1. Does the agency (motor vehicle/DOT) law provide for hardship licenses?
Yes, § 321J.20 et seq. allows for temporary restricted licenses to be issued. If your regular job depends on your being able to drive, and your driving privilege has been suspended or revoked, you may apply for a temporary restricted license (work permit). However, if your license has been revoked for OWI or under the implied consent law, you may not be able to get a work permit. Persons under the age of eighteen are not eligible for work permits and work permits may not be issued for operation of a commercial motor vehicle. You may not be eligible for a work permit if you have been declared a habitual offender or if you have been convicted of certain serious traffic offenses.
2. Is an agency hearing required before a hardship license is issued?
§ 321J.20 doesn’t require a hearing, but a petition for temporary privileges must be made by the driver.
3. Do prior offenses prevent me from obtaining a hardship license?
A habitual offender or person with a prior drag racing conviction is ineligible for a temporary driving permit.
4. What are the requirements for getting a hardship license?
You must meet the financial responsibility requirements, pass the vision screening and knowledge test, and pay a reinstatement fee before you are issued a work permit. An ignition interlock device must be installed if your license has been revoked for OWI.
The application may be granted only if all of the following criteria are satisfied:
a. The temporary restricted license is requested only for a case of extreme hardship or compelling circumstances where alternative means of transportation do not exist.
b. The license applicant has not made an application for a temporary restricted license in any district court in the state which was denied.
c. The temporary restricted license is restricted to the limited purpose or purposes specified in subsection 1 at times specified in the license.
d. Proof of financial responsibility is established as defined in chapter 321A. However, such proof is not required if the driver’s license was suspended under section 321.210A or 321.513 or revoked pursuant to a court order issued under section 901.5, subsection 10.
A temporary restricted license may be issued allowing the person to drive to and from the person’s home and specified places at specified times which can be verified by the department and which are required by any of the following:
a. The person’s full-time or part-time employment.
b. The person’s continuing health care or the continuing health care of another who is dependent upon the person.
c. The person’s continuing education while enrolled in an educational institution on a part-time or full-time basis and while pursuing a course of study leading to a diploma, degree, or other certification of successful educational completion.
d. The person’s substance abuse treatment.
e. The person’s court-ordered community service responsibilities.
If your license is revoked for an OWI offense, you cannot obtain a work permit until minimum periods of ineligibility have passed. Depending on your prior record, the minimum periods of ineligibility vary from 30 days to one year.
5. Does a lifetime or mandatory revocation make you ineligible for restricted driving privileges?
Except for a drag racing or bail forfeiture revocation , a mandatory suspension under § 321.209 makes a driver ineligible for restricted privileges under 321.215.
6. Can minors receive limited driving privileges?
Under § 321.215, a juvenile, whose license has been suspended or revoked pursuant to a dispositional order under section 232.52, subsection 2, paragraph “a”, for a violation of chapter 124 (controlled substances)or 453B (dealing in unlawful substances), or section 126.3 (drugs), a person may petition the district court having jurisdiction over the residence of the person for a temporary restricted license to operate a motor vehicle for limited purposes.
§ 321.194 provides for special minors’ licenses. Upon certification of a special need by the school board, superintendent of the applicant’s school, or principal, if authorized by the superintendent, the department may issue a class C or M driver’s license to a person between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years whose driving privileges have not been suspended, revoked, or barred under this chapter or chapter 321J (alcohol offenses) during, and who has not been convicted of a moving traffic violation or involved in a motor vehicle accident for, the six-month period immediately preceding the application for the special minor’s license and who has successfully completed an approved driver education course, or shows that copmleteing such a course would be a hardship.
Also, § 321J.4 provides that a temporary restricted license shall not be ordered or issued for a violation of section 321J.2A (DUI under 21 years old) or to a person under the age of twenty-one whose license is revoked under this section or section 321J.9 (refusal to submit to chemical test) or 321J.12 (chemical test result revocation).