2020 Changes to the Indiana Specialized Driving Privilege and Hardship License Law

Under Indiana Law, courts may order the suspension of a person’s driving privileges in lieu of criminal charges or an ongoing investigation. Indiana drivers whose licenses have been suspended by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles or a court may petition to obtain a Specialized Driver’s Privilege. Specialized Driving Privileges allow Indiana residents to drive for specific purposes while their Indiana driver’s license is suspended. Under Ind. Code § 9-30-16-3, an individual who seeks specialized driving privileges must file a petition that includes verification by the petitioner, petitioner’s age, date of birth and address, state the exact type of privilege you wish to receive and the reasons behind it, and file it in the court where the suspension was handed down. Recently, the statutes that control specialized driving privileges received an overhaul that specifically targeted sections of IC § 9-30-16-3.

Effective as of July 1, 2020, if the court determines the individual should be awarded specialized driving privileges, then the court may grant the privileges for a period of time as determined by the court. Previously, the statute limited the time period to a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of 2.5 years. With this new language, a judge determines how short or long the driving privileges will last as well as the discretion of granting the privileges at all. Additional changes to the statue include: the petition must include the same case number as the suspension, a person convicted of an DUI while operating a motorboat is now eligible for specialized driving privileges and those who are convicted of passing a school bus with an extended stop sign will not be eligible during their suspension. These changes by the legislature will help more suspended drivers be allowed to drive on a limited basis and save money so long as they comply with the court’s orders.

If you are interested in learning more about the process to obtain specialized driving privileges, contact Banks & Brower.  The attorneys at Banks & Brower are former prosecutors with years of trial experience and are ready to assist in any way they can. Reach out to them for a free consultation at (317) 870-0019 or emailing info@banksbrower.com.