What Are Specialized Driving Privileges?
Recently, Indiana eliminated the hardship license statute and replaced it with “Specialized Driving Privileges“. Specialized driving privileges are available to a broader set of people with a suspended license. According to Indiana law, there are only a few circumstances that will keep someone from being eligible to petition for specialized driving privileges. If you believe that you may be eligible for specialized driving privileges, you are encouraged to contact an Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges attorney, like Hayes Law Office as soon as possible!
Too often in Indiana there is someone with a suspended driver’s license that prevents them from getting to work. In the past, Indiana’s laws allowed individuals with a suspended license to petition for a hardship license. In those instances, In the past, if you were an individual with a suspended license and you could prove the suspension was causing a significant hardship, you could file a petition for a license to allow said individuals to drive to and from work. Now in Indiana, there is something called Specialized Driving Privileges.
An Indiana driver’s license may be suspended for a number of reasons, such as failure to provide proof of insurance or due to a pending criminal case. If your license has been suspended in the State of Indiana, you may be required to provide the Bureau of Motor Vehicles with:
- Certificate of Compliance – to verify financial responsibility for an accident or citation
- Affidavit – Proof of Financial Responsibility for Employer or Rental Vehicle
- SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility, or
- Reinstatement Fee Submission Form
Specialized Driving Privileges Information
Indiana drivers whose licenses were suspended by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles or a court have the ability to request that their driving privileges be reinstated. This would be called specialized driving privileges.
According to Indiana Code 9-30-16-3, the imposing court or the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles may place a hold on the suspension and grant you specialized driving privileges. In order to obtain these privileges, one must petition the court. The petition is required to:
- Include the drivers date of birth, age, and address
- Include why the driver is requesting specialized driving privileges
- Be filed in the county where the driver currently resides
- Be filed in a circuit or superior court in the county of the driver’s residence
- Be signed and verified by the driver/petitioner, and
- Be served upon the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the prosecuting attorney.
Typically, a person will seek specialized driving privileges to drive to and from work or during the course of the workday, for parenting obligations, and medical appointments, etc. However, one may petition the court for a number of driving privileges, based upon what may be proper in the situation and case. It is important to note that the decision whether to grant or deny these privileges is ultimately up to the judge in the court one is petitioning.
When a person has been granted specialized driving privileges, he or she must be sure to uphold proof of financial responsibility (SR22 insurance) during the duration of the privileges. One must also always carry a copy of the signed order in their vehicle and/or on their person. This gives the ability to show proof of driving privileges when requested by a police officer.
How can you apply for specialized driving privileges?
You need to be aware that your eligibility to petition for specialized driving privileges does not guarantee those privileges will be granted. To petition for specialized driving privileges you will still need a hearing in front of a judge to determine your eligibility, the judge will also determine the limits, if your petition is successful.
What Are Specialized Driving Privileges Exceptions?
According to the Indiana Code 9-30-16-1, the following drivers may not petition the court for specialized driving privileges:
- A person who has never had a valid Indiana driver’s license
- A person who holds a commercial driver’s license
- A person who has refused to submit to a chemical test
- A person who has been convicted for an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle and causing the death of another person, or
- A person who has previously received a specialized driving privilege and who has more than one (1) conviction for violating the terms of those specialized driving privileges.
Have you been driving without a license due to a suspension from an OWI/DUI, or because you owe money to the BMV? What about a license suspension because you did not have proper insurance? Contact Hayes Law Office today! Our staff is skilled at obtaining all information necessary to petition for specialized driving privileges in Indiana. Our office line 317-759-1515 is available 24/7.
What happens if you are awarded specialized driving privileges in Indiana?
If you are awarded by the court, you need to be aware that often you may be permitted travel to and from work and only during the course of employment. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your awarded privileges, the judge may allow travel to medical appointments, parenting time exchange locations and mental health or other forms of counseling. Be mindful that the judge has a broad discretion, and the court may allow travel to other locations.
How do you find out if you are eligible for specialized driving privileges in Indiana?
By law, Indiana specialized driving privileges must last for at least 180 days. If you currently have a suspended license, its important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible about any potential specialized driving privileges you may have. An attorney, such as Hayes Law Office can advise you regarding your eligibility and give guidance as to the best timing of when to file a petition. Contact the Hayes Law Office to schedule a free consultation. Call 317-759-1515 or email the office.