My Driver's License was Suspended....

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What is a hardship license?
It is a license issued while your driver’s license is suspended. It allows you to drive for certain purposes, usually to work, during the suspension.

How do I know if I am eligible for a hardship license?
A hardship license is usually not available if your license is suspended for one of the following reasons:

  • physical, mental or emotional instability.
  • you are convicted of driving while suspended,
  • you were convicted of involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide as a result of an automobile accident, or
  • your current suspension is for driving while intoxicated and you have a previous conviction for driving while intoxicated.

The hardship license requirements vary depending on the reason for the suspension. A list of suspension reasons and the basic requirements for a hardship license for each type of suspension are listed below.

My license was suspended for driving without insurance:Generally someone must demonstrate that they “inadvertently” drove without insurance, and that the suspension causes an undue hardship on the person’s family or dependents because it interferes with work are eligible for a hardship license. In other words, you must have had reason to believe that you had insurance.

My license was suspended for driving while under the influence:You may be eligible for a hardship license if:

  1. It is your first driving under the influence offense.
  2. You successfully completed a certified rehabilitation program. and
  3. The suspension causes undue hardship on your family or dependents by interfering with your work, pursuit of education, or participation in necessary medical treatment, a driver's education program or substance abuse counseling..

My license was suspended because I had a car accident and a money judgment was entered against me:If you can afford to regularly pay on the judgment, you can ask the court to order a repayment plan and reinstate your regular driver’s license.

My license was suspended for not paying a traffic ticket:You don’t need a hardship license. Pay the ticket and make sure the county clerk forwards the record of your payment to the Department of Transportation.

If any of your suspensions are based on conviction for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will have to show that you successfully completed a certified rehabilitation program.

What if there is a mistake on my driving record or I think that my license was wrongly suspended?
You can challenge the decision of the Department of Transportation to suspend your license if you have reason to believe that a mistake was made. Contact a private attorney or a Kentucky Legal Services organization as soon as you receive notice that your license is being suspended-there may be a time limit for challenging the decision.

Some other things to remember:

  • Almost all license suspensions require you to pay a reinstatement fee to get your driver’s license reinstated. To find out what you reinstatement fees are, contact the Department of Transportation.
  • Keep your address up to date with the Department of Transportation. If you do not update your address you may not receive suspension notices and notices of reinstatement fees.
  • Keep copies of receipts when paying traffic tickets or reinstatement fees.
  • Contact a private attorney or your local legal services provider if you want help in getting a hardship license or to find out if and when you will be eligible for a hardship license or license reinstatement.


Reviewed August 2009