Filing for Limited Driving Privileges
April 28, 2022
There are a number of reasons people may have a suspended driver's license—from failing to maintain your insurance to point accumulation to a DUI conviction. These suspensions can be a major inconvenience in life and can severely limit your agency and personal freedom. However, for some people, there may be options available to file for limited driving privileges which allow you to drive for certain, pre-specified reasons.
The cause of your suspension will inform the channels you need to go through, and it’s important to reach out to legal representation for help. If you’re in the Chesterfield, Missouri area and would like to speak with an experienced attorney about reinstating your license, call my firm—Walker Law LLC—to discuss your options. I’m also able to serve clients in Town and Country, Cottleville, and throughout St. Louis County and Charles County.
What Is a Limited Driving Privilege?
A Limited Driving Privilege (LDP), also called a hardship license, may be available to those who’ve had their license suspended, revoked, or denied. These special reinstated licenses are reserved for those who need their car for certain reasons like driving for employment or driving for emergency medical care. LDPs are typically only available to those who can show a necessary purpose for driving such as school, work, legal proceedings, childcare, or medical appointments, and who can also meet legal requirements.
Who Is Eligible to File?
Not everyone who has had their license suspended will be eligible for an LDP. The most common reason a person has their license suspended is due to point accumulation. In Missouri, you gain points against your license for certain violations and if you have more than eight points within 18 months, your license may be suspended for 30, 60, or 90 days. If you have over eight points, your license may be revoked for up to a year. For low-level violations, people will generally be able to apply for and be approved for an LDP.
Another common reason for a license suspension is due to a DUI (also called driving while intoxicated [DWI]), which carries with it a penalty of eight points and a 90-day suspension for a first-time offense. Those convicted of DUIs are often still eligible for an LDP, but the more convictions you have, the harder it can be. Note that if you were convicted of a felony offense within the last five years, or if your license is not currently eligible for reinstatement, you will not be eligible for LDP.
In cases of a suspension of under 90 days, you will likely need to purchase SR-22 auto insurance (a high-risk liability protection insurance add-on) and fill out an application for limited driving privileges (form 4595) with the Department of Revenue. For those who have an alcohol-related charge, you may have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car. If you have a first offense DUI, you can opt to serve your first 30 days of suspension (this is called a “hard walk”) and then obtain SR-22 insurance. You may be able to bypass this 30-day waiting period, but you’ll have to purchase the SR-22 insurance immediately and have an IID installed. These applications are typically reviewed within five days and you’ll then receive notice by mail if your request was granted or denied.
Filing for LDP status is more complicated if you have a 5- or 10-year denial. For these cases, you must petition your county circuit court and you’ll want to hire an attorney to assist you with this. With this petition, you’ll also need to obtain SR-22 insurance, and if you have an alcohol-related offense, you must have an IID installed with a camera included and potentially GPS as well. Additionally, you may have to enroll in the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP).
If You Are Denied
If your application or petition was denied when applying for LDP, you may be able to appeal this decision. These denials are most common for those with a 5- or 10-year denial who are petitioning the court. You will have to prove to a judge that you are no longer a threat to public safety and that you have changed your habits. You will also need to show that you have no recent felony convictions or traffic violations and that you’ve served your “hard walk” suspension. An experienced attorney can help you present your case to the court and strive to avoid a ruling of no future reinstatement.
Skilled Legal Guidance
If you’re in the Chesterfield, Missouri area and would like help with obtaining a hardship license or any other kind of driving-related help, call me at Walker Law LLC. With my particular background and experience, I’m able to navigate the justice system to best serve my clients and make a positive impact on their lives.