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Am I eligible for a hardship license?

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Posted on August 31, 2020

From a DUI conviction to stacking up several traffic violations — you might’ve lost your license to drive. Despite the mistakes that led you to have your license revoked or suspended in the state of Illinois, you can still fight to regain at least some of your driving privileges.

Illinois residents who can prove that not being able to drive themselves or their loved ones from place to place is a large issue, might be eligible to receive a restricted driving permit or hardship license. You will have to plead your need for a hardship license in front of a hearing officer in order to receive one.

Proving hardship

To prove that a hardship license is a necessity, it must be clear that there is no other transportation available for you. If you can’t get to and from your job, alcohol or drug recovery meetings or medical appointments without a license, then you might be eligible. You could also qualify if driving is the only reliable way to take a child or elderly or disabled person in your household to receive medical care, attend daycare or receive an education.

Other requirements

There is another step a hardship applicant who lost their license because of an alcohol- or drug-related offense must take. At least six months before your scheduled hearing, you will have to complete an alcohol and drug evaluation by the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. After the review, an evaluator will place you in a category of risk to determine further steps you might have to take.

  • Minimal to significant risk: Offenders that pose a minimal, moderate and significant risk must take a remedial alcohol and drug class. Moderate-risk offenders must provide proof that they’ve completed early intervention. And significant-risk offenders must provide proof of enrollment and progress in a treatment program.
  • High risk: High-risk offenders must show proof of enrollment and progress in a treatment program too. If the high-risk offender is not dependent on alcohol, then they’ll need to supply a note from a doctor. If they are dependent, they will need three letters confirming they are on the road to recovery from both members inside and outside of their treatment program.

It’s worth noting that when offenders serve time due to an aggravated DUI or reckless homicide, then they will not be able to apply or receive a hardship license until two years after leaving prison. If you are unsure about your hardship licenses eligibility based on your criminal charge, then you can speak with a criminal defense attorney.