Driver Searching for Limited Driving Privileges on the InternetDriving is a privilege, not a right, in North Carolina. If you are convicted of DWI or other traffic violations, you could have your license revoked or suspended. When you are unable to drive, it can seriously hamper your ability to work, get your kids to school and activities, and take care of your day-to-day business. Fortunately, limited driving privileges (LDP) may be available so that you can drive to certain places during certain times of the day or night.

Common Offenses That May Result in a Driver’s License Suspension That Qualify for a Limited Driving Privilege

North Carolina takes violations of traffic laws very seriously, and your driver’s license could be suspended if you are convicted of a variety of offenses. Some of these include:

  • DWI
  • Fleeing to elude arrest
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Driving at an excessive speed
  • Reckless driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Failing to move over for an emergency vehicle
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Racing on a public road or highway
  • Receiving a moving violation ticket when your license is suspended
  • Accruing a certain number of points on your driving record in a certain amount of time

What Is a Limited Driving Privilege?

LDP is also referred to as a hardship or restricted license. It is a court-issued order that allows a person to drive under limited circumstances, and there is no guarantee that a judge will grant a request for one. They are issued to allow the individual to drive for specific purposes that may include the following:

  • Job
  • Household maintenance
  • School or college
  • Attendance at court-ordered treatment or assessment
  • Community service required as part of a sentence
  • Emergency medical treatment

When Is a Person Eligible for a Restricted License?

Certain requirements must be met in order to obtain a hardship license after a revocation other than for DWI. Some of these include:

  • The person’s driver’s license must be revoked.
  • The person must have complied with the applicable revocation period. For a revocation for one year, the compliance period is 90 days. It is one year for a two-year revocation, and two years for a permanent revocation.
  • There is no other revocation of the individual’s license in effect.
  • The person is not eligible for LDP under another law.
  • The person has not held a restricted license for another offense within the last three years.
  • The individual does not have any pending motor vehicle offenses in North Carolina or another state.
  • If the individual is an out-of-state resident, his license has not been revoked by that state.

How Do You Obtain a Restricted License?

You must file a petition with the court and attend a hearing before you can get a restricted license. This is a district court civil action and must be filed in the county where you reside. The prosecutor’s office would be notified of your petition and would have an opportunity to argue against granting you LDP. However, it would be the judge’s decision as to whether to issue a hardship license.

You must pay the filing fee for your petition and the $100 LDP fee. You will also need proof that you have automobile insurance and documentation of your need to drive, such as your employment or school schedule.

If the judge grants your petition, he will issue an order granting you the privilege to drive. He could set other conditions that you must comply with in order to receive a restricted license, such as not consuming any alcohol. If granted limited driving privileges, you would need to carry the order with you like a driver’s license.

Have you Received a Traffic Citation in Charlotte, NC?

If you received a traffic citation, you need to speak with an experienced traffic ticket attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.


Howard W. Long, II
Connect with me
Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer