Everything You Need to Know About Florida Hardship Licenses


Based upon its driver license system, Florida appears to be one of the most forgiving states the union. When you get your license suspended just about anywhere else, you have to wait a fixed period of time before you are eligible to drive again unless you can get it reinstated in a hearing.

In Florida, however, you can start driving again with full privileges after taking a Florida Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) course. Even better, you can even start driving to certain restricted places before you finish the course itself with the help of a hardship license.

What Kind of License Suspensions are Eligible for a Hardship License?

There are lots of reasons that you might receive a suspended license, such as failure to pay child support, failure to appear for summons, or inadequate vision. But the only real eligible suspensions are for acquiring too many points on your record or certain cases of DUI suspensions. Here is the schedule of points violations suspensions and the length of the suspension:

  • 12 points in 12 months: 30 day suspension.
  • 18 points in 18 months: Three month suspension.
  • 24 points in 36 months: 12 month suspension.

If you are unsure of whether or not you qualify for a Florida advanced driver improvement course, be sure to contact your local court clerk.

How Do You Take a Florida Advanced Driver Improvement Course?

The Florida ADI Course is a 12 hour traffic school, and can only be taken with a provider approved by the state of Florida. You can either take a classroom course, in which you attend a physical classroom on a set schedule, or you can take it online, where you learn the information at home on your computer.

How Do You Get Your Hardship License?

  1. You will need to first register for a 12 Hour Florida advanced driver improvement course and get your enrollment certificate. Next
  2. Get your 30 day driving record from your county clerk.
  3. Take both of these items to the DHSMV
  4. The hearing officer will give you your hardship license if you are eligible.

Where Can I Drive With the Hardship License?

There are actually two kinds of hardship licenses: one for “business purposes” and one for “employment purposes.” Which one you can receive depends upon your personal circumstances, as determined by the hearing officer.

The license restricted for “business purposes” restricts you to driving to and from work, necessary driving for your job, driving for educational purposes, driving to and from church, and driving for medical purposes.

The license restricted for “employment purposes” restricts you to driving to and from work and necessary driving for your job only.


Jeanine is a Sr. Marketing Manager responsible for all product content, informational articles and blog content for I Drive Safely.