New York Drivers License Hardship Law

Drivers Hardship License Law – General – New York

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

The DMV can issue a conditional license to a driver who qualifies and who has a NYS license that is suspended or revoked because of an alcohol or drug-related violation. The driver must attend a Drinking Driver Program (DDP) approved by the DMV. If you qualify, the DMV sends instructions about how to enroll in the DDP with your suspension or revocation notice.

The DMV can issue a restricted use license to a driver who qualifies and whose license is suspended or revoked because of violations or incidents that are not alcohol or drug-related, or because of some drug-related violations.

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

You cannot qualify for a conditional license if:

* the judge who convicted you does not allow you to attend a DDP or receive a conditional license, or
* you do not have a valid NYS license or a NYS license that can be renewed, or
* you attended a Drinking Driver Program during the last five years, or
* you had another alcohol or drug-related violation during the last five years.

You cannot qualify for a restricted use license if:

* you do not have a valid NYS license or a NYS license that can be renewed, or
* your license was suspended for a period of 30 or fewer days, or
* the judge suspended your license based on the authority of the judge under the law (permissive suspension), or
* you had another restricted license in the last three years, or
* you have a suspension that you can end through your own action.

For example, you cannot qualify for a restricted use license if your license is suspended because:

* you did not respond to a traffic ticket, or
* you did not pay a fine, or
* you did not file an accident report.

§ 530 Veh. & Traf. provides that a hardship license shall not be issued to a person who, within the four year period immediately preceding the date of application,has been convicted within or without the state of homicide or assault arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle, of criminally negligent homicide or criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle resulting in death, or has been convicted within the state of a violation of subdivision two of section six hundred of this chapter or of reckless driving. Such license or privilege shall not be issued to a person whose license  or privilege is suspended or revoked because of a conviction of a violation of subdivision one, two, three, or four of section eleven hundred ninety-two (DUI) of this chapter or a similar offense in another jurisdiction, or whose license or privilege is revoked by the commissioner for refusal to submit to a chemical test pursuant to subdivision two of section eleven hundred ninety-four of this chapter. Such license or privilege shall not be issued to a person who within the five year period immediately preceding the date of application for such license or privilege has been convicted of a violation of subdivision one, two, three or four of section eleven hundred ninety-two of this chapter or a similar alcohol-related offense in another jurisdiction, or whose license or privilege has been revoked by the commissioner for refusal to submit to a chemical test pursuant to subdivision two of section eleven hundred ninety-four of this chapter, except that such a license or privilege maybe issued to such a person if, after such conviction or revocation, such person successfully completed an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program established pursuant to article thirty-one of this chapter in conjunction with such conviction or revocation.

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

§ 1193 Veh. & Traf puts the burden of proving extreme hardship shall be on the licensee who may present material and relevant evidence. A finding of extreme hardship may not be based solely upon the testimony of the licensee. In no event shall arraignment be adjourned or otherwise delayed more than three business days solely for the purpose of allowing the licensee to present evidence of extreme hardship. The court shall set forth upon the record, or otherwise set orth in writing, the factual basis for such finding. The hardship privilege shall permit the operation of a vehicle only for travel to or from the licensee’s employment, or to or from necessary medical treatment for the licensee or a member of the licensee’s household, or if the licensee is a matriculating student enrolled in an accredited school, college or university travel to or from such licensee’s school, college or university if such travel is necessary for the completion of the educational degree or certificate.

A restricted license granted under §530 Veh. & Traf. may require the applicant to attend a driver ehabilitation program specified by the commissioner, and shall be issued only after it is established to the reasonable satisfaction of the issuing officer that a driving license or privilege is a necessary incident to the applicant’s employment, business, trade, occupation or profession, or to his travel to and from a class or course at an accredited school, college or university or at a state approved institution of vocational or technical training or enroute to and from a medical examination or treatment as part of a necessary medical treatment for such participant or member of his household, as evidenced by a written statement to that effect from a licensed medical practitioner and that a denial of such license or privilege would deprive the person of his usual means of livelihood and thereby constitute an unwarranted and substantial financial hardship on the applicant and his immediate family or would seriously impair such person’s ability to meet the requirements of his education.


Inside New York Drivers License Hardship Law