You May Be Eligible to Get An Occupational/Restricted Use License While Your Driving Privileges Are Suspended For DWI
Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson
Driving while intoxicated is a crime that may lead to the suspension of your Texas driving privileges. However, for many people, the ability to drive is necessary in order to remain gainfully employed. In such cases, Texas law provides occupational or restricted use driving privileges for the suspended driver.
Learn about the process of Texas Drivers License Suspension.
An occupational/restricted use license is also known as an “essential need license.” A person holding an occupational/restricted use license may operate a motor vehicle for work, education-related activities, and/or to perform the essential duties of one’s household.
Applying For An Occupational/Restricted Use License
To obtain an occupational/restricted use the suspended individual must apply and obtain an order from either a Justice of Peace or a court within the jurisdiction which authorized the suspension of their driving privilege.
If it is determined that the individual’s circumstances make him/her eligible for an occupational/restricted use license then a court order will be issued granting the right to have the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) issue such a license to the individual.
The court order is not an occupational/restricted use license. However, the order may be used as a driver’s license for up to thirty days while the applicant awaits the processing of his/her request.
Getting an Occupational/Restricted Use License
Before the occupational/restricted use license is issued, the applicant must submit certain items to DPS. These items include:
- A certified copy of the court order granting the occupational/restricted use license;
- An SR-22, Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate. This illustrates that the applicant has the minimum required liability insurance to operate a motor vehicle. This can be issued by most insurance companies. The Texas Department of Insurance lists authorized providers of insurance;
- If the applicant does not own a vehicle, he/she may obtain a Texas Non-Owner SR-22 insurance policy from an authorized auto insurance provider.
- Proof of payment of the occupational/restricted use license fee ($10 per year); and
- Proof of payment of any and all reinstatement fees.
Most occupational/restricted use are issued for a period of one year. However, with court approval, the license may be issued for a two-year period.
Who’s Not Eligible for an Occupational Use License?
Commercial drivers whose driving privileges are revoked, suspended, or cancelled will not be issued an occupational/restricted use license to operate a commercial vehicle.
Additionally, an individual may be required to wait for a certain period of time in some situations. For example:
- Drivers who have been previously suspended for alcohol or drug-related offenses must wait 90 days before the occupational/restricted use license will be issued;
- Drivers who have been previously suspended for driving while intoxicated must wait 180 days to have the occupational/restricted use license issued;
- Drivers who have two driver’s license revocations on their record must wait for one year before the occupational/restricted use license will be issued.
After applying, getting the court order, submitting the required documentation, and, if necessary, successfully completing the waiting period, the driver will be issued the occupational/restricted use license.
The DWI attorneys at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates have assisted individuals charged with DWI offenses since 1992. If you’re in need of legal assistance, contact us for a free consultation.
Our number is 713-489-7373.