Interviewer: So what are the criteria for getting a hardship license or the conditional license?
You Must Establish That the Loss of License Would Result in Hardship
Stuart: In essence, the hardship license is that you have a necessity for your license and can have a hardship without one. The example I gave is I had a client who was a perfect candidate for it. He worked at Jones Beach during the winter. During the winter there’s no bus service there. There’s no train service there. The only way to get to Jones Beach is by car or by taxi, and he had to bring certain things with him, and it was prohibitively expensive for him to take a taxi every day to work and bring the things that he needed to. So he had the perfect hardship case.
Other scenarios that may qualify are less stringent but would include factors such as it is prohibitively expensive to get your employment or you have to take four or five buses to get there. Also if you are a contractor and have to bring tools to different job sites and public transportation isn’t a viable option.
Interviewer: So this is just for the hardship license? Are the rules different? Are the prerequisites for both different?
A Conditional License Impose Rules on When and Where You May Drive
Stuart: They’re different. For a hardship license, you have to show a hardship. For a conditional license you really just have to show the conditions that you need it for. You need to show that you do work and show that you need your license for work. The conditional license has much lower application standards.
Interviewer: So, a conditional license is a lot easier to apply for. What if you’re a parent and you have to take children to school or pick them up? Would that be valid reasons for a conditional license or maybe even a hardship license?
Stuart: That situation would not really work for a hardship license unless you could show that there was absolutely no other way to transport the children to and from school. I represented someone who had a special needs child and they needed to provide transportation, so we did get her a hardship license for that.
That type of situation would pertain more for a conditional license, but also realize that judges are not so inclined to give somebody who was driving drunk a license to put four or five kids in the car with them so that they could drive. So while the conditional license is fairly simple, a hardship license you do have some hurdles to clear before it is granted.