How to Apply for Specialized Driving Privileges in Indiana

Criminal Defense
How to Apply for Specialized Driving Privileges in Indiana

October 01, 2023

Having your driver’s license suspended is a frustrating and stressful experience. Being unable to drive can negatively impact your personal and professional life in many ways. Fortunately, in the state of Indiana, individuals with a suspended license may be eligible to apply for specialized driving privileges (SDP), also known as a hardship license, in order to regain limited driving privileges. In this blog, we will guide you through the process of applying for SDP in Indiana.

Eligibility for Specialized Driving Privileges

In Indiana, individuals with a suspended license may be eligible for SDP if they can prove that their driving is necessary for their employment, education, medical issues, or to meet the needs of their household. You will need to provide evidence that you meet the criteria for SDP to the court. This can include documents such as a letter from your employer or a doctor’s note verifying your medical condition and the need to attend regular appointments, for example.

There are several conditions that might make a person ineligible for specialized driving privileges. You may not be eligible for SDP if any of the following apply:

  • You are not or never were an Indiana resident
  • You were convicted of a motor vehicle offense that resulted in death
  • Your license was suspended following a refusal to submit to a chemical test
  • You have been found incompetent or unfit to drive

A skilled attorney can help you understand how these restrictions will apply to your case and if you are eligible for SDP.

Application Process

The first step in applying for SDP in Indiana is to file a petition with the court. You will need to submit the petition to the court in the county where your suspension was issued. You will also be required to pay a fee for the administrative costs of processing your petition. After you have submitted the petition, the court will review your application, and you may be required to attend a hearing to argue your case.

Restrictions and Requirements

If your petition for SDP is approved, there will be restrictions and requirements placed on your driving privileges. These may include requirements such as alcohol or drug testing, ignition interlock devices, or attendance at driver improvement programs. You will be required to comply with all of the requirements imposed on you by the court to maintain your SDP.

Duration of SDP

The duration of SDP in Indiana can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Generally, SDP may be granted for a period of up to two years, but it can be renewed if you can demonstrate that you still require SDP. If you fail to comply with the requirements of your SDP, your privileges may be revoked.

Benefits of Specialized Driving Privileges

SDP can provide significant benefits to individuals who have had their licenses suspended. It allows them to continue to meet their responsibilities to their employers, family, and community. It can also provide a pathway to reinstating your full driving privileges in the future.

Help is Available for a Suspended License

If you have had your driver’s license suspended in Indiana and are struggling to meet your responsibilities, specialized driving privileges may be an option for you. Remember that it is essential to comply with all the requirements and restrictions placed on your SDP to maintain this privilege. 

If you have any questions about the process of applying for SDP or need legal representation, don’t hesitate to contact The Bellinger Law Office. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help.

Guidance for Families


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Robert H. Bellinger



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