized driving privileges to any individual that has had their license suspended.  This applies to both court ordered suspensions as well as suspensions that come directly from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This is different than the old Hardship licenses laws.  With court ordered suspensions, the court imposing the suspension may now stay the suspension for a time period of 180 days to 365 days.   Regardless of the exact offense, if a person is deemed eligible, specialized driving privileges may be granted and could include the following.

  • Ignition interlock
  • Driving during certain hours
  • The ability to drive between specific locations.
  • To and From work
  • Pick up children from daycare
  • Take children to school
  • Drive for doctors appointments
  • Drive to court related events

Basic Requirements after a Specialized Driving Privileges Petition is Granted:

A Specialized Drivers Permit is much different than the Hardship license.  Once your petition for an Indiana specialized driver’s permit has been granted, there are strict requirements that you must adhere to in order to keep your permit.

IC 9-30-16 states that you must:

  1. Maintain proof of future financial responsibility insurance for the duration of specialized driving privileges
  2. Carry a copy of the order on your person or have it in the vehicle that you are driving
  3. Produce the copy whenever requested by a police office

If you are in need or know someone in need of specialized driving privileges in Kosciusko County, Wabash County, and the surrounding counties, our attorneys at Vanderpool Law Firm, PC can provide the tough legal representation you need. Give us a call or use our contact us form for a consultation today!