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Filing for Limited Driving Privileges 

Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC Aug. 16, 2023

Close up of judge gavel and car keys over soundboardIf you’ve had your license suspended, you might be wondering how to file for limited driving privileges. A criminal defense attorney can help you reach this goal. If you need assistance filing your petition for limited driving privileges in Pennsylvania, contact our team at Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC in York.  

What Is a Hardship License?

A hardship license is a provisional license that allows you to continue to drive while your license is suspended in order make it to work, school, alcohol or drug treatment, or medical treatment. In order to obtain a hardship license, you will need to prove to the DMV that you meet any of the above criteria. 

What Is an Occupational Limited License?

In Pennsylvania, a hardship license is called an “occupational limited license” (OLL). On the petition to receive an OLL, you must explain why you need a vehicle to drive to your “occupation, work, trade, treatment, or study.”  

Who Is Eligible to File?

In Pennsylvania, you are eligible to file for an OLL if your license has been suspended (not revoked, disqualified, canceled, or recalled). If your license has been suspended due to certain violations, you will not be eligible to file. These violations include fleeing a police officer and leaving the scene of an accident. It is also important to note that, in Pennsylvania, OLLs will no longer be issued to those whose licenses have been suspended due to DUI charges. 

You also cannot receive an OLL in Pennsylvania if you’ve never had a PA driver’s license or any other state driver’s license, and if you have been given an OLL within the last 5 years.  

What Is the Filing Process?

Before you file for your OLL, you must fulfill certain requirements. You can request your Restoration Requirements letter through the PennDOT Driver & Vehicle Services website. This letter will outline the requirements you must fulfill before filing for your OLL—such as payment of fines and obtaining an Ignition Interlock device.  

Then you must file a petition with the DMV (Form DL-15, available online). On this form, you will designate your vehicle, give insurance information, give names and addresses of employers and medical providers and the address of your school (where applicable), provide a detailed explanation of the reasons why your vehicle is necessary to attend work/school/treatment, and provide a schedule outlining days of the week and times you’ll need to drive.  

You’ll also need to attach a document ensuring proof of financial responsibility for your vehicle (such as a copy of the declaration page from the insurance policy) and include a check or money order for the petition fee.  

If your OLL petition is granted, you will receive an OLL camera card, allowing you to visit a Photo License Center and receive your OLL.  

Common Restrictions of a Hardship License/OLL

If you are driving on an OLL in Pennsylvania (or driving under a hardship license in another state), you will likely be restricted to driving at certain hours and on certain routes.  

In Pennsylvania, you can only operate your designated vehicle between your home/place of residence and the site of your work, school, or medical/substance abuse treatment. You are required to state these routes as well as the days and hours you will need to drive on your OLL petition, and you must carry an affidavit with you stating these routes, days, and hours at all times. You must show this affidavit to a police officer when asked. 

What Happens if You Violate the License?

If you violate the terms of your OLL, you must pay a $200 fine and your OLL will be recalled. If you commit a driving violation for which the punishment would normally be a cancellation, disqualification, recall, suspension, or revocation, your OLL will be recalled. 

If your OLL is recalled, you can file a petition (along with a $100 fee) for an Administrative Hearing to get it reinstated. It’s important to hire a skilled attorney to assist you in this process. 

Learn More About Your Rights and Options

If your license has been suspended in Pennsylvania, don’t be afraid to explore your options for obtaining an OLL. For assistance with filing your OLL petition or for help with getting your OLL reinstated, reach out to us at Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC, serving York, Pennsylvania as well as Lancaster, Harrisburg, and Camp Hill. Our criminal defense attorney Korey Leslie has over a decade of experience as a trial lawyer in Pennsylvania and is dedicated to fighting for his clients’ futures. Contact us today for an appointment.