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What do I have to do if I get specialized driving privileges?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Specialized Driving Privileges

In Indiana, people whose driver’s licenses have been suspended can sometimes petition for “specialized driving privileges.” If these privileges are granted, the driver is allowed to drive to work (but not as a commercial driver), school and other critical activities the court specifically approves.

The decision on whether or not to grant specialized driving privileges is made on a case-by-case basis. You may not receive these privileges. It is not automatic. You will have to build a case for why you should receive specialized driving privileges.

Not everyone qualifies. For example, people whose licenses were suspended because they refused to submit to a chemical OWI test are not eligible. There are others who are not eligible, as well. Your lawyer can help you understand if you are eligible.

Be aware that people with commercial driver’s licenses can only drive their personal vehicles while on specialized driving privileges. They may not operate any vehicle for which a CDL is required.

Once you have petitioned the court and received specialized driving privileges, you will be given an order granting the privileges. This order will have certain conditions, and you must obey all of them.

Often, one of the conditions is to have an ignition interlock device must be installed on your car. This is a breathalyzer-like device that keeps your car from starting unless you blow a clean sample of breath. The conditions could also include things like limiting the times of day you are allowed to drive.

In addition to obeying anything the court specifically orders you to do, you must also:

  • Maintain vehicle insurance. Depending on the offense for which your license was suspended, this could be a special, more expensive policy.
  • Carry a copy of your court order in your vehicle or with you at all times.
  • Provide the order to the police upon request.
  • Carry a valid state-issued ID or driver’s license.

What happens if I violate a condition of my specialized driving privileges?

If you knowingly or intentionally violate any condition of your specialized driving privileges, including the four things listed above, you could lose some or all of your privileges. The court or BMV could modify your order, which would still allow you to drive. Or, your license could be suspended fully once again.

In Indiana, it’s not easy to make a living or fulfill your commitments without access to a motor vehicle. A lawyer can build the case, file the petition, and argue before the judge to get you specialized driving privileges so you can continue to drive legally.