How can I qualify for a hardship license?

How do I know if I qualify for a hardship license? I received a letter from the court stating my driver's license is suspended due to non-payment of child support. I know I need to pay, but I only just got a new job after searching for the last six months. If I can't drive to work, I will never have the money to pay my ex-wife—so what can I do?

Shannon Martin · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
“The judge may grant a hardship license if you can prove that you cannot keep your job without being able to drive. If ridesharing, carpooling, and public transportation are not available to you, then the judge is likely to rule in your favor.
Many people aren’t aware that driver’s licenses can be suspended for non-driving related reasons such as:
  • Missed child support
  • Failure to appear in court
  • Failure to respond to moving violations
  • Drug offenses not related to driving
Having a
suspended driver’s license
is a challenging situation, but most states created hardship licenses for when things like this happen.
While it’s a convenient alternative, keep in mind that the rules for a hardship license are strict and you will only have one shot of keeping it. If caught driving outside of the permitted times and locations, the hardship license will be revoked.
A hardship license will also likely increase your car insurance rates. If you find your new rates are out of your budget, try comparing rates with other companies.
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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