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What is a Limited Driving Privilege

What is a Limited Driving Privilege? What Could Prevent Me From Receiving a Limited Driving Privilege? What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Applying for a Limited driving privilege can be a complicated, time consuming process – Danny Glover

What is a Limited Driving Privilege?

If you have been charged with an DWI in North Carolina, there may be an opportunity for you to drive once again.

A Limited Driving Privilege allows someone convicted of an DWI the opportunity to drive even with a suspended license if deemed appropriate by the Court.

However, a privilege to drive is subject to conditions and limitations that are placed on the driver by the court.  The North Carolina Department of Transportation / Division of Motor Vehicles also review Limited Privileges to confirm eligibility and compliance with the law.

  • DWI Limited Privileges are issued by the Court
  • Restricted to only certain hours and days
    • 6 AM to 8 PM, Monday – Friday (Standard Hours & Days)
  • Must have a valid reason for needing a license (Work, Education, Household Maintenance, etc.)
  • Recent Law Change:  Church Attendance is an authorized purpose for driving
  • Fully in the Discretion of the Court
  • Subject to Eligibility requirements
  • Subject to Route of Travel Restrictions
  • May be conditioned on the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
    • No amount of alcohol allowed while operating vehicle
    • Sets Restrictions on the Day, Time, and Purpose

What Could Prevent Me From Receiving a Limited Driving Privilege?

There are different requirements for an individual to be eligible to receive a Limited Driving Privilege.

Even if all these factors are met and the individual is eligible it is still NOT guaranteed they will receive one. The Judge still has discretion on whether or not an individual is granted a Limited Driving Privilege.

DMV can also “disallow” a Limited Privilege if the application is in error or in the event the driver is ineligible.  

Any violation of the privilege is subject to immediate revocation of the individual’s license.  Because the limited driving privilege is granted in the discretion of the Court and serves as an Order, it is important to follow all the terms and conditions imposed by the Judge. 

In Certain situations, the law in North Carolina prevents the Court from issuing a Limited Privilege.  There are several circumstances that could make an individual ineligible to receive one:

  • Not having a valid drivers license at the time of being stopped
  • Being convicted of a prior DWI within 7 years of the new conviction
  • Being Convicted of Level I or II DWI – NOT Eligible for Limited Privilege by Court
  • Lacking proof of financial responsibility


Download PDF: Booze it & Lose it Brochure North Carolina DMV

What Documents Will I Need?

In order to become eligible to receive a limited driving privilege the following documents may need to be prepared and filed as part of the application process with the Court:

  • Petition for Limited Driving Privilege
  • Proof of Motor Vehicle Insurance (DL-123 Form)
  • Substance abuse Assessment(s) and Treatment Documentation
  • Additional documentation such as:
    • Place of Employment
    • Hours of Employment
    • Direction of Travel to Employment
  • Contact an experienced DWI attorney for more information. 252-299-5300

limited driving privilege impaired form

See More: Petition for Limited Driving Privilege North Carolina

How Could a Lawyer Help Me Get a Limited Driving Privilege?

Hiring an attorney to help with the process of obtaining a limited driving privilege makes sense because:

  • Attorneys are able to provide guidance and information regarding the process
  • DWI Lawyers are experienced in filling out the necessary documentation and knowing what is all is needed
  • Experienced Legal Counsel can help explain to the Court of the reasoning regarding “non-standard hours” in a Limited Privilege, if appropriate

See More: Why Hire a DWI Attorney

Copy of Transcript for Hearing Impaired

Modified Transcript of “What is a Limited Driving Privilege” for the Hearing Impaired

If you are convicted of an DWI in North Carolina, your privilege to drive in North Carolina will automatically be revoked for one year. Now, North Carolina has what’s known officially as a limited driving privilege.

Some people refer to those as hardship license.  Some people refer to those as work permits or work privileges, but it’s called a limited driving privilege, and you are eligible for a limited driving privilege if there are no grossly aggravating factors present in your case.

Then the hours and the day that you can drive, the days of the week that you can drive, are in the discretion of the Judge, and so it’s up to an experienced DWI attorney to present it to the Judge and have the Judge sign this order, which acts as a substitute driving privilege from the court that takes priority over the revocation imposed by DMV.

In North Carolina there are restrictions against those who were convicted of an DWI with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more.   Although still obtainable, in order to receive a limited driving privilege under these circumstances the offender shall:

  • Be required to install an ignition interlock device
  • Undergo even heavier restrictions on their purposes for driving
  • Be required to wait until at least 45 days after the final conviction before they can apply for a privilege

There are certain requirements, documentation, and forms that lawyers will need to submit to the court in order to petition for a Limited Driving Privilege. At Glover Law Firm, we normally prepare the necessary documents for you and walk you through where to get the different forms.

The first form being the Petition for the Limited Driving Privilege that correlates to DWI offenses in North Carolina, there are different types of Petition forms for different Limited Driving Privileges. This can make the process of obtaining the correct one difficult and more confusing.

We offer a free, confidential consultation.  Before doing anything, we recommend you talk to a lawyer.

Danny Glover, Jr.
Glover Law Firm
Past President, North Carolina Advocates for Justice

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