Drivers Hardship License Law – General – Kentucky
1. Does the agency (motor vehicle/DOT) law provide for hardship licenses?
Yes. § 18A.400 et seq. allows for hardship licenses for drivers suspended for DUI offenses. Hardship driving privileges if there is reasonable cause to believe that revocation would hinder the person’s ability to:
(a) Continue his employment;
(b) Continue attending school or an educational institution;
(c) Obtain necessary medical care;
(d) Attend driver improvement, alcohol, or substance abuse education programs;or
(e) Attend court-ordered counseling or other programs.
2. Is an agency hearing required before a hardship license is issued?
§ 18A.400 doesn’t specify the requirement of a hearing, but the county attorney is allowed to object to a petition for a hardship license.
3. Do prior offenses prevent me from obtaining a hardship license?
No, but the court shall not issue a hardship license to a person who has refused to take an alcohol concentration or substance test or tests offered by a law enforcement officer.
4. What are the requirements for getting a hardship license?
§ 189A.420 requires the petitioner to:
(1) Provide the court with proof of motor vehicle insurance;
(2) Provide the court with a written, sworn statement from his employer detailing his job, hours of employment, and the necessity for the defendant to use a motor vehicle either in his work or in travel to and from work (if the license is sought for employment purposes);
(3) If the defendant is self-employed, to provide the information required in subsection (2) together with a sworn and notarized statement (under the penalties of false swearing) as to its truth;
(4) Provide the court with a written, sworn statement from the school or educational institution which he attends, of his class schedule, courses being undertaken, and the necessity for the defendant to use a motor vehicle in his travel to and from school or other educational institution (if the license is sought for educational purposes).Licenses for educational purposes shall not include participation in sports, social, extracurricular, fraternal, or other noneducational activities;
(5) Provide the court with a written, sworn statement from a physician, or other medical professional licensed (but not certified) under the laws of Kentucky, attesting to the defendant’s normal hours of treatment, and the necessity to use a motor vehicle to travel to and from the treatment (if the license is sought for medical purposes);
(6) Provide the court with a written, sworn statement from the director of any alcohol or substance abuse education or treatment program as to the hours in which the defendant is expected to participate in the program, the nature of the program, and the necessity for the defendant to use a motor vehicle to travel to and from the program (if the license is sought for alcohol or substance abuse education or treatment purposes);
(7) Provide the court with a copy of any court order relating to treatment, participation in driver improvement programs, or other terms and conditions ordered by the court relating to the defendant which require the defendant to use a motor vehicle in traveling to and from the court-ordered program. The judge shall include in the order the necessity for the use of the motor vehicle; and
(8) Provide to the court such other information as may be required by administrative regulation of the Transportation Cabinet.
A minimum suspension period must be served before harship driving privileges will be granted and a fee must be paid.
5. Can minors receive limited driving privileges?
Yes. § 189A.400 et seq. applies to drivers under the age of twenty-one (21) having an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more.
Also, under § 159.051, minors ages 16 or 17 who have licenses suspended for dropping out of school may have licenses reinstated upon a showing to the court that the license is needed to meet family obligations or family economic considerations which if unsatisfied would create an undue hardship or that the student is the only licensed driver in the household or the student is not considered a dropout or academically deficient.