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Wisconsin Drivers License Hardship Law

Drivers Hardship License Law – General – Wisconsin

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

Yes, under § 343.10, an occupational license may be issued.

An occupational license is a restricted driver license. Unlike a regular license, an occupational license limits when and where you can drive. You may only drive to and from work or church or other places indicated on the license and during specific times of the day. You may not use an occupational license for recreational purposes. Your total driving time is limited to 12 hours each day and no more than 60 hours for the entire week. If you operate outside those specific hours or for a purpose not permitted on the license, you may be arrested for operating after suspension or revocation.

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

No. The person must submit an application for an occupational license to the Department of Motor Vehicles as described below.

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

If you have two or more revocation or suspension cases from separate incidents in a one-year period, you are ineligible for an occupational license. The department shall consider the number and seriousness of prior traffic convictions in determining whether to issue an occupational license and what restrictions to specify

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

If you are a Wisconsin resident, you may be eligible to obtain an occupational license if your operating privilege was revoked or suspended under the following circumstances:

-Under Ch. 343 Wis. Stats (Operator’s Licenses).
-A drug conviction under s.961.50 (except juveniles)
-Nonpayment of child support under s.767.303
-A Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) under Ch. 351
-A commercial driver license (CDL) revoked or suspended for a damage judgment under the safety responsibility law

You may contact the Compliance and Restoration Section at (608)266-2261 to find out if you are eligible for an occupational license or with any other questions.

When you apply for an occupational license, you will need to fill out form (MV3027) listing the counties or states in which you will be driving, the time(s) of day you will be driving, etc. Because the form has multiple copies, you will need to fill it out at a Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) service center (excluding DMV express offices).

Two hours are needed to process an application. Plan to arrive at the DMV service center at least two hours before the center is scheduled to close.

You need to do the following:

* Complete an application for occupational operator license (Form MV3027 – available at the DMV service center). If you are under 18 years old, a sponsor signature is required.
* Complete necessary tests, including vision screening.
* Provide proof of your identity, such as an ID with your picture on it or a document with your signature.
* Provide an SR22 insurance certificate.
* If DMV does not show your license as revoked or suspended, provide a conviction status report or a photocopy of the front and back of a court-completed citation. You may contact the Compliance and Restoration Section to verify if this document is needed.
* Pay a $40 nonrefundable application fee. Filing an application and paying a $40 fee does not guarantee issuance of an occupational license.
* If you have two or more OWI convictions and are revoked for OWI, prove you have completed an assessment and are participating in a driver safety plan.
* If the court has ordered you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in any vehicle operated (excluding motorcycles and commercial motor vehicles), provide form MV3598 from an approved IID installer.
* If you have been revoked as an habitual traffic offender (HTO), the circuit court in your county of residence must approve the issuance of your occupational license.
* CDL applicants must show a valid Federal Medical card.

5. Who is ineligible for occupational driving privileges?

An occupational license cannot be issued:
-If you are a juvenile who committed offenses under Ch. 938 (Juvenile Justice Code)
-If you are under suspension for failing to pay a forfeiture (such as a traffic ticket or municipal citation)
-If your license has been canceled (rather than revoked or suspended)
-If you have never held a driver license
-If you are eligible to reinstate your driver license after revocation or suspension
-If you have two or more revocation or suspension cases from separate incidents in a one-year period
-If you have not served all mandatory waiting periods for an occupational license

6. Can minors receive limited driving privileges?

Yes, except that minors convicted of a drug offense under s.961.50 or an offense under the Juvenile Code may not receive an occupational license. Minors between at least 14 and under 18 years old may get a restricted license under § 343.08 if they can show a necessity to operate a vehicle owned and registered by the applicant’s parent or guardian or a farm truck leased to the applicant’s parent or guardian. They must submit a birth certificate accompanied by their parent or guardian and pass a driving test.

7. What is the minimum waiting period for occupational license eligibility?

Some revocation/suspension cases require that you serve a mandatory waiting period before you are eligible for an occupational license. The waiting period begins on the effective date of your revocation/suspension case. If you have multiple revocation/suspension cases, you must serve all waiting periods. The waiting period may vary depending on your previous driving history and the reason for the current revocation/suspension. All  revocation/suspension cases require a 15-day waiting period except the following:

Demerit points- no waiting period
Underage alcohol operation- no waiting period
HTO or Repeat HTO (RHT) under Ch. 351- after two (2) years
Drug convictions:
First- no waiting period
Second- after 60 days
Third- or more after 90 days
Nonpayment of child support- no waiting period
Wisconsin operating while intoxicated (OWI) type violations:
Blood alcohol content (BAC)- no waiting period
OWI or Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC):
First- no waiting period
Second- after 60 days
Third- or more after 90 days
Causing injury while intoxicated under s.346.63(2)- after 60 days
Implied Consent refusals:
First- after 30 days
Second- after 90 days
Third- or more after 120 days
Negligent homicide under s.940.09 or great bodily harm under s.940.25- after 120 days

Any two OWI-type violations within any five-year period, including those listed above, may require a one-year waiting period.

Inside Wisconsin Drivers License Hardship Law