Helping Indiana Drivers Regain Their Driving Privileges

What are Specialized Driving Privileges in Indiana?

Specialized driving privileges (also called hardship licenses), allow a person to drive, most commonly for very specific purposes, such as employment, Church, Grocery Store, Medical Appointments, Probation meetings, court hearings, and similar matters.  Employment purposes may mean to drive to and from work, or it could even mean driving as a part of your job.

Are you eligible for Specialized Driving Privileges or a Hardship License?

Most likely the answer to this question is “yes.”  Specialized driving privileges are not available to certain people if they: have never been an Indiana resident, have refused to submit to a chemical tested offered under I.C. 9-30-6 or I.C. 9- 30-7 and that is why they are suspended, or suspension is due a result of a sentence that resulted from the operation of a motor vehicle causing death or have previously been granted specialized driving privileges and have more than one (1) conviction for knowingly or intentionally violating a condition imposed regarding issuance of a specialized driving privilege under IC 9-30-16-5.

Helping Clients Get Their Driving Privileges Back

However, just because you are eligible, does not mean that you are guaranteed to get your driving privileges reinstated.  A judge will look at your case on an individual basis to determine whether or not your petition for specialized driving privileges will be granted.

We use our experience in making the best case possible for our clients in seeking the reinstatement of driving privileges. Sometimes, an attorney will have the choice of what judge will hear the hardship license permit.  Some judges are more likely to grant a petition for specialized driving privileges/hardship licenses than other judges.  Additionally, an attorney who is experienced will often know what the judge will want to hear about or see, in order to grant the specialized driving privileges.  These are things that you won’t find in Indiana law, but because of the discretion allowed to a trial court judge, an experienced attorney can assist you with.

What Must Be Included in a Petition for Specialized Driving Privileges?

First, the petition must be signed under the penalties of perjury by the applicant.  Second, it must include matters like your age, date of birth, driver’s license number, and address.

Next, the petition requires the grounds for relief and the relief sought to be stated, which will explain to the Court that you would like to have a hardship license or specialized driving privileges and why exactly you want them (for work, for issues related to children, for medical appointments, etc.).  We frequently also put a copy of the driving record in the Petition as an exhibit.

Once the petition is completed, it will need to be filed in the proper court.  This is likely a superior or circuit court in the county of your residence, but if it’s for a conviction, it might be in the Court the conviction occurred in.

One of our experienced criminal defense and specialized driving privilege attorneys would be able to determine this for you.  Once its drafted, and filed with the proper court, the petition will then be served, either by mail, or through the EFTS on the BMV and the county prosecutor.

How Long Do Driving Privileges Last?

Specialized driving privileges usually must be for at least 180 days, but can be extended much longer than that.  That would be important when your driving privileges have been suspended for life, or for 5-years or 10-years.  Often when it is longer than 180 days the Court may want to set compliance hearings, or other miscellaneous hearings to find out if any changes are needed to be made with the Specialized Driving Privilege Order.

Specialized Driving Privilege Orders

The Specialized Driving Privilege order is something that is very important and will have a number of requirements.  Have you ever wondered what a specialized driving privilege order looks like?  The following is a common order that would grant specialized driving privileges:

ORDER GRANTING SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES

AS PART OF CRIMINAL SENTENCING

The Court, having sentenced the Defendant in the above case, hereby grants the parties’ agreement to issue Specialized Driving Privileges as follows:

ORDER GRANTING SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES

AS PART OF CRIMINAL SENTENCING

The Court, having sentenced the Defendant in the above case, hereby grants the parties’ agreement to issue Specialized Driving Privileges as follows:

  1. Defendant’s home address is: (address)
  2. Defendant’s place of employment [name and address] is: (business name and address).
  3. Only the following suspension is stayed for these Specialized Driving Privileges:
  4. These Specialized Driving Privileges begin on: ______________, 201__.
  1. These Specialized Driving Privileges will terminate on: 11:59:59 p.m. on_______________, 201__ (the law requires 180 days minimum).
  1. These Specialized Driving Privileges are limited to the following conditions:
  2. EMPLOYMENT: Petitioner may operate a vehicle for the limited purpose of attending work. Operation is limited to travel from the Petitioner’s home address directly to place of employment, and then directly back to the Petitioner’s home address. Petitioner may stop at a grocery store or gas station if it is on the way to or from work. [Petitioner may also be permitted to operate a vehicle for work or employment purposes during the course of the work day, but not a vehicle for which a CDL is required.]
  3. CHILDREN:
  4. PROBATION and COUNSELING: Defendant may operate a vehicle directly to and from home address or place of employment and Hamilton County Probation meetings and any court-ordered counseling or treatment.
  5. MEDICAL: Petitioner may operate a vehicle for the limited purpose of attending scheduled medical appointments. Operation is limited to travel from the Petitioner’s home address or place of employment directly to the Petitioner’s medical appointment, and then directly back to 2 Petitioner’s home address or place of employment. Petitioner must produce proof of the medical appointment upon the request of a law enforcement officer.
  6. CHURCH: Petitioner may operate a vehicle for the limited purpose of attending religious services. Operation is limited to travel directly from Petitioner’s home address to (name of church), (address), Indiana, on Sunday mornings for attending religious services, and then directly back to the Petitioner’s home address.
  7. Petitioner MUST carry on his/her person or have in his/her vehicle a proof of future financial responsibility insurance.
  8. Petitioner MUST carry on his/her person or have in his/her vehicle a copy of this ORDER GRANTING SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES.
  9. Petitioner MUST carry on his/her person or have in his/her vehicle a valid state identification card or driver’s license issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
  10. IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE: Petitioner shall only operate a vehicle equipped with an operating alcohol ignition interlock device.
  11. DEFENDANT SHALL ONLY OPERATE A VEHICLE EQUIPPED WITH AN OPERATING ALCOHOL IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE.
  12. MODIFICATION OF THIS ORDER FOR SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES shall only be made by an Order of this Court. The Defendant must file a Petition for Modification of Specialized Driving Privileges and must properly serve the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney
  13. This Order for Specialized Driving Privileges DOES NOT APPLY to any suspension that is not listed above.

SO ORDERED on _________________, 20____.


As you can see, these order are thorough.  It’s important that you follow any such order exactly.  If a person is found to have knowingly or intentionally violated a condition imposed by a court as a part of the Specialized Driving Privilege Order, they have then committed a Class C misdemeanor. If convicted of this Class C misdemeanor, the court may modify or revoke your Specialized Driving Privileges and order the BMV to re-suspend your driver’s license, which could affect your ability to gain Specialized Driving Privileges in the future as well.

We Help Clients Obtain Special Driving Privileges Across the State of Indiana

Our attorneys can file a Petition for Specialized Driving Privileges in any county in the State of Indiana.  If you have been wondering whether you are eligible for a specialized driving privileges, and want to know if we can assist you with them, please call the office of Dollard Evans & Whalin at 317-770-7070 to determine the steps necessary to getting you back on the road.