How to Get a Hardship License in Missouri

Navigating the Road to a Hardship License in Missouri: A Comprehensive Guide

So, your Missouri driver’s license was suspended or revoked. Now, you’re wondering if there’s any way to get back behind the wheel for work, school, or medical needs. Well, good news! A limited driving privilege (LDP), also known as a hardship license, might help you out.

But this license isn’t a complete restoration of your driving rights. It’s more like a temporary pass that allows you to gain limited driving privileges for specific reasons under certain rules. Getting one isn’t a walk in the park, either. It can be a maze, depending on why your license was suspended or revoked in the first place.

What Is a Hardship License?

Think of a hardship license as a special permit from the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) or a Circuit Court. It’s for people whose licenses were revoked but who need to drive for essential tasks such as work, school, or health reasons. It’s not a shiny new license; it is more like a tweak to your existing one.

The whole point of a hardship license is to let you handle your day-to-day activities while keeping everyone on the roads safe. But don’t consider it a ticket to cruise around for fun things like shopping or parties; it doesn’t mean you get your license back.

Eligibility Criteria

Not everyone with a revoked or suspended license can use the hardship license. It depends on why you lost your license, how long it’s suspended or revoked, and your driving history.

In general, you might qualify if:

  1. You have legitimate reasons to drive, like going to work or attending school, medical treatments, alcohol or drug programs, or driving someone who depends on you.
  2. You have no other way to get around.
  3. You have followed all the rules while your license was suspended, revoked, or denied, like paying fines, completing programs, installing an ignition interlock device, or getting special SR-22 insurance.

In some cases, you might not be eligible to apply for a hardship license. These include:

  1. Your Missouri driving privileges may be reinstated, but not all requirements for reinstatement have been fulfilled.
  2. Within the last five years, you were convicted of a felony involving a motor vehicle.
  3. Your commercial driving privileges have been suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified (The issuance of only a non-commercial Limited Driving Privilege (LDP) is possible in such cases.)
  4. There’s a revocation due to failure to pass a driving or medical examination mandated by the Director of Revenue.
  5. Suspension is in effect for an outstanding motor vehicle accident judgment until payment and compliance are met.
  6. Suspension is in place for failure to settle a ticket in Missouri or another state until payment and compliance are resolved.
  7. A suspension resulting from driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge or driving with excessive blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels may qualify you for a Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP).
  8. An Administrative Alcohol Suspension due to driving with a BAC over the legal limit may make you eligible for an RDP.
  9. You are not a current resident of Missouri, or if you reside in another state, you neither work nor attend school in Missouri.

The Application Process for a Hardship License

Here’s the step-by-step application procedure:

  1. Check your eligibility: Make sure you fit the criteria. If you need clarification, contact the DOR or chat with a lawyer.
  2. Get your documentation ready: Depending on why your license was suspended or revoked, you’ll need specific papers like a completed Application for Limited Driving Privilege form, your driving record, letters from employers or schools proving your need to drive, and certain proofs like SR-22 insurance or completion of programs.
  3. Submit your application: Send your application and documents to the DOR or the Circuit Court along with the filing fee.
  4. Wait for the verdict: The DOR or the Circuit Court will review your application and make a decision within a few days.
  5. Get your hardship license: The Department of Revenue will assess your application within about five business days, and a decision to grant or deny the LDP will be communicated to you via mail.
  6. If you file a petition in the Circuit Court and the court approves the LDP, you will receive an Order Granting Limited Driving Privilege, which serves as your official driving documentation. A duplicate of this order must be kept on record with the Department of Revenue.


Common Mistakes to Avoid

The LDP application process is challenging. Making mistakes might cost you a hardship license. Some common slip-ups to dodge include:

  • Applying too soon before meeting all the requirements.

  • Providing incomplete or wrong information.

  • Driving outside the scope of activities permitted by your hardship license.

Getting a ‘no’ for your hardship license application from the DOR or the court can make you feel defeated. But don’t lose heart; you have options.

Having a trusted attorney by your side could completely change the game, save you headaches, time, and money, and protect your rights. Contact an attorney at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center if your license is suspended, especially before applying for a hardship license.

How Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center Can Help

If you’re facing a hefty license suspension due to a DWI or other serious offenses, getting a hardship license might be trickier. An experienced DWI & criminal law attorney can help you. They can assist with the following:

  1. Check your case and guide you on your chances.
  2. Handle all the paperwork accurately and represent you in court, if needed.
  3. Try to reduce penalties or negotiate with the authorities.
  4. Help if you face challenges during the application.
  5. Assist in the renewal process to get your full driving rights back sooner.

It may be wise to talk to an attorney immediately after your license gets suspended or revoked, especially before applying for a hardship license. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

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