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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Section:II Driver's License LawsEffective: 07/11/1996
Number:30.00Revised: 08/01/2016

HARDSHIP LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

POLICY:

To view Louisiana Statutes: http://www.legis.state.la.us/

AUTHORITY
R.S. 9:315.45
R.S. 32:378.2
R.S. 32:414
R.S. 32:415.1
R.S. 32:430
R.S. 32:431
R.S. 32:667-668

DEFINITION
HARDSHIP LICENSE – A restricted license issued administratively in accordance with statutes or by order of the court to an applicant whose driving privileges are under suspension. This license allows the applicant to drive during the period of suspension to earn a livelihood or to maintain the necessities of life. In many instances, the installation of an ignition Interlock device will be required.

IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE – An in-car breath alcohol screening device that is connected to the vehicle's engine ignition system and prevents the vehicle from starting if the device detects a blood alcohol level at or above a preset limit.

LEASE AND INSTALLATION AGREEMENT – Documented proof that the ignition interlock device has been properly leased and installed in a vehicle.

NECESSITY OF LIFE – The activities necessary to sustain life. (Example: Individual drives to the grocery store. He is stopped by law enforcement. The officer has the discretion to determine if the reason for the individual driving constitutes "necessity".)

SR-22 FILING – A certificate of liability insurance from an insurance company authorized to do business in Louisiana. If a vehicle is not owned by the applicant, a non-ownership policy may be issued. An SR-22 binder with the binder clause and number can be accepted in lieu of the original SR-22 filing for 90 days only. An SR-22 filing may be required on a Refusal of a chemical test or Driving While Intoxicated conviction before issuance of a hardship license.

VIOLATIONS ELIGIBLE FOR ISSUANCE OF A HARDSHIP LICENSE FOR NECESSITY OF LIFE
A court order or ignition interlock installation is not required for these violations.
  • School Bus Violation 1st
  • Unlawful Use 1st
  • Child Support Enforcement if recommended by DSS
  • Driving Under Suspension Non-alcohol related. Record must have been suspended as a result of the following violations: Out of State Affidavit, Written promise, In Lieu of, TESS Affidavit, and DOTD Affidavits.
  • Nonpayment of Income Taxes
The installation of an ignition interlock device is required for the following violations. Only the vehicle equipped with an approved interlock device can be driven by the applicant. The exception is if the applicant drives an employer's vehicle in the scope of employment.
  • Submit to the breath alcohol content test
  • Refusal of a chemical test for intoxication
  • Driving While Intoxicated
  • Vehicular Negligent Injury
  • Driving Under Suspension (Alcohol related - applicant was under suspension for an alcohol offense on the date of violation).
COURT ORDERED HARDSHIP LICENSE
  • An economic or medical hardship license can be issued only if the applicant has petitioned the district court in the parish in which he resides and the court has ordered the Department to issue the license.
  • Any change in the restrictions on a court order during the hardship period would require the applicant to petition the court granting approval for the change. Upon receipt of an amended judgment approving the change in restrictions, the hardship will be updated accordingly. The applicant must visit the local Field office to have the restriction updated on the application.

DOCUMENTATION WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR ISSUANCE OF A HARDSHIP LICENSE
  • SR-22 Filing
  • Ignition Interlock Lease and Installation Agreement
  • Recommendation letter from Support Services
  • Court Order/Judgment
  • If the applicant drives his employer's vehicle in the scope of his employment, the court may allow the applicant to operate the company vehicle without the interlock device. The applicant must provide documentation from the court and the employer must provide a written statement that he (the employer) is aware that the employee is otherwise restricted to driving his personal vehicle that is equipped with the interlock device. The statement allows the applicant to drive a company vehicle that does not have the interlock installed. However, if the applicant owns the company and drives the company vehicle, the interlock must be installed in that vehicle.
  • Appropriate fees
EXCEPTIONS
  • A hardship license can only be issued to a Class D or E license holder. A hardship license cannot be issued to an applicant to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (Class A, B or C). The applicant may downgrade to a Class D or E license and be issued a hardship license, if eligible.
  • If an applicant is licensed, but suspended, in another state and subsequently becomes a Louisiana resident, he is not eligible for the issuance of a hardship license. The applicant must comply with the requirements of the issuing state before he is eligible for a license in Louisiana.
  • If a Louisiana resident holds a license from another state, but is suspended in Louisiana (i.e., under a pseudo number), he can be issued a hardship license provided he is eligible and meets the requirements to obtain a Louisiana license.
NOTE – Hardship licenses are issued in the Motor Vehicles Field offices throughout the state. Hardship licenses are issued in accordance with many statutes and the requirements may vary. Therefore, applicants should contact the Office of Motor Vehicles at (225) 925-6146 to determine their eligibility and requirements prior to visiting a Field office.

ISSUANCE OF A DUPLICATE HARDSHIP LICENSE
A copy of the judgment and/or Application for Hardship License will be required.

EXPIRATION OF A HARDSHIP LICENSE
The applicant is required to visit the local Field office for renewal of the expiring hardship license. If the office is closed on the date of expiration, the license may be renewed on the last business day before expiration.

VIOLATION OF HARDSHIP RESTRICTIONS
There are penalties for violating a hardship restriction. See Section II, Policy 31.00 for specific information.

APPROVED INTERLOCK MANUFACTURERS AND INSTALLERS
Please click on the link below for a list of approved interlock manufacturers and installers.
Interlock Manufacturers

RELATED POLICIES
Section II 8.00 DWI / UDUI
11.00 Submit/Refusal
11.09 Interlock as a Condition of Reinstatement
11.10 Violation of Interlock-Condition of Reinstatement
13.00 By order of the Department/Recommended by the court
13.04 Purchase or Possession of Alcohol
24.01 Vehicular Negligent Injury
26.01 Unlawful Use of a Driver's License
31.00 Violation of Restrictions (Hardship)
33.00 Driving While Suspended
40.00 Failure to Stop For School Bus
41.00 Nonpayment of child support
49.00 Denial of Driving Privileges
49.01 Denial of Driving Privileges of the Young
54.00 School Rule Infraction


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