Everyone makes mistakes. There are many situations where you may lose your driver’s license. You can lose your license because of an impaired driving conviction or because you caused an accident.

Losing your license does not mean that you have lost all of your driving privileges. North Carolina recognizes that revoking your license can create an unfair burden.

When you can drive

You may have concerns when a court revokes your driver’s license. Will you become a burden to family and friends when you need rides? Will you have to pay for a bus, taxi or ride-hailing service?

But you may qualify for limited driving privileges for “essential purposes.” The areas include the following:

  • For employment, including driving to and from work
  • For the maintenance of your household, such as transporting your children
  • For your education, so you can drive to and from school
  • For court-ordered treatment, assessment, and community service that is part of your probation
  • For emergency medical care
  • For religious worship

How you can qualify

A judge is not going to grant your request for limited driving privileges because you want to drive. You have to prove that you need to drive. He or she will decide at a hearing whether you are eligible for limited driving privileges.

The list of conditions is long. A judge will consider the charge that led to the loss of your license as well as take into account your driving record and your personal circumstances. He or she needs evidence that driving is essential to you and/or members of your family.

Privileges come with strict conditions. You may be able to drive only at certain times, for certain purposes and on certain routes. A violation can lead to more charges. A judge can order the installation of an ignition interlock system on your vehicle which will prevent you from driving at any time after consuming alcohol.