Help!! My Driver’s License Has Been Suspended. Can I Get An Occupational Driver’s License In Texas?

Get An Occupational Driver’s License In Texas
Get An Occupational Driver’s License In Texas

As an experienced DWI attorney serving clients in Rockwall, Kaufman, Hunt, Collin & Dallas Counties I get the question after a license suspension if a person can get an occupational driver’s license in Texas.

Who May Need an Occupational Driver’s License?

An individual who has received an administrative license suspension in Texas for refusal to submit to chemical testing or failing to pass an intoxication test, or has received a license suspension for a driving while intoxicated conviction may be able to apply for an occupational driver’s license (ODL).

What Is An Occupational Driver’s License?

An occupational driver’s license is a restricted license issued to individuals whose licenses have been suspended or revoked for refusal to submit to testing, failure to pass an intoxication test, or certain offenses, such as a driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or a controlled substance offense.

What Can You Do With An Occupational Driver’s License?

An ODL authorizes the individual who has had their license suspended or revoked to operate a non-commercial motor vehicle to attend school, go to work or to perform other essential household duties.

What Are the Requirements You must Meet to Get a Occupational Driver’s License?

An individual is permitted to receive an occupational license if they have demonstrated an essential need. An essential need in Texas is defined under Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 521.241 as the person’s need to operate a motor vehicle:

  • To perform their occupation or job or for transportation to and from the workplace,
  • For transportation to and from school, or
  • In the performance of an essential household duty.

An essential need can include medical appointments, attendance at religious services or other domestic needs.

What Are the Documents You must Have to Get a Occupational Driver’s License?

In order to receive an occupational license, the individual is required to submit certain items to the Department of Public Safety before they can drive with an occupational license. The following items are required in Dallas:

  • A certified copy of the petition for an occupational license,
  • A certified copy of the court order granting the occupational license,
  • An SR-22 certificate of insurance,
  • The occupational license fee, and
  • Any other required reinstatement fees.

What must Be Included in the Court Order for Occupational License Requirements in Texas?

According to Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 521.248, every order granting an occupational driver’s license must contain the hours of the days and days of the week the individual is permitted to operate a motor vehicle, the reasons the individual may operate a motor vehicle, and the areas or routes of travel permitted.

An individual who has received an occupational driver’s license is not permitted to operate a motor vehicle more than four hours in any 24-hour period. However, if it is demonstrated that the time is necessary, the court may extend the period to 12 hours in a 24-hour period.

The occupational driver’s license period is effective until the end of the suspension period for the individual’s regular driver’s license.

Are There Any Waiting Periods Before You Can Get an Occupational Driver’s License?

Certain offenses make an individual ineligible to receive an occupational driver’s license under Texas law, and other individuals who have license suspensions are required to wait certain time periods before they can receive an occupational driver’s license. According to Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 521.251, individuals must wait the following time periods before they can apply for or receive an occupational license:

  • An individual who has received an administrative license suspension and who has not had any previous license suspensions for alcohol-related contact with law enforcement within the preceding five years can receive the ODL immediately once granted by the court;
  • An individual who has received a license suspension within the five preceding years for alcohol-related contact with law enforcement must wait 90 days after the effective date of the driver’s license suspension;
  • An individual has been convicted of a DWI offense within the preceding five years must wait 180 days after the effective date of the driver’s license suspension; and
  • An individual has been convicted of two or more DWI offenses within the preceding five years must wait one year after the effective date of the license suspension.

Are There Any Waiting Periods Before A Person Under The Age Of 21  Can Get an Occupational Driver’s License?

Under Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 524.022, a minor who is under the age of 21 must wait the following periods before they are eligible for an occupational license after failing an intoxication test:

  • A minor must wait 30 days after the administrative license has been in effect if no preceding alcohol-related convictions;
  • A minor must wait 90 days after the administrative license has been in effect if one prior alcohol-related conviction;
  • A minor is not eligible for an occupational driver’s license if they have been convicted of two or more driver’s license suspensions.

Can A Person Who Possesses A Commercial Driver’s License  Get an Occupational Driver’s License?

According to Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 522.086, an individual who possesses a commercial driver’s license who has had their commercial driving privileges disqualified is not eligible for an occupational driver’s license to operate a commercial vehicle.

Are There Any Additional Requirements Before You Can Get to an Occupational License?

Under Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 521.246, an individual who receives an occupational driver’s license is required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle if:

  • They have two or more DWI convictions, or
  • Their license has been suspended after a DWI conviction that was punishable as an enhanced DWI offense.

In addition to the time requirements before an occupational license can be effective, an individual who has received an administrative license suspension must also attend counseling and rehabilitative services for individuals with alcohol dependence under Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 521.245.

I am a experienced DWI attorney serving clients in Rockwall, Kaufman, Hunt, Collin & Dallas Counties.  If you have questions, concerns or need information on how get an occupational driver’s license in Texas, call me today. There is no charge for the initial consultation.

We protect Texans and their rights. One Texan at a time.  You can count on us!

 

9 Comments for “Help!! My Driver’s License Has Been Suspended. Can I Get An Occupational Driver’s License In Texas?”

How To Get An Occupational Driver's License In Texas | Jack K … | Krispy Hut

says:

[…] View article: How To Get An Occupational Driver's License In Texas | Jack K … […]

Megan Cook

says:

Dear Mr. Robinson: This is a really great article on occupational licenses. I recently wrote one as well. There are several tips in here that I will add to my own article, such as the explained limitations to the occupational driver’s license. I noticed that you did not make any mention of the need for the SR-22. In your nick of the woods, is the SR-22 insurance needed? Anyway, please check out my article if you like: http://lawyerdefend.me/?page_id=240

I think it is interesting to compare things like this.
Regards,

Megan Cook

Jack Robinson

says:

Megan:

Thanks for the note! It is good to know someone is reading my meanderings! Yes; an SR-22 is required here! I will check out your article as well!.

Most of my ideas for posts like these come from explaining the same thing over and over again to prospective clients. It helps if I can direct them to an article on the topic. Saves lots of time explaining things all the time.

Jack

Gerardo Rojas

says:

My DL has been suspended for DWLI(driving while license invalid)my DL was expired because i was not eligible to renew it for unpaid traffic tickets,was my license really expired or suspended?I don’t know what they mean by invalid.Now I am required for DPS to apply for an ODL and file an SR22,am I eligible to get an ODL? how can I get out of this ordeal?.after i got this DWLI I paid the traffic tickets not including the DWLI even thought i was able to renew my DL because DWLI happened in July 2011 and I renewed my DL in Aug.2011 obviously the DWLI was not in the system yet.about a year later I paid the ticket for DWLI and right after is when this ordeal kicked in. the weird thing is that i got a letter from the DPS dated Sept. 13,2012 that my license was suspended since Aug. 1,2012 meaning that i have been driving illegaly for over a month with out knowing. please I need help!!!!!

Jack Robinson

says:

You do need an occupational license (OL) and would be eligible to get one. My office is located in Rockwall County and I get OL for people in Rockwall, Hunt and Kaufman counties. If I can help or you have more questions, please call me. 972-772-6100

Taylor d

says:

My liscence has been suspended since 2004 I went till 2010 since I gotta dwli and have gotten several since can I get a odl .
Thank you