Drivers Hardship License Law – General – Delaware
1. Does the agency (motor vehicle/DOT) law provide for hardship licenses?
The Division of Motor Vehicles will suspend the driver’s license of any Delaware resident whenever the Division has reason to believe that the following offenses apply to a person:
1. Excessive Points or Serious Speeding Violations.
2. Has by reckless or unlawful operation of a motor vehicle contributed to an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or caused serious property damage.
3. Is incompetent to drive a motor vehicle for serious medical or mental conditions.
4. Has committed a serious violation of motor vehicle laws.
5. Has driven a motor vehicle without consent of its owner.
6. Has issued a non-collectible check to the Division.
7. Racing (speed exhibition).
8. Spinning wheels.
9. Turfing (causing destruction to grass, yards, property, etc.).
10. Failing to answer a court summons in any state.
11. Has violated any of the licensing provision of the Delaware Code including:
(a) Use of fictitious, suspended, revoked or borrowed driver’s license.
(b) Loaning a driver’s license to another person
(c) Failure to surrender a suspended or revoked license.
(d) Giving a fictitious name or address or making a false statement in applying for a license.
(e) Unlawful manufacture or possession of a false insurance document.
(f) Driving an uninsured motor vehicle.
(g) Passing a stopped school bus.
(h) Altering a driver’s license or using a fraudulent license.
(i) Failure to pay Child Support.
Child Support Delinquency
Any person who owes $1,000 or more in arrears or retroactive support and is 30 or more days delinquent in payment of a child support order from either Family Court or the Division of Child Support Enforcement may have their license suspended as defined in Title 13 Delaware Code section 516. The suspension will remain in effect until a release is obtained from the requesting agency and received by the Division of Motor Vehicles. A reinstatement fee of $25.00 must be paid to the Division of Motor Vehicles in order to reinstate the license.
Any student expelled from a school district as outlined under Title 14 Delaware Code section 4130 will be suspended until the length of expulsion is complete, the student reaches their 19th birthday, or 2 years has elapsed since the date of expulsion. A release must be provided from the school district/superintendent in order to be eligible for reinstatement. A reinstatement fee of $25.00 must be paid to the Division of Motor Vehicles in order to reinstate the license. Any student suspended under this section may apply for an occupational license under the following conditions:
1. You held a current Delaware license prior to this suspension.
2. You have not been issued an occupational license within the immediate past 12 months.
3. You are not under Suspension or Revocation for any other reason.
4. Your Delaware license is turned in to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
5. You submit the appropriate application, notarized documents, and sign the sworn compliance statement.
A hardship license may also be issued under 21 Del. C. § 2751 for offenses of unlawful application for or use of license or identification card and 21 Del. C. § 4177 et seq. allows for limited driving privileges for drivers charged with a first offense and meeting certain criteria or with ignition interlock device agreements.
A copy of the occupational license must be carried by the driver at all times when operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state.
2. Is an agency hearing required before a hardship license is issued?
Under 21 Del. C. § 4177E, a form setting forth eligibility must be submitted. If a person accepts the first offender election under 21 Del. C. 4177B, the election shall constitute a waiver of the right to an administrative hearing as provided for in § 2742 and shall act to withdraw any request previously made therefor. Under § 2733, no hearing is required, but the proper application must be submitted.
3. Do prior offenses prevent me from obtaining a hardship license?
§ 2733 allows no more than two prior suspensions to be eligible for a conditional license.
4. What are the requirements for getting a hardship license?
To get a conditional license under § 2733, an application must be made upon a form prescribed by the Department and sworn to by the applicant; provided, that the applicant sets forth in said application that the suspension of such license has created an extreme hardship in the conduct of the business usually transacted by the applicant, and that there have been no more than 2 such prior suspensions
To obtain limited driving privileges with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) agreement:
(1) The offender must have had a valid Delaware driver’s license at the time of the offense in question;
(2) Following revocation, the offender must complete an alcohol evaluation, provide proof of enrollment in a course of instruction and/or program of rehabilitation and pay all associated fees;
(3) The offense in question may not involve death or serious physical injury to any person;
(4) The offender’s driving privileges or license must not be currently suspended, revoked, denied or unavailable for any other violations of the law of any jurisdiction;
(5) The offender’s driving privileges or license must not be revoked pursuant to § 10 Del. C. § 1009 of Title 10 or a like provision of another jurisdiction;
(6) The offender must either own the motor vehicle to be installed with the IID or file the notarized approval of installation by the motor vehicle owner with the Division of Motor Vehicles;
(7) The offender must not have participated in an IID program within the immediate past 5 years or a like program in any other jurisdictions;
(8) The offender must provide proof of insurance for the vehicle on which the IID will be installed. The proof of insurance must verify that the offender is permitted to drive the specific motor vehicle in question regardless of ownership of the vehicle;
(9) The court, whether upon a motion by the Attorney General or otherwise, shall not have designated the offender ineligible to be a participant; and
(10) The offender shall meet any other eligibility criteria established by regulations of the Division of Motor Vehicles.
Under §,12 Del. C. §4177E dealing with revocation of a driver’s license pursuant to § 21 Del. C. § 4177B fro first offenders, the Department may issue a conditional license during the period of revocation upon application by the applicant upon a form prescribed by the Department and sworn to by the applicant, provided that the applicant sets forth in said application that the revocation of such license has created an extreme hardship, that no prior conditional license has been issued within the preceding 12 months, that there have been no other such prior revocations, and if allother requirements contained in § 21 Del. C. § 4177C of this title have been satisfactorily complied with.
§ 21 Del. C. § 4177C requires:
(1) Satisfactory completion of at least 16 hours of instruction and/or rehabilitation;
(2) Payment of all fees under the schedule adopted by the Secretary;
(3) At least 90 days have elapsed since the day the revoked license reached the motor vehicle office.
Notwithstanding §§ 4177A and 4177B of this title, any person sentenced pursuant to § 4177 of this title or who elects to enroll in a course of instruction or program of rehabilitation pursuant to § 4177B of this title, who has satisfactorily completed a course and/or program established pursuant to § 4177D of this title, shall be permitted to apply for a driver’s license under the following terms:
(1) Payment of all fees under the schedule adopted by the Secretary;
(2) For a person sentenced for a first offense pursuant to § 4177 of this title or who elected to enroll in a course of instruction or program of rehabilitation pursuant to § 4177B of this title, at least 6 months have elapsed since the day the revoked license reached the motor vehicle office.
(3) For a person sentenced for a second offense pursuant to § 4177 of this title, at least 18 months have elapsed since the effective date of revocation of that person’s driver’s license and the person has satisfactorily completed the Subsequent Offense Ignition Interlock Program pursuant to § 4177G of this title; and
(4) For a person sentenced for a third or greater offense pursuant to § 4177 of this title, at least 24 months have elapsed since the effective date of revocation of that person’s driver’s license and the person has satisfactorily completed the Subsequent Offense Ignition Interlock Program pursuant to § 4177G of this title.
Notwithstanding § 4177F of this title, any person subject to a period of voluntary revocation pursuant to § 4177F(f)(1) who has satisfactorily completed a course and/or program established pursuant to § 4177D of this title, shall be permitted to apply for a driver’s license under the following terms:
(1) Payment of all fees under the schedule adopted by the Secretary;
(2) At least 5 months have elapsed since the day an IID was installed on the person’s motor vehicle.
5. Does a lifetime or mandatory revocation make you ineligible for restricted driving privileges?
§ 2733, dealing with discretionary suspension or revocation of license, disallows occupational permits for drivers with a conviction for an offense subject to mandatory revocation.