What Is a Hardship License and How Do I Get One?

In Louisiana, if your license has been suspended, you may be eligible to apply for a hardship license. A hardship license is a temporary license that allows individuals who have had their regular driver’s license suspended to legally drive to select places like work, school, or other necessary locations.

Application and Requirements 

Eligibility for hardship licenses, and the requirements to attain one, vary on a case by case basis. To determine your eligibility and requirements you can visit the nearest Louisiana reinstatement office, or you can call (225) 925-6146.

To find the Louisiana reinstatement office nearest you, click here.

While the specific requirements will vary depending on the specifics of your suspension, below are a few fairly standard ones:

  1. You may be required to file an SR22 form with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV).
    • Also known as a certificate of insurance, or certificate of financial responsibility, the SR22 is a document that proves you are meeting the state’s insurance requirements.
    • You can obtain the form through your auto insurance company.
  1. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
    • This is an alcohol screening device which is attached to the ignition of your car. If you blow into the device and your blood alcohol content is above a preset limit, the vehicle will not start.
    • This requirement is primarily for those individuals whose license has been suspended due to a DUI, or other alcohol-related incident.
    • You may need to present your the lease and agreement for your ignition interlock device in order to obtain your hardship license.
  1. Some individuals will be required to obtain a court order.
    • In Louisiana, the only violations that do not require a court order to obtain a hardship license are:
      1. First time school bus violation;
      2. First time unlawful use;
      3. Child Support Enforcement, following recommendation by the Department of Children and Family Services;
      4. Non-alcohol related driving under suspension violation
      5. Nonpayment of Income Taxes
  1. Pay a fee
    • Some individuals will need to pay a fee in order to obtain their hardship license. The cost of the fee is dependent on the parameters of your case.

Driving With a Hardship License

The hardship license allows individuals with suspended licenses to legally drive only to certain places—work, school, or other “necessities of life.” These necessities of life can include things like grocery shopping or picking children up from school. They will likely vary from person to person.

If you are pulled over while driving with a hardship license, and you are driving somewhere other than school or work, it is up to the officer to determine whether the place you are going qualifies as a “necessity of life.”

A hardship license only allows you to continue driving on a suspended license within the state of Louisiana. You cannot legally drive out of state on a hardship license. 

Have You Been Involved In a Traffic Incident? 

Have you accrued traffic tickets? Has your license been suspended or are you afraid it could be? An experienced New Orleans traffic ticket lawyer at Bloom Legal is ready to help. Many people don’t know, but paying a traffic ticket is akin to admitting guilt. If you pay a traffic ticket, your license will take points, and you could see a spike in your insurance rates, or your license could be suspended.

Before you pay a ticket, contact Bloom Legal. Our attorneys will work closely with you and the specifics of your case. They will answer any and all questions and concerns. They will fight to keep your driving record clean and get you back on the road as soon as possible.

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