If your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, your attorney may be able to get you a Class E driver’s license that allows driving for only certain limited purposes.
A hardship license may be a possibility for you under certain circumstances while you are waiting for an administrative hearing or later after you have served the statutory minimum “hard time” suspension. A hardship license allows you to use your car as transportation for the purpose of earning a living. There are different types of hardship permits that might be available to you. If your application for a hardship license is approved, you will be given a Class E license with a Business Purposes (Class C) restriction or Employment Purposes (Class D) restriction. There is no restricted CDL license available.
The first situation in which you may obtain a restricted business purposes license is when you are awaiting your formal review hearing regarding the suspension. Your lawyer will obtain for you the 42 day Business Purposes Only (Class C) driving permit pending the outcome of the hearing. This will allow you to drive to and from work while you and your lawyer are in the process of fighting your suspension. If you win at the review hearing, you’ll get your regular license back and your driving record will be cleared. If not, you will need to serve the “hard suspension” period which is the minimum amount of time that you’ll need to avoid driving altogether, until you are allowed to apply for a hardship license.
Once the “hard suspension” period has been completed, your attorney will help you present your case to the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) for a hardship license that will once again allow you restricted driving privileges, if you qualify. You will need to have completed DUI School and may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
Business Purposes vs. Employment Purposes Restricted License:
Florida has two types of hardship license: “Business Purposes” and “Employment Purposes.”
The less restrictive “business purposes only” restricted license allows you to drive to work and back, do any driving that is necessary for your job, and drive to school, religious services, and medical appointments.
The “employment purposes only” hardship license is more restricted, allowing you only to drive to and from work and as needed to perform your job.
If you have multiple DUI convictions within a period defined by Florida statute, a DUI manslaughter conviction, or have refused tests to determine your BAC level twice or more, you may not be able to obtain a hardship license for an extended amount of time. Your attorney can explain the law to you. This is one reason that you should not only seek help early on for a persistent problem with alcohol but also should always fight to avoid a DUI conviction.