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How do you apply for a hardship driver license?

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Quick Answer

You can apply for a hardship driving license by contacting your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. Rules for hardship driving licenses vary by state, but they are usually available to people aged 14 or 15 years old who have an essential need for a driving license to travel to school, work or medical appointments. Drivers who are suspended from driving due to a DUI or other offence can also be issued a hardship license in some circumstances.

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Hardship licenses may impose restrictions on when and where the licensee can drive. Some states only permit driving for certain specified purposes. A suspended license may prohibit driving at night or carrying passengers who are not family members. Some states restrict drivers on hardship licenses to a limited mileage. Hardship licenses issued after a DUI may impose conditions such as counselling or an ignition interlock device.

Hardship licenses applications often involve special procedures. Drivers in Illinois must make a request in writing to the Secretary of State and may need to attend courses or counselling. In Florida, hardship licenses are issued only after the driver passes a traffic school course. Hardship licenses in Tennessee only permit driving to pre-authorized destinations via the most direct route possible. In Texas, judges decide on applications for a hardship license.

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