An occupational license is a special restricted license issued to persons whose license has been suspended or revoked for certain offenses (other than non-payment of a surcharge, medical reasons or delinquent child support). An occupational license authorizes the operation of a non-commercial motor vehicle in connection with a person’s occupation, for educational purposes or in the performance of essential household duties. Requests for such licenses are made to the county or district court in the county of the licensee’s residence or to the court of original jurisdiction where the offense occurred.
The court order and all other required items need to be submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) so an occupational license can be issued. The court order may be used as a license for 30 days from the date of the judge’s signature while DPS processes the occupational license.
There can be restrictions on getting a DWI occupational driver’s license if you have prior suspensions. For example, if you have a prior suspension arising out of a refusal or failure of a breath or blood test in the 5 years preceding the arrest date, the occupational driver’s license cannot take effect until 90 days after the start of the suspension. If you have a prior suspension arising out of a conviction for DWI in the 5 years preceding the arrest date, the occupational driver’s license cannot take effect until 180 days after the start of the suspension. This is sometimes called a “hard suspension.”
You will be required to secure an SR-22 insurance policy for its duration and carry a certified copy of the Order Granting Occupational License with you when you drive. This will allow any officer who may stop you to determine whether or not you are within your stated restrictions when you drive.
This license expires at the end of your suspension period as does your suspension. At that time, DPS will return your license to you or you may apply for another license at your local DPS office. Plus, you are also no longer required to carry the SR-22.