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Getting an Occupational Driver’s License in Texas

 Posted on June 28, 2022 in Criminal Defense

fort worth drivers license reinstatement lawyerIf your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked due to a conviction on DWI charges or for any other reason, you know how hard it is to manage modern life without being allowed to drive. Public transportation is available in North Texas, but if we are being honest, riding a bus or train is nowhere near as convenient as driving yourself.

There is no excuse for driving on a suspended license, and getting caught doing so will leave you subject to serious criminal penalties. Texas law, however, gives you the option of applying for an occupational license—also called an “essential need” license—so that you can keep up with your life despite your license suspension.

Understanding the Occupational Driver’s License

There are consequences for breaking the law, and sometimes those consequences include the suspension of your driving privileges. However, Texas lawmakers have recognized that it is not necessarily in the public interest to enforce a license suspension if it means that the offender will not be able to work or care for his or her family. With this in mind, the state’s occupational driver’s license program offers a way for the state to balance punitive measures against an offender and the needs of the people who depend on the offender, including his or her employer and family members.

Under Texas law, an occupational license can allow a person whose license has been suspended to drive for up to 12 hours a day, as long as the driving is related to work, education, or family responsibilities. Occupational driver’s license petitions are handled on an individual basis, and each county and district court might have slightly different requirements and procedures for obtaining driving relief through an occupational driver’s license.

Obtaining an Occupational License

Your path to an occupational driver’s license begins with filing a petition with a Justice of the Peace, county court, or district court where you live, in most cases. You will also need to provide an SR-22 Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate that proves you have liability insurance that complies with state standards. You might also need to provide a copy of your driving record. Depending on the circumstances, you could be required to go before a judge for a hearing.

If your petition is approved, the court will issue an order that lays out the specific terms of the approval. The next step is to submit the order and all other required documents to the Department of Public Safety, the agency responsible for issuing the occupational license. It is important to note that an occupational driver’s license only applies to private vehicles. You cannot operate a commercial vehicle on an occupational license.

It is very important to obey the terms of your occupational driver’s license. Failing to do so, including driving outside of the approved times or driving for unapproved purposes, could lead to the revocation of your occupational license and other administrative penalties.

Call a Tarrant County Occupational License Lawyer

If you are facing the loss of your license for any reason, contact an experienced Fort Worth driving relief attorney at The Dameron Law Firm. We will work closely with you in protecting your driving privileges so that you can continue providing for your family. Call 817-222-0624 for a free, confidential consultation today.



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