Getting your driver’s license revoked can put you in a no-win situation that seems impossible to escape.  Take this common scenario. You get a ticket, but you can’t pay the fees, so your license is revoked. Without your license, you can’t go to work, so you lose your job. Without your job, there’s no way you can pay the fees and get your license back.

Or maybe your license was revoked because of a DUI. You know you made a mistake, and you want to improve your situation. Without your license, however, you can’t get to work. Without your job, you have a hard time improving your situation.

A person’s driver’s license can be revoked or suspended for many reasons. Often, this leads to problems for the driver, who may have trouble getting to work. This is why some states have hardship driver laws. Here’s how they work.

What is a Hardship License? A Driver’s License – With Restrictions

If your driver’s license has been revoked, a hardship license will let you continue to drive, but with restrictions. For example, you might be allowed to drive to work or school, but not to go out on a Saturday night or to take a road trip. In some states, teens who are under the minimum driving age may be able to get a hardship driver’s license if they can show they need to drive.

If you have any tickets or DUIs on your record, getting a hardship license doesn’t erase them – they’ll still be there. Likewise, you may still owe money for tickets and other fees. You will also need to maintain car insurance.

In order to get a hardship license, you need to apply for it. The process and requirements can vary from state to state – and not all states even allow hardship licenses. Contact your state’s DMV or licensing agency to see what the rules are.

Alabama’s New Law

Last year, Alabama passed a new law that lets drivers obtain a hardship license under certain circumstances.

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, individuals with a revoked or suspended license who cannot obtain reasonable transportation can use a hardship license for specific purposes, such as driving to and from work or school. To apply, individuals must submit an application via email.

Should Licenses Be Revoked Over Fees?

While hardship licenses help some drivers continue with their day-to-day lives, some people have questioned whether states should revoke licenses over unpaid fines in the first place.

According to the Tennessean, U.S. District Judge Aleta ruled that Tennessee could no longer revoke the licenses of people who failed to pay a traffic fine, a ruling that could affect close to 300,000 people.