Minnesotans who are convicted of DWI offenses generally have to hand their licenses over to the authorities as part of their penalty. The duration of this license revocation period varies depending on the severity of the sentence; it can be as short as 30 days, or it can remain in place for life.
Of course, the inability to drive makes it much harder for people in some situations to find and keep jobs, or to travel to and from their places of study. That’s why the authorities allow for a limited license in Minnesota in certain cases.
How Does the Limited License in Minnesota Work?
In Minnesota, a limited license (also known as a work permit or restricted license) allows you to drive with a suspended or revoked driver’s license under specific conditions and for essential purposes.
A limited license may come with the condition that you can only drive in certain areas and at certain times. Additionally, you may need to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your car.
As noted above, work and study are the two main reasons why a court will grant a limited license. However, there are other reasons for travel that may also be deemed acceptable, including:
- Chemical dependency classes.
- Healthcare appointments or medical emergencies.
- Job interviews.
- Care for elderly relatives.
- Certain family-related needs, such as shopping for groceries, bringing children to and from school, and so on.
- Court-ordered activities, such as mandated counseling sessions or community service.
However, you should also note that the authorities will require you to show that you actually need to drive to get where you’re going. If it’s obvious that you could travel to work or school using public transport or a ridesharing service (reasonably conveniently), your application may be declined.
Is the Limited Driving License an Option in Every Case?
Limited driving licenses are not available to every category of driving offender; only those on the less serious end of the spectrum are eligible to apply. In fact, the limited license is only available to a minority of those convicted of DWI offenses.
In order to qualify, you must have no prior DWI convictions or alcohol related license revocations within 10 years of the present offense. Additionally, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must have been lower than 0.16% at the time of the offense (the legal limit is 0.08%). If you refused to provide a breath test at the police station, you may also be entitled to apply for a limited license as long as you do not have a prior conviction or revocation within ten years.
How to Apply for a Limited Driving License in Minnesota
If you meet the eligibility requirements for a limited license, you can apply for one with the Driver and Vehicle Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) once 15 days have passed from the date your license revocation began.
Once the 15 days has elapsed, you will need to surrender any license certificates you currently have, pay a $680 fee for reinstatement, and pay a $26.75 fee for your new license. Finally, you’ll need to schedule a meeting with a driver evaluator and have them approve your application.
Getting the Help You Need Following a DWI or Traffic Violation in Minnesota
Although a Minnesota limited license won’t fully restore your driving privileges, it may provide a lifeline for you if you in terms of continuity in your day-to-day life. If you’re worried about how you’ll continue to work or study following a driving license revocation, you should speak to a specialist attorney about potentially applying for a limited driving license without delay.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation about your case.