3 Things You Need to do to Get a DUI Hardship License

Man with head in hands

After a DUI arrest, if the challenge to the administrative suspension was not successful, there is still a possibility of a hardship license. In Jacksonville in particular, it is very difficult to function without a car, so losing a driver license, usually affects the whole family.

What is a Hardship License?

If your Florida drivers’ license was suspended after a DUI arrest, you can apply for a hardship license. A hardship license grants you limited driving privileges. There are two main types of hardship licenses you can apply for:

  • Business Purposes Only – this type of hardship license restricts your driving only to necessary activities related to your livelihood. This includes your commute to and from work, driving to school, on the job driving, and driving for church or medical visits.
  • Work Purposes Only – a Work purposes only hardship license restricts your privileges to employment-related driving only.

Contact The Law Offices of Kate Mesic, P.A. to get started on your free consultation.

How to get a hardship license in Florida

In order to be eligible for a hardship license in Florida after a DUI arrest you need to:

  1. Enroll in DUI School: There are many options for DUI schools in Jacksonville.
  2. Wait to Apply: If you refused to take a breath test, then you must wait the first 90 days of your one-year administrative suspension before you can apply for a hardship license. If you took the breath test, and it was above .08, you would have to wait 30 days.
  3. Bring Proof of Enrollment: You will need to have proof of enrollment in a DUI school for the DHSMV Administrative Review Office.

The DHSMV office has an application that must be filled out, and they require a $12.00 filing fee.

Who is not eligible for a DUI hardship license in Florida?

  • Florida law prohibits any hardship license for a 2nd or subsequent suspension for breath test refusal or if the person has been convicted of DUI section 316.193 two or more times.
  • Drivers who lost their commercial driver license (CDL) cannot obtain a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Drivers charged or convicted of vehicular manslaughter or criminal vehicular manslaughter
  • Drivers with DUI serious bodily injury

Florida Hardship License Hearings

The DHSMV office will process your DUI hardship license application, and you will have to go to a hearing at their office. These hearings are on first come first serve basis, so go there early. The hearing officer will review your case and determine if you actually need a hardship license.

Please understand, it will be a restricted license. Make sure to tell the Hearing Officer what you really need the license for, so they can evaluate and give you the most privileges allowed and not just a license to go to and from work.

If at the hearing/review you are approved to get a hardship license, you will need to go with the approval letter to your local DMV office to get an actual driver license

Remember that you also must complete the DUI school within 90 days of being given the hardship license. If you don’t do that your hardship driver license will be canceled until you complete the DUI school.

Fees to Reinstate Your FL License after a DUI

At the DMV office, you will likely have to take an examination and pay a $130 administrative fee and a $45 reinstatement fee and any license fee required. This is an expensive exercise! You will also need to show proof of liability insurance on the arrest date, proof of current liability coverage.

You may also be required to pay additional fees and court costs depending on the reason for your suspension. Review the complete list of Florida DMV fees in the Florida Driver’s Handbook on page 83.

We Can Help Guide You Through Your Hardship License Hearings

This is the last opportunity you will be given to reinstate your license, if you are not approved for a hardship license, you will have to serve the suspension time. The process of obtaining your hardship license can be incredibly confusing and with so much on the line can feel like a daunting task.

Attorney Kate Mesic is well acquainted with the all the forms, deadlines, requirements and paperwork needed to be granted to hardship license. She has helped many clients navigate the process of getting approved for a hardship license after their DUIs.

Find out how we can help you with your hardship license hearing, contact us for a free consultation.