Oregon Drivers License Hardship Law


Drivers Hardship License Law – General – Oregon

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

For most suspensions of driving privileges, you may be able to get a hardship permit that allows you to go to and from work, to drive on the job, to get medical treatment, to seek employment or take part in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program. A hardship permit may let you drive the same type of vehicle as did the license you held before the suspension or it may limit or grant fewer driving privileges. If your driving privileges have been suspended for an uninsured accident and no other reason, you may get a hardship permit to meet basic family needs, such as taking children to and from school or daycare, getting medical treatment and buying groceries.

If your driving privileges have been revoked as a habitual offender, you may be able to get a probationary permit that allows you to go to and from work, to drive on the job, seek employment or take part in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program.

Hardship and probationary permits tell you exactly when and where you may drive; it will specify hours, days and routes. If you drive outside these restrictions, law enforcement may cite you for driving while suspended or revoked and DMV may suspend or revoke your hardship or probationary permit driving privileges and your right to apply for a hardship or probationary permit for up to one year.

No hardship or probationary permit is available if your driving privileges are revoked for a traffic crime or for violation of the restrictions of a hardship or probationary permit. Persons suspended for failure to appear or failure to comply are not eligible for a hardship permit.

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

No. The driver suspension unit will review your application and notify you of any additional requirements you must complete before a permit can be issued. The hardship/probationary application is processed at DMV Headquarters. The field offices are unable to issue a permit. Once your permit has been processed and issued, DMV mails you a restriction letter. Take the restriction letter to a full service DMV field office to obtain a restricted operator’s license. Your driving privilege will not be valid until you have obtained an operator’s license with a restriction code of “J.”

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

If you have been suspended based on a convictions for assault in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degrees, DMV cannot issue you a hardship permit if within the ten years before applying for the permit, you were convicted of murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, or assault resulting for the operation of a motor vehicle; reckless driving; driving under the influence of intoxicants; failure to perform the duties of a driver involved in an accident or collision; criminal driving while suspended or revoked; or fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. This does not apply if the conviction(s) was from the same incident that caused this suspension.

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

Oregon Department of Transportation, Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Branch (DMV) grants hardship permits. Drivers whose license has been suspended due to DUII, an uninsured accident, or other causes may request such permits. Hardship permits contain limits and conditions on driving privileges. The permit may require attendance at a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program or special driver training class. They may specify the hours of the day the permit driver may drive, the places he or she is allowed to drive, routes to take, and insurance required. Drivers with hardship permit must show proof of insurance before DMV issues the permit.

To apply for a hardship or probationary permit, you must pay an application fee. This fee is non-refundable, even if the hardship or probationary permit is denied or later is suspended or revoked.  To verify permit eligibility call (503) 945-5400.

The following documentation must be provided:

1. Driving privileges to work and return from work require a signed and dated letter from your employer verifying the days and hours of your employment.
2. Driving privileges for on the job require a signed and dated letter from your employer verifying the days and hours of your employment, the need to drive on the job and the counties you will be required to drive in.
3. Driving privileges to seek employment require a list of the days, hours and counties you will drive in for seeking employment (counties must be connected).
4. Driving privileges for self-employed require a copy of your current business license. (Must show your name and business name); or a copy of your most current signed tax statement; or two other documents such as a current customer signed business receipt, advertisement, signed contracts, signed and dated letter from customers, etc. If required to drive in other states, need proof of doing business in those states.

SR22: A SR22 is a certificate of financial responsibility. You can get a SR22 from your insurance provider. The certificate must be presented within 30 days from the signature date it is issued; the certificate must be the “original” certificate. Please note that the SR22 is not the same as a proof of insurance card. Contact your insurance agent for assistance in obtaining a SR22. The insurance company that issues the SR22 must be licensed to sell insurance in Oregon.

IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE (IID): If you have been convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants an IID is required for the duration of the hardship permit and for the first six months after the ending date of the suspension caused by the conviction. If you are required to drive on the job and drive an employer’s vehicle your employer is exempt from installing an IID in the vehicle you are required to drive on the job. Your employer will need to complete the “Employer Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Exemption” (Form 735-6874), OR complete a signed letter stating: he is aware of the IID requirement and does not want the device installed in his vehicles and that you are required to operate the employer’s vehicles in the course of your employment. You will need to carry a copy of the Exemption form or the employer’s letter when operating the employer’s vehicle(s). If you are self-employed an exemption is not available.

MENTAL HEALTH RECOMMENDATION: If you have been suspended for two or more Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants convictions within a five-year period, you will need to submit a written recommendation for your permit from an alcohol treatment program (Mental Health recommendation). The recommendation must be from a program approved by the Oregon Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Information on approved programs in your area is available at DMV by calling (503) 945-5400.

COURT RECOMMENDATION: If you have been suspended for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, eluding and reckless driving or representation of age; you will need to have the convicting judge approve your request for driving privileges by signing your hardship/probationary application.

IF REVOKED AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER: A Medical (diagnostic) Exam, Defensive Driving Class and successful completion of the vision, law and drive test are required before we can issue a probationary permit.

DRIVING PRIVILEGES FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT: Driving privilege for treatment is not included in the 12 hours per day of driving time. Provide the meeting starting and ending times, including AM/PM.

PHYSICIAN-SIGNED STATEMENT (required only if requesting medical appointments) Submit a physician-signed statement verifying the need for medical treatment on a regular basis. Include the physician’s address and route. (Not required for Uninsured Accident or Misrepresentation of Age Suspensions.

FAMILY NECESSITIES DRIVING PRIVILEGES are allowed when you are suspended for uninsured accident or misrepresentation of age suspensions only: If your only suspension is for an uninsured accident or misrepresentation of age suspension, you may request driving for family necessities. A list of qualified Family necessities follows and you will need to request these and provide the necessary information:

1. Medical appointments: Name and address of doctor and specific route.
2. Grocery shopping: Name of one store, specific route, two days per week, and four hours per day (example: Weds & Sat 10am-2pm).
3. Baby-sitting/daycare: Name of provider, address, days, specific route and driving times (example: M-F 7:30am-8am and 5pm-5:30pm).
4. School, for yourself or driving children to and from school: Name of school, days, specific route and driving times (example: M-W-F 7:30am-8am and 3pm-3:30pm).
5. Caring for Elderly Immediate Family Members: Name and address of person, days, route and driving times (example: T-Th-Sun 7:30am-8am and 3pm-3:30).

5. Can minors receive limited driving privileges?

Yes. There is no exclusion for obtaining a hardship license for minors under § 807.240.

§ 471.430, dealing with the purchase or possession of liquor by person under 21; entry of licensed premises by person under 21; allows the court notification to the Department of Transportation under this subsection to include a recommendation that the person be granted a hardship permit under ORS 807.240 if the person is otherwise eligible for the permit.