How to Get a Hardship License in Florida

A hardship license in Florida is a restricted license that allows a person whose driver’s license has been suspended to drive for limited purposes, such as going to work or school. To get a hardship license in Florida, you must meet certain requirements and follow a specific process.

Who Gets Their Driver’s License Suspended in Florida?

In Florida, there are several reasons you the state might suspend or cancel your driver’s license – any of which could result in a need to get a hardship license.

Possible reasons for a driver’s license suspension in Florida include:

  • Failure to make required child support payments
  • Getting too many points on your license
  • Accumulating too many traffic infractions/violations
  • Failure to appear in court or pay a mandated fine
  • Administrative suspension following a DUI arrest
  • Criminal penalty for a DUI or for certain drug offenses
  • Failure to submit mandatory vision test results to the Department of Motor Vehicles


Getting a Florida Hardship License

  • Eligibility. Not every one with a suspended license is eligible to receive a Florida hardship license.
    You may be ineligible for a hardship license if:
    • You have multiple DUI convictions already
    • You were involved in an alcohol or drug-related accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death;
    • You have been charged or convicted of vehicular manslaughter or criminal vehicular manslaughter;
    • You are trying to reinstate your commercial driver’s license (CDL)
    • Are a second or subsequent time offender convicted of a DUI
    • You have refused a breathalyzer test two or more times
  1. Application. You must apply for a hardship license at your local Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) office. You will need to bring your identification, proof of insurance, and any documentation related to your license suspension.
  2. Payment. You will need to pay a fee for the hardship license, which varies depending on the reason for your license suspension. The filing fee is normally $12. The reinstatement fee is $45 if your license was suspended, and $75 if it was revoked.
  3. Hearing. Depending on the reason for your license suspension, you may be required to attend a hearing to determine if you are eligible for a hardship license. At the hearing, you will need to provide evidence of your need for a hardship license, such as proof of employment or school enrollment.
  4. Restrictions. If you are granted a hardship license, it will come with certain restrictions, such as limits on where and when you can drive. Florida law limits driving under a hardship license to “any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and for medical purposes.” Fla. Stat. Section 322.271(1)(c)(1).

    Violating these restrictions can result in further penalties.



The Process.

The process of getting a hardship license in Florida can be a downright pain in the tail. But if you want to get back out on the road, you’ve got to jump through some administrative hoops. And sometimes you’ll need to be patient.

  • If it’s your first DUI conviction, must complete DUI school and apply to FLHSMV for hearing for possible hardship reinstatement.  If your blood alcohol level was 0.15 or higher, you’ll face a mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) requirement for up to six months.

For your second and subsequent offenses, you will not be eligible for a hardship license except as provided below:

  • Second DUI conviction within five years:
    •  5- year licensed revocation.
    • You may apply for a hardship reinstatement but only after one year.
    • You Must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period.
    • Failure to report for counseling or treatment results in cancellation of the hardship license.
    • You may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement.
    • Mandatory ignition interlock device for one to two years if BAL is greater than .15.


  • Third DUI conviction within 10 years of a prior conviction
    • 10-year revocation.
    • You may apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after two years.
    • You must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period.
    • Failure to report for counseling or treatment will result in the cancellation of your hardship license.
    • You must not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement.
    • Mandatory ignition interlock device for two years.
  • DUI manslaughter with no prior DUI-related conviction, permanent revocation.
    • You may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after five years have expired from date of revocation or from date of term of incarceration, provided you meet the following requirements:
        • You have not been arrested for a drug-related offense for at least five years prior to the hearing;
        • You have not driven a motor vehicle without a license for at least five years prior to the hearing
        • You have been alcohol and drug-free for at least five years prior to the hearing, and;
        • You complete a DUI school and are supervised under the DUI program for the remainder of the revocation period.
        • Failure to report for counseling or treatment will result in the cancellation of your hardship license.
        • Mandatory ignition interlock device requirement for two years.
  • Manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury, or vehicular homicide convictions:
    • Three-year revocation.
    • You may apply for a hardship reinstatement hearing immediately.
    • You must complete DUI school or advanced driver improvement course.


  • Habitual traffic offenders:

    If you are declared a habitual traffic offender, you must wait 12 months after your initial license suspension before you are eligible to receive a hardship license.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 322.271 and 322.28, Florida Statutes.

Don’t go into this thinking you can skate on program requirements.

If you get a hardship license and you enroll in a DUI substance abuse education course (i.e., DUI school), you must complete the school requirements within 90 days. Failure to complete the course in 90 days will result in your hardship license getting revoked. But if your license was suspended after a DUI conviction, you must complete all program requirements before you can get your hardship license.

Getting Car Insurance with a Suspended or Hardship License

Even if your drivers’ license is suspended or you’re driving on an interim hardship license, you still may need car insurance. You may need to have someone else added as an authorized driver, and take yourself off the policy as an authorized driver. Or if you give up your vehicle, you may need to get a non-owner insurance policy, which can be a big money saver in some circumstances.

FR 44 Insurance Requirements in Florida

If you own a car, and a friend or family member is driving you around while you’re on a suspended or hardship license, you still need to maintain the state-required minimum insurance. And in Florida, that can be substantial. That’s because unlike other states, Florida and Virginia have an FR44 filing requirement. If you’re picked up on suspicion of a DUI and the courts impose an FR44 requirement, that means you must maintain additional liability insurance, over and above the normal state minimum.

Specifically, Florida requires FR44 drivers to carry a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for bodily injury liability coverage, and another $50,000 for property damage liability coverage.

If you’ve got some dings on your drivers’ record, a DUI arrest or conviction, a hardship license, or any other out-of-the ordinary risk factors, it’s important to work with a car insurance company that understands this space, and all the different requirements that apply.

You don’t want to get your drivers’ license suspended again because you worked with an agent or insurance broker that doesn’t specialize in the high-risk segment. }

You also don’t want to work with a “captive” agent who works for a single insurance company and can’t help you shop around to different insurance companies. You need an independent insurance broker who can help you shop around to many different competing carriers, and help you get quotes from each of them to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

That’s where Select Insurance Group can help.

Not so many years ago, I was in your shoes: I made a mistake getting behind the wheel, and got arrested for DUI. And I spend months putting my life back together. I also realized that most household name insurance companies didn’t treat people like me fairly, or understand my situation at all.

That’s why I created Select Insurance Group. We know that there a lot of good people with a ding or two on their driving records. And you deserve to be treated fairly.

Insurance is going to be more expensive than it was before you in trouble. That’s to be expected. But by working with an independent insurance company, getting multiple competing quotes, and updating those quotes every so often, you can keep insurance companies honest, and you can do a lot to limit the damage.

Don’t go another day overpaying for auto insurance, or working with an agent who doesn’t understand what it takes to stay compliant with SR22 or FR44 filing rules. Call Select today at (855) 438-7353,  or fill out this brief online form. We’ll start working for you right away to help you choose the best possible insurance plan.

See you on the road!

Steve “Mr. Insurance” Ludwig

CEO, Select Insurance Group


For Further Reading


The Florida DUI Guide

Florida DUI Diversion Programs

What’s the Difference Between an SR22 and an FR44 In Florida?

Florida SR22 Insurance

Florida Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program

Florida Non-Owner SR22 Insurance