If you were arrested for a Minnesota DWI, it is highly likely that your license was revoked or suspended. The question that many ask is – should you wait to have your license reinstated or should you apply for a hardship license instead? The answer depends on your specific situation.
You will be given the option of reinstating your driver’s license upon completion of both your Minnesota administrative and court requirements from your DWI charge. Although requirements may vary depending on your position and the severity of your case, you will generally need to pass a DWI knowledge test and pay a reinstatement fee of $680. You will also need to complete a chemical health assessment program and complete a new Minnesota driver’s license application and pay the accompanying fees.
Minnesota, along with numerous other states, also issues a hardship license that allows certain drivers convicted of DWI to operate a vehicle for explicit reasons and under specific circumstances. A hardship license, also known as a restricted license or a limited license, limits the hours of the day or the days of the week that the individual is allowed to drive.
Not everyone can acquire a hardship license, as eligibility for this type of license is dependent on several factors. The reason for your license suspension will first be reviewed, as well as your driving record. If you have a recent prior DWI conviction or revocation , you are unlikely to receive a hardship license. Most importantly, your need for a hardship license will also be taken into account. Do you live in an area with limited options for public transportation? Do you have a legitimate need to drive a vehicle?
You may be granted a hardship license if there is an absolute need to use your vehicle to get to work, to attend classes at a post-secondary educational facility, to receive medical treatment, to provide for your family’s nutritional needs, or to attend chemical dependency counseling.
As the applicant, you have the burden of proving that using public transportation or similar alternatives is not feasible and constitutes a significant hardship on your part. In some scenarios, you may be required to provide proof of insurance coverage.
In order to apply for a hardship license, you must wait anywhere from 15 days to a year from the time you were convicted or arrested for DWI depending on your history. You will also need to apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay the accompanying fees, as well as pass all tests required of you.
Individuals convicted of a Minnesota DWI with a BAC level of .16 or more, however, are not entitled to apply for a hardship license.