Hardship Licenses in Florida

What is a hardship license?

A hardship license (also called a “hardship reinstatement”) is a type of driver’s license that grants temporary and limited driving privileges. If you’ve been arrested for or convicted of driving under the influence in Florida and your license was suspended, you may be eligible to receive a hardship license.

Do I qualify for a hardship license?

If you’ve had your driver’s license suspended after a DUI, you can apply for hardship reinstatement under specific circumstances, depending on how long ago you were convicted and other factors.

  • If you were convicted of your first DUI, you may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after completing DUI school and applying for a FLHSMV hearing.
  • If you were convicted of second DUI offense (within five years of your first), your license will be revoked for at least five years; however, you can apply for a hardship license after one year.
  • If you were convicted of a third offense in the span of 10 years, your driver’s license will be revoked for at least 10 years, but you can apply for a hardship license 2 years after your conviction.
  • If you were convicted of drunk driving four times (regardless of how much time passed between them), your license can be permanently revoked; however, you may be able to request a hardship license after five years.
  • If you were convicted of DUI manslaughter, your drivers’ license will most likely be revoked permanently, but you can seek a hardship license after five years (only if you have no prior DUI convictions on your record).

Disqualifying Factors

Not everyone with a drunk driving conviction can get a hardship license. Additionally, there is no provision for drivers convicted of DUI to operate a commercial motor vehicle. For your first conviction, you may apply for a hardship license immediately after completing DUI school; if you are not able to show that you completed DUI school, you cannot apply.

Subsequent DUI convictions make it more difficult to obtain a hardship license reinstatement. If you have driven a car or consumed alcohol in the last 12 months prior to applying, for example, you will not be eligible for a hardship license. Additionally, you will not be eligible until one year has pass since your conviction. Additionally, your hardship license will be revoked if you fail to show up for mandatory counseling or treatment.

Can I get a hardship license if I refused breath / blood testing?

You can apply for a hardship license if you refused breath, urine, or blood testing – but only under certain circumstances:

  • You do not have prior refusals
  • You have served 90 days without a driver’s license
  • You can demonstrate proof that you are enrolled in a DUI school

How much does a hardship license cost in Florida?

The fee to file for a hardship license is $12.00, but you may be required to pay additional fees depending on the specific factors surrounding your case, such as why your license was suspended and the type of DUI conviction you have.

Where can I drive with a hardship license in Florida?

A hardship license in Florida reinstate limited driving privileges and can only be used for driving that is “necessary to maintain livelihood.” This includes driving for medical purposes, driving to church, driving for work-related reasons, and driving to and from school (educational purposes).

If you're in need of a DUI defense attorney to help you obtain a hardship license in Florida, get in touch with the team at Barbarette & Quirk today by calling (352) 356-4999.

Do not hesitate to call Barbarette & Quirk for a case evaluation at (352) 356-4999