Specialized Driving Privileges Eligibility

Do you qualify for Specialized Driving Privileges?

Our previous post discussed what Specialized Driving Privileges  or “SDP” are.  This post will discuss the qualifications and eligibility of a person petitioning for SDP in Indiana.  Before January 2015, in Indiana, a person with a suspended license had to petition the court for a hardship license. Hardship licenses were difficult to obtain and were often denied. Indiana has updated these laws and created SDP. The specialized driving privileges statute (Indiana Code Section 9-30-16) allows people a way to stay their current suspension(s) and regain the ability to drive to and from work, to fulfill parenting obligations, attend medical appointments, and meet other legitimate needs.


The availability for specialized driving privileges applies to almost any person EXCEPT:

  • An individual who has never been an Indiana resident;
  • A individual serving a current suspension for refusal to submit to a chemical test (Breathalyzer or Blood Draw);
  • An individual who has been found incompetent or otherwise unfit to operate a motor vehicle by a court or the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”);
  • An individual who has been convicted for an offense which involved the operation of a motor vehicle and caused the death of another person; or
  • An individual who has previously received SDP and has more than one count of violating the terms of those SDP.

That means a person is still eligible even if that person has lost their license for:

– Habitual Traffic Violations (HTV),

– Driving Under the Influence (DUI),

– Operating While Intoxicated (OWI),

– Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVWI Suspensions),

– Insurance Suspensions,

– Court Ordered Suspensions,

– Bureau of Motor Vehicle Suspension (BMV), or

– Unpaid Traffic Tickets.

It is important to consult a knowledgeable Indiana attorney because specialized driving privileges are not automatically granted. Specialized Driving Privileges are determined by a court on a case-by-case basis and the stipulations in each case can vary depending on the court’s ruling. These privileges can encompass many different scenarios including: 

  • travel to and from work,
  • travel during specific times of the day,
  • operation of a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, and
  • travel to and from medical appointments or for parenting obligations. 

 If awarded by the court, Indiana specialized driving privileges would be in effect for a minimum of 180 days but no longer than two and a half years.

How to apply for Specialized Driving Privileges

Our final post in this three part series will discuss petitioning the court for Specialized Driving Privileges. To learn more about Specialized Driving Privileges, call Rollins Law Group at 317-558-9677 to schedule a consultation or contact us online to make arrangements.

These materials are intended for general information purposes only.  Accordingly, they do not and are not intended to constitute legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to your specific circumstances.

Chad Rollins

Chad is the managing attorney for Rollins Law Group. Chad’s practice emphasizes cost-effective solutions that seek to avoid unnecessary litigation while minimizing costs and risk. He focuses on real estate, landlord-tenant, business services, creditor-debtor law, specialized driving privileges and estate planning.

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