What is an Occupational Drivers License?
An occupational driver’s license (ODL) is a restricted license that lets you drive at certain times. On specific days, under certain conditions, when you have an “essential need to drive.”
Essential means being able to do your job, got to school and from work or do essential household duties.
If your driver’s license was suspended or revoked you may be able to get an occupational driver’s license. An occupational driver’s license is a special restricted license that lets you drive a non-commercial vehicle for work, school or to perform essential household duties. To get an ODL you first get a court order that tells the Texas Department of Public Safety to issue the license. Its usually a good idea to hire a lawyer to assist you with this. I can help give me a call 915-613-3993.
Here is some information regarding an occupational drivers license from the TxDOT.
Request an Occupational Drivers License
Your request for an occupational license must be made to the Justice of the Peace, county or district court where you live or to the court of original jurisdiction where the offense occurred.
If the Justice of the Peace, county or district court determines the individual is eligible to apply for an occupational license, then a court order will be issued. The court order is not the occupational license. A court order is only the order which authorizes the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to issue the occupational license.
An application, also known as a petition, is available for free from the Travis County Law Library and can be found at TexasLawHelp.org. Please consult with your local court before submitting to ensure this petition will be acceptable for the issuance of the court order.
Issuance of an Occupational License
The court order and all required items must be submitted to DPS before an occupational license will be issued. The court order may be used as a driver license for 45 days from the date of the judge’s signature. While the request for an occupational license is processed.
Individuals must submit the following items to DPS:
- A certified copy of the petition and a certified copy of the court order granting the occupational license.
- The judge has the authority to grant an occupational order.
- If the individual is participating in a special drug court program, then the petition is not required.
- A Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22).
- Payment of the occupational license fee.
- An occupational license is typically issued for one year or less; the maximum length of issuance is two years.
- The court must grant the issuance of an occupational license beyond one year.
- Payment of reinstatement fees.
An occupational license is issued once the request is processed unless one of the following situations applies:
- The individual’s driver license was previously suspended as a result of an alcohol- or drug-related offense then there is a 90-day waiting period.
- The individual’s driver license was in suspension as a result of an intoxication-related conviction then there is a 180-day waiting period.
- There are at least two administrative license revocations on the individual’s driver record then a mandatory one-year waiting period applies.
Individuals Not Eligible for Occupational Drivers License
If an individual’s driving privilege is currently suspended, revoked, cancelled or denied under any law in the State of Texas, then an occupational license will not be issued to operate a commercial vehicle.
Driver Eligibility Status
For individuals who are required to submit compliance documents (i.e. certificate of completion, SR-22, etc.), their driver eligibility status will change from “ineligible” to “eligible” on the License Eligibility website once all documents have been processed and fees have been paid.