Hardship Licenses

Specialized Driving Privileges

Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges

Hardship License I.C. 9-30-16

As of January 1, 2015 Indiana has changed its Hardship Licenses and Probationary Licenses to what is now called a Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges.

The Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges – Hardship License is a great new law that allows more drivers to qualify and get back on their feet.

We at Duepner Law understand that being without a valid driver’s license drastically affects your life and inhibits your ability to perform even the most basic tasks.  If you are faced with a license suspension for any reason, please contact Duepner Law today, and let one of our qualified attorneys help you with taking your next step to getting you back on the road either with a new permit or proper procedures with MDC.  We handle Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges cases in all Indiana Counties. Our office is currently in Noblesville, Indiana, Hamilton County. The Specialized Driving Privileges Petition must be filed in the court where the court suspension occurred or where you reside if it is a BMV related administrative suspension.  Duepner Law would be glad to come to your county and fight for your right to drive again.  We have successfully obtained licenses in many Indiana Counties. Call now 317-450-0044.

The Basics of an Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges -Hardship License

Indiana Code 9-30-16 applies to drivers who’s Indiana license is currently under suspension either by the BMV or by and Indiana Court.  The new Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges -Hardship License is possible for anyone who meets the eligibility requirements.

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 at least 180 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

The conditions of the Indiana specialized driving privileges -hardship license are granted at the sole discretion of the court in which the petition is filed.  This means that the conditions that a petitioner may receive are entirely up to the judge.  It will most assuredly vary from court to court and judge to judge.

hardship License

Where to file your Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges – Hardship License:

This depends on what type of suspension you are wanting driving privileges for.  If your suspension is a court ordered suspension, it may be filed with the judge in the county that your suspension was ordered.  If you are suspended by the BMV for any reason including a 5 year HTV, 10 Year HTV, lifetime habitual traffic violator or any other suspension given by the BMV you must file in any court in the county which you reside.

Eligibility for an Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges – Hardship License:

Determining eligibility for specialized driving privileges seems to be somewhat basic at this early stage.   The verbiage of the code at this point is geared more towards establishing who is NOT eligible for specialized driving privileges. Again this is kind of the opposite of how the Hardship License code is written.   IC 9-30-16 states as follows:

“Sec. 1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), the following are ineligible for an Indiana specialized driving permit under this chapter:

A person who has refused to submit to a chemical test offered under IC 9-30-6. and is currently serving that suspension.

(4)A person convicted of an offense that includes the element of causing death to another person and the offense involved the operation of a motor vehicle

Ultimately, if you do not fall into any of the above named categories, then you are eligible for a specialized driving privileges.

Potential Reasons for an Indiana License Suspension

There are many reasons that a license can be suspended in Indiana. Being cited for driving while suspended, reckless driving, failure to provide proof of insurance, or driving without a valid license can lead to potentially lengthy license suspension. License suspension can also result from an Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated charge as well as being seriously behind with child support. A majority of the time the suspension is technically administrative, which means that the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles suspends your license automatically without an order from the court. However, you can also receive a license suspension as a part of a plea or court order.

The reasons listed above are just a few of the reasons that an individual’s license may be suspended in Indiana.  If your license has been suspended for one of those reasons, or any reason at all, call Duepner Law today and see if you qualify to get an Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges- hardship license.  One of our qualified attorneys will set up a consultation in order to determine what your personal options are regarding an Indiana specialized driver’s privileges.

The law itself was changed for several reasons.  At the forefront of these reasons is so that in the future “the punishment fits the crime.”  For example, if your driver’s license is suspended for failure to pay child support, it would mean that transportation to and from a place of employment is know much more difficult.  A license suspension may even make it impossible.  A license suspension for failure to pay child support defeats the purpose if the individual is no longer able to go to work and earn money.  Driving equals working and providing for your family and finally the Indiana legislature has realized this.

The fact that the court system often times become back logged with cases involving individuals driving on suspended licenses is another reason for the change in law.  With most suspended drivers being eligible for a stay of suspension or specialized driving privileges, it should drastically cut down the number of people driving while suspended in Indiana.

Filing a petition for an Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges – Hardship License

If you believe you are eligible for a stay of suspension via the new law, the next step is to file a petition for specialized driving privileges -hardship license with the court.  While this may seem somewhat simple and straightforward, it can be a complicated process if you aren’t sure of what exact steps to take or exactly how to file a petition call Duepner Law today.

The basic petition parameters are spelled out within the new law.  Most of those requirements would be easy for any person to fill in as far as the petition goes.  However, there are two points that potentially contribute to the necessity of hiring a qualified attorney.  Those two points along with several other concepts will be discussed in the next section.

Representation by a Qualified Specialized Driving Privileges – Hardship License Attorney

While it can be tempting to file your own petition as opposed to hiring an attorney to handle the issue, it is more than likely not the best decision for several reasons.  First and foremost, IC 9-30-16 is a brand new law that has only been effect since the first of this year.  It’s uncharted territory in which the legalities have yet to be established by any form of legal precedent.  The legal system is difficult to navigate and even more so when a law or legal concept is new.

The second reason that recommends the need for an attorney is two concepts that are stated directly within the code itself.  It first says that a petitioner must state the grounds for relief and relief sought.  This means that as the petitioner, you would need to describe why you feel you should be granted specialized driving privileges as well as the exact privileges that you are requesting the presiding judge grant.  Since the information presented in this part of the petition directly affects the outcome, it carries the most importance.  The code also states that your petition must be served on the bureau (if it’s a suspension that comes directly from the Indian Bureau of Motor Vehicles) as well as the prosecuting attorney.  The fact that your petition is served on the prosecuting attorney means that he or she may be present at your hearing.  This means they have the ability to argue against the terms of relief that you are seeking.  In order to ensure that your Specialized Drivers Permit – hardship license petition is given proper consideration call Duepner Law LLC today.

The final factor in your decision with regards to hiring an attorney is that fact that any relief or stay granted is at the sole discretion of the presiding judge.  This means that there are no generalized terms that are applied to every Specialized Driving petition no matter which court in which the petition is filed.  An individual judge will have the ability to decide whether or not you are allowed to drive past a certain time of night.  That same judge can decide if you should be required to have an ignition interlock device in your automobile.   A qualified attorney will know the best approach to take to ensure you get what you need for your stay of suspension.

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

Judges often will order more than what is required under the Specialized Driving Privileges Statute.

Proof of Financial responsibility for Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges requires an SR-22  depending on your situation.

Do you have a lifetime suspension?

In some cases your license maybe eligible for Full Reinstatement.  This is a different process than specialized driving privileges.  To learn more click Here.

Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges and Motor Driven Cycles, MDC

In conjunction with the new law regarding Indiana license suspensions there have also been changes made to the rules and requirements with regards to mopeds and motorized bicycles.  These are now all called motor driven cycles (MDC).

According the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles website the licensing requirements are as follows:

MDC-Class A:   engine produces no more than five-brake power.

  • Helmet required if under 18
  • Must operate in a position astride the seat
  • Passengers may ride with proper passenger seat
  • Headlamps must be illuminated while operating
  • Cannot carry package in hand
  • Operate near right-hand edge of roadway unless passing another vehicle or preparing for a left turn
  • registered and plated
  • Maintain insurance

and must have,

  • Valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement with an MDC-Class A restriction
  • Valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement
  • Valid driver’s license and a valid motorcycle learner’s permit

MDC-Class B:  Must possess ONE of the following:

  • Must be 15 years old or older
  • Helmet required if under 18
  • Must operate in a position astride the seat
  • Headlamps must be illuminated while operating
  • Cannot carry package in hand
  • Operate near right-hand edge of roadway unless passing another vehicle or preparing for a left turn
  • Operate at no more than 35 miles per hour
  • Passengers are not allowed
  • No interstate highway or sidewalk operation

and must have,

  • Valid driver’s license (no endorsement required)
  • Valid driver’s permit (no endorsement required)
  • Unexpired State of Indiana issued identification card with an MDC-Class B endorsement.”

The above mentioned changes are fairly drastic and ultimately make simply switching to a moped after a license suspension a less viable option.  As an individual with a suspended license, you now have the option to choose between petitioning for an Indiana specialized driver’s permit under the new law outlined in Indiana Code 9-30-16, or taking all of the steps necessary to ensure that your motor driven cycles meets all the new requirements established by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.