While many people in cities across the United States can go about their daily lives without driving a vehicle, people living in and around Houston know how vitally important a car is in our area. Using the public transportation system can be unreliable and makes it difficult to accomplish everything people have planned to do in a day. Losing your driver’s license because of a suspension, restriction or revocation can be detrimental and lead to additional consequences like losing a job. However, if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked for some reason, it may still be possible to drive legally under certain circumstances. To do this, you must get an occupational driver’s license.

An occupational driver’s license (ODL) allows an individual to drive when there is an “essential need” for driving. This special type of restricted license is issued to individuals who have had their driver’s licenses suspended, revoked or denied for certain criminal offenses, but who still need to drive. Suspensions can also come from DPS through an administrative case because of driving while a license is invalid or getting into an accident without insurance. The Texas Medical Advisory Board can also revoke a driver’s license indefinitely for medical reasons (e.g., vision impairment, epilepsy, alcohol dependence). According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, an ODL authorizes the operation and use of a non-commercial motor vehicle by an individual who requires transportation to get to work, to school or school-related activities, or to perform essential household duties. An ODL is only valid for operating a private motor vehicle. Someone who has had their commercial driver’s license suspended or revoked cannot use an ODL to operate a commercial vehicle legally.

To get an ODL, you must file a petition with the appropriate court. It requires obtaining a court order authorizing the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to issue an ODL. Requests for this type of license must be made to the justice, county, or district court where the applicant resides, or to the court of original jurisdiction where the offense occurred that resulted in the loss of driving privileges. Note that the court order is NOT the license, it is only one part of the paperwork/documentation that must be submitted to the Texas DPS to get an ODL. However, the court order may be used as a temporary license while the paperwork is being processed by DPS for up to 45 days from the date that the judge signs it.

The process of securing an ODL takes time and can be complicated. Hiring an experienced attorney to help you can make the process of applying for an ODL much easier and more efficient than attempting it alone. A knowledgeable and skilled defense attorney, like Collin Evans, can help you get an occupational driver’s license in Texas if you legally have lost your privileges. If you need an experienced attorney to advocate for you in Houston or the surrounding area, reach out to the Collin Evans Law, PLLC. Collin Evans can answer your questions and provide valuable counsel about all your legal needs. For a free consultation, contact Collin Evans, online or by phone at 713-225-0650 to discuss how to get an occupational license.