Hardship License Plates in Georgia

Most people know that a conviction for Driving Under the Influence will have a far-reaching negative impact on their own driving privileges. Fines and jail time are among the more severe consequences for DUI, but the ones most keenly felt by many drivers are the ones that impact day to day life like a suspended license or increased insurance rates. However, many people do not realize how a DUI conviction in Georgia can affect their family. If you share a vehicle with any member of your family, you may both be out of luck after a DUI. The state of Georgia requires anyone convicted of a second DUI within five years of the first conviction to relinquish the license plates of all the vehicles registered in their name, and a judge may also order this on a first offense. Once a license plate is surrendered, no one can legally drive that vehicle. However, you may be able to apply for hardship license plates to lessen some of the impacts on your spouse or children.


In order to apply for a hardship license plate, you must have already surrendered the plates registered in your name, so there will be at least a few days that your family is not able to drive the vehicle. Georgia has specific requirements for hardship plates; first, you must be able to prove that the family members in question have valid driver’s licenses and live at the same address as you. Georgia Department of Driver Services will verify this information. Second, you will need to prove that your family depends solely on your vehicle for transportation. The state may deny the request for hardship plates if your family has additional vehicles that are not registered in your name.


The Georgia Department of Driver Services has a special application for hardship license plates – fill this out and bring it with you when you apply. You will also need to provide proof that you have surrendered the license plate on the vehicle in question. When you do surrender the plate, the court will give you a receipt that you can bring with you when you apply for a hardship license plate. The tag office will also require proof of insurance, and the name, driver’s license number, and date of birth of the person who will be driving with the hardship license plate. The application process generally takes three to five days.


The alternative to a hardship license plate is to transfer the registration of your vehicle to another member of your family. This can even be done if you are concerned about the course of your DUI trial in order to avoid any downtime where your family will not be able to use the vehicle. It can be less complicated and a good solution for many families; however, it is important to remember that transferring the registration is not possible for all vehicles. For example, if your vehicle is leased or if you are still paying off an auto loan, you probably will not be able to change the name on the registration. If it is not possible to change the registration, you will have to go through the hardship license process instead.


The loss of your driver’s license is one of the most frustrating and difficult consequences of a Cumming, Georgia DUI conviction, but the people you will have to depend on for transportation may also be out of luck if you share a vehicle. How will your family continue fulfilling their daily needs if you have been ordered to surrender your license plate to the state? A hardship license plate can help keep life moving after a DUI conviction. If you are worried that your Georgia DUI case will negatively impact your family’s transportation situation, contact an experienced Cumming, GA DUI attorney today. We may be able to help you avoid these consequences from the court, and can consult you on the best tactics to minimize the impact the case has on your family.