Interviewer: Is there a certain time limit where you can request a hardship license?
Eric: Yeah, in New York, the hardship license has to come in within the first five days. After that, the paperwork goes to Albany and you have waived your right to a hardship hearing or hardship application. And what a hardship license is, is going in front of the judge and demonstrating that it’s a financial hardship for you not to be able to drive to and from work, to and from school or to and from medical appointments.
That’s all a hardship license gives you. Just for the first 30 days, can you get back and forth to school, work, or medical appointments. After those 30 days, provided that you have not previously in the past five years had a conditional license, you would be eligible for a conditional license to at least allow you to do those errands and to have some driving privileges while your case is pending.
Interviewer: You only have five days from the time of your arrest or the time of your arraignment to get a hardship license, if you can.
Eric: From the time of arraignment. So some people are arrested and they’re giving what’s called desk appearance tickets. Told to come back next week, two weeks, two months from now. It’s only by operation of law, when you go in front of the judge, you plead not guilty and the judge then will suspend your license because you are accused of having a blood alcohol level of .08 or more. Within those five days your entitled to have it brought in front of another judge or that judge to make your application for a hardship license.
By Eric Sachs