If you have made a few mistakes on the road and found yourself on the receiving end of a license suspension, you may feel stuck. Without a driver’s license, you have to rely on carpools or public transportation to get you where you need to go.

There is the possibility that you can obtain a temporary license even during a suspension. This probationary driver’s license, or PDL, is also known as a red license in the state of Colorado. How do you get one of these temporary permits, and what does it do?

A PDL is not automatic

When your license accumulates too many points for infractions, it gets suspended. This can leave you in a real lurch when it comes to getting to work or school. Colorado allows you to apply for a PDL as a short-term solution to your transportation woes. The process is not automatic. You can apply for it at your hearing, but it is up to the discretion of the officer in charge of the hearing.

Limitations to having a PDL

When applying for a PDL, your application must set forth the specific reasons you need it. For instance, if you say you need it to get back and forth to work four times a week, you must name your employer, the address and the days you work. If the hearing officer grants your request, you will only get to drive to and from the places you set forth in your application. You also cannot use the PDL out of state.

Ways to lose your PDL

It is more difficult to get a PDL if you have already gotten one prior and lost it. If you drive outside of the parameters of the issuing officer, you will lose it. Receiving a traffic ticket for a moving or non-moving violation will also result in losing your PDL. Once it is gone, it is very difficult to get it back.

Mistakes happen. Losing your license does not have to mean your independence is gone. With a red license, you can get some of your freedom back.