Process in place for new hardship driver’s licenses

Published 12:56 am Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Rep. Mike Jones said an initiative he championed after watching people whose licenses were suspended struggle to get back on their feet is now available in Alabama. He also serves as a municipal judge.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA’s) driver license division has added an application for hardship licenses to its website.

“I would see the same people over and over,” Jones said. “They would have their license suspended, or lose their license while serving time. Then they had to get to work, and would get in trouble for driving without a license. They were just trying to get to work to pay off their fines.”

The hardship license is available for those:

• Participating in a Department of Corrections work release program.

• Participating ina Community Corrections Program

• Released from Alabama Department of Corrections

• License suspended/revoked and cannot obtain reasonable transportation.

The option is not available to those whose licenses are suspended for driving under the influence, Jones said.

ALEA’s process requires those applying for the hardship license to provide documentation for their anticipated routes of travel, description of vehicles, and proof in insurance. Those in work release programs also must have a letters from the directors of those programs.

Jones said in the past, the lack of a driver’s license has been huge stumbling block for former inmates, especially in rural areas. If a driver with a restricted license is stopped by police, then vehicles can automatically be inspected, without cause.

The initiative was part of a massive prison reform package passed in 2015.