New Missouri LDP 'Hardship License' law takes effect

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There can be a variety of reasons that a person can lose their privilege to drive in Missouri. Points on a driving record can add up, or a driver may lose the privilege to drive related to a driving while intoxicated charge in Missouri. Many people have heard of the so-called “hardship licenses” available under Missouri law. A hardship license allows eligible drivers to regain Limited Driving Privileges. On July 5, 2013, the LDP laws in Missouri changed. Some people who were not previously eligible for an LDP may now be eligible under the new changes.

One thing has not changed—the state is not going to simply mail out LDPs. The application or petition process is still complicated and a Columbia, Missouri, license suspension lawyer can assist in navigating the process. Drivers must meet license reinstatement requirements before becoming eligible—but other issues can get in the way.

Drivers are not necessarily limited to 1 LDP within a 5-year time frame anymore. A driver who is otherwise eligible for an LDP may immediately reapply for a new LDP without the former 5-year bar to a second LDP. Similarly, under the new law, more than one chemical refusal no longer bars access to an LDP for otherwise eligible drivers.

But, drivers must have proof of the installation of an approved ignition interlock device, even after a first-time chemical refusal. Drivers with an active five- or ten-year refusal must have an IID with camera and GPS features. The LDP will be cancelled for failure to maintain the IID (or for failure to maintain SR-22 insurance coverage).

In cases involving an administrative alcohol revocation, the LDP may be available for eligible drivers after 45 days have elapsed in the revocation period.

In the area of five- and 10- year denials, drivers no longer need to submit a criminal history check, unless the district court requires one (a petition must be filed in court—an application to the Department of Revenue is not proper in these cases). The petitioner needs to show various factors, including a change in habits or conduct. The driver must also show that he or she no longer poses a public safety issue. A driver is not eligible if he or she has had any alcohol-related enforcement contacts since the denial arose.

The new changes do not mean that all drivers are eligible to seek a hardship license. Felony convictions involving a motor vehicle, a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs, a conviction under state law for leaving the scene of an accident, and a variety of other reasons may still bar eligibility. Legal counsel can advise and assist drivers in seeking a hardship license.

Source: Missouri Department of Revenue, “ Limited Driving Privilege (LDP),” last accessed July 11, 2013

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