Georgia Drivers License Hardship Law


Drivers Hardship License Law – General – Georgia

1. Does the agency (motor vehicle/DOT) law provide for hardship licenses?

Yes, § 40-5-64 dealing with ignition interlock devices, § 40-5-75 for drug offenders, and § 40-5-58 for habitual offenders allow drivers whose licenses are suspended to apply for a hardship license if requirements are met.

2. Is an agency hearing required before a hardship license is issued?

No. Under §40-5-64, applications for limited driving permits shall be made upon such forms as the commissioner may prescribe. Such forms shall require such information as is necessary for the department to determine the need for such permit. All applications shall be signed by the applicant before a person authorized to administer oaths.

3. Do prior offenses prevent me from obtaining a hardship license?

If you have previous offenses within the past two years, you may be denied a probationary license under §40-5-58. Under §40-5-64, a person must not have been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 (DI) within the past five years to be eligible for a limited driving premit.

4. What are the requirements for getting a hardship license?

Under § 40-5-64, the department shall issue a limited driving permit if the application indicates that refusal to issue such ermit would cause extreme hardship to the applicant. For the purposes of this Code section, “extreme hardship” means that the applicant cannot reasonably obtain other transportation, and therefore the applicant would be prohibited from:

(1) Going to his or her place of employment or performing the normal duties of his or her occupation;
(2) Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs;
(3) Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student;
(4) Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner; or
(5) Attending under court order any driver education or improvement school or alcohol or drug program or course approved by the court which entered the judgment of conviction resulting in suspension of his or her driver’s license or by the commissioner.

(c.1) Exception to standards for approval. The provisions of paragraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5) of subsection (c) of this Code section shall not apply and shall not be considered for purposes of granting a limited driving permit or imposing conditions thereon under this Code section in the case of a driver’s license suspension under paragraph (2) of subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22.

(d) Conditions attached. A limited driving permit shall be endorsed with such conditions as the commissioner deems necessary to ensure that such permit will be used by the permittee only to avoid the conditions of extreme hardship. Such conditions may include the following restrictions:

For drug offenses, § 40-5-75 states that upon the first conviction of any such offense, with no arrest and conviction of and no plea of nolo contendere accepted to such offense within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, the period of suspension shall be for not less than 180 days. At the end of 180 days, the person may apply to the department for reinstatement of his or her driver´s license. Such license shall be reinstated only if the person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Department of Human Resources and pays to the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety a restoration fee of $210.00 or $200.00 when such reinstatement is processed by mail.

Second offenses require a one year period before reinstatement. Upon a third conviction of a drug offense within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, such person´s license shall be suspended for a period of five years. At the end of two years, the person may apply to the department for a three-year driving permit upon compliance with the following conditions:

(A) Such person has not been convicted or pleaded nolo contendere to any drug related offense, including driving under the influence, for a period of two years immediately preceding the application for such permit;
(B) Such person submits proof of completion of a licensed drug treatment program. Such proof shall be submitted within two years of the license suspension and prior to the issuance of the permit. Such licensed drug treatment program shall be paid for by the offender. The offender must pay a permit fee of $25.00 to the department;
(C) Such person submits proof of financial responsibility as provided in Chapter 9 of this title; and
(D) Refusal to issue such permit would cause extreme hardship to the applicant. For the purposes of this subparagraph, the term ‘extreme hardship’ means that the applicant cannot reasonably obtain other transportation, and, therefore, the applicant would be prohibited from:

(i) Going to his or her place of employment or performing the normal duties of his or her occupation;
(ii) Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs;
(iii) Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student; or
(iv) Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner.

§40-5-75 allows no work permits or driving privileges except as described above.

5. Can minors receive limited driving privileges?

Yes, minors are able to receive limited driving privileges under § 40-5-64.

§ 40-5-75 , dealing with drug offense suspensions, states that licensed drivers who are 16 years of age who are adjudicated in a juvenile court pursuant to this Code section may, at their option, complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Department of Human Resources or an assessment and intervention program approved by the juvenile court.