You need an occupational license if your license is suspended. It is generally a class B misdemeanor to drive with a suspended license. If you are out on bond, it is also a violation of your bond to drive with a suspended license. If you have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle the device is logging the fact that you are driving with a suspended license and it’s even more important to get an occupational license as soon as possible.
An occupational license will allow you to drive for work or other essential household duties. If your license has been suspended as a result of a DWI conviction you may be able to get an occupational license with no restrictions at all. It is very important that you consult with a lawyer to discuss exactly what kind of occupational license you need.
In order to get an occupational license we need the following items:
(1) SR-22 Insurance
An SR-22 Insurance policy is obtained from an auto-insurance company and is proof you have liability insurance. Be aware that if you request an SR-22 from your insurance company they will know your license has been suspended. They could take adverse action against you such as raising your rates or cancelling your policy. The SR-22 will ultimately be filed at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and if you ever quit paying your insurance premium the insurance company will automatically notify DPS and your occupational license will be suspended. If you buy an SR-22 policy from a separate insurance company and keep your current insurance company at the same time you should ask the company providing you with an SR-22 policy for an “operator’s policy” or “non-owner’s policy.” This will prevent your current insurance company from automatically terminating your policy.
Please note, do not buy an SR-22 policy until we tell you to get one (no need to waste money for something you might not need).
(2) Filing Fee
The filing fee is determined by the reason for your driver’s license suspension. It will be no more than $300 but may only be $55. Please note that if you have a felony DWI pending the filing fee may be up to $330.
(3) Driving Record Abstract.
You may obtain this online via DPS’ website at: https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/txldrcdr/TXDPSLicenseeManager. Order the 20-year driving record abstract. Use the audit number at the bottom of your driver’s license to get the driving record online. If you don’t have your driver’s license you may have to order your abstract from DPS which may take a couple weeks.
(4) List of Counties.
A list of the counties you would like to drive in during the period of your suspension.
(5) Verification of Employment
A letter from your employer or a paystub to verify your employment. If you are a student, bring a copy of your current transcript or class schedule. If you are unemployed or self-employed, we need a sworn statement from you stating as much.
(6) DPS’s Occupational License Fee
Bring a money order in the amount of $135 made out to the Texas Department of Public Safety. $125 is for the reinstatement fee and $10 is the cost of your occupational license.
Once you have the items listed above please call our office to arrange for a time to come in and sign the occupational license. When you are at our office please be aware that it will take 15-30 minutes for a member of our staff to draft the occupational license. You might have to wait a bit (don’t worry, we have free wi-fi).
Generally, an occupational license will allow you to drive between 6-8 hours. Sometimes we can get an occupational license that allows you to drive up to 12 hours a day. You will have to keep a driving log that shows the number of hours you drive. Here’s a sample LOG you may use.
Please remember that it is an arrestable offense to drive with a suspended license. It is also a class A misdemeanor if you violate your occupational license.
Don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions!