When am I Eligible for a Limited License Following DWI Conviction?

If you were driving while intoxicated, you made a regrettable mistake. However, if you ended up with a DWI conviction, you made an even bigger mistake. Not only are you looking at a series of fines and potential jail time, but they are going to take your license as well.

There within lies a pretty huge problem – you need to go places. Certainly the loss of your license is a fitting punishment for the crime, but that doesn’t change the fact that you need to go to work, get groceries, or even take your kids to school. Without a driver’s license, that just isn’t going to happen and it can completely disrupt your life. For some with DWI convictions, they have to rely on other transportation, but if you fit the right criteria, you may be able to get yourself a limited license to drive yourself.


At the time of your DWI arrest, your license will be suspended, meaning that even before a conviction, you will lose your driving privileges. However, you can get a limited license so you can still drive. You must first wait the 15-day waiting period after arrest, but you also have to meet the criteria for the license. This criteria demands that you:

  • Need to be able to get to counseling, work, education, medical treatment, or to provide the nutritional needs of the family.
  • You must also demonstrate that transportation alternatives (getting rides from others, rideshare, or public transportation) are not available to you reliably.

Once you demonstrate your eligibility, you will also need to submit an application. This application process requires passing a written test and paying a $680 fee as well before you get your limited license. You can begin the application process for a limited license during the 15-day waiting period, but you will not be able to finish it until the period has elapsed.

If you do not qualify for a limited license, you may be able to get your driving privileges back using Minnesota’s Ignition Interlock system. If you need your driving privileges back as quick as possible, it is best to talk through your options with your DWI lawyer so they can direct you towards the best possible route to get back on the road as soon as possible.

Once you have your limited license, this does not mean that you are free and clear to drive anywhere you please. It is called a “limited” license because your driving rights are limited. The license will state specific times you can be on the road, where you can drive, and how many hours each day as well as totaled for each week you can drive. You will also need to pick one day each week in which you cannot drive. The limited license in itself seems like a punishment, but it is better than having no ability to drive at all.

If you violate any condition of your limited license or fail to have it on your person while driving, your limited license will be revoked. Furthermore, violation is actually a misdemeanor offense, which means new criminal charges may be filed.


The best way to get your driving privileges back is to avoid a DWI conviction. If you have been arrested for a DWI, contact us today. Not only can the Speas Law Firm mount an effect legal defense, but we can also advise you on how you can get your driving privileges back as quickly as possible. Let us help you avoid harsh criminal punishments and get your life back on track after a DWI.