Individuals in Alabama can find their driver’s license suspended after traffic violations, collisions, DWI arrests, and other infractions. For many people, the suspension of a driver’s license could make it difficult to work, support a family, and function in society.
Losing your driving privileges often creates a dilemma: drive with a suspended license and risk further punishment, or struggle to find effective and efficient alternatives.
A law in Alabama crafted to improve this dilemma recently took effect. Some drivers with suspended licenses can qualify for a license that permits them to drive to certain functions like work or school. Until this law was put in place, there were no exceptions. Now, thousands of people will get to keep their jobs, and will no longer struggle to meet their obligations and retain employment.
The new law has strict eligibility and there is confusion surrounding the licensing process. Read more below to learn more about the new license and the requirements needed to obtain it.
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What Is the Hardship License?
The hardship license is a new license offered by the state of Alabama to drivers with license suspensions not related to public safety crimes. As the Montgomery Advertiser reports, the new licenses allow “Alabamians to drive to work, school, doctor appointments and to pick up groceries.”
However, receiving the hardship license is not the same as a reinstatement of a license. Full privileges are not given to hardship licensees, and recreational or non-necessary driving is not permitted.
How to Get the Hardship License
Though the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency accepts applications through mail and e-mail, the application process for a hardship license is not easy or simple.
Potential licensees must provide proof that they cannot meet their transportation needs through other means, such as carpooling with co-workers or receiving rides from loved ones. Proof of a need to drive may include a doctor’s note, an employer’s note verifying a job status, written proof of enrollment in an educational institution, or a statement from a drug or alcohol treatment counselor.
Additionally, applicants are required to provide details about their travel if they were to receive a hardship license. Details like times, dates, and destinations are required components of the application for an Alabama hardship license.
Who Is Ineligible for an Alabama Hardship License?
The hardship license application is only open to Alabamians released from the Department of Corrections (with exceptions), Alabamians in a “Community Corrections” program, and those in a Department of Corrections work-release. Additionally, any driver with a suspended license who can prove they are not a public safety risk and who cannot meet their transportation needs through other avenues.
Motorists whose driving injured or led to the death of another person, or who drove under the influence of alcohol, are not eligible for a hardship license.
How Can Morris King & Hodge, P.C., Law Help Me?
The attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are here to support our Huntsville community. If you have questions about your rights or the Alabama’s new hardship license, contact us by phone or online today.