An occupational driver’s license (ODL) allows eligible individuals to legally drive even after their licenses have been suspended or revoked. This special restricted license will enable you to drive a personal vehicle back and forth to work and school, as well as to run essential errands, such as getting medical attention and groceries.
You must get a court order finding that you are eligible for an ODL and telling the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to allow you to get an ODL. However, not everyone qualifies for an ODL. For instance, you are ineligible for an ODL if you:
- Lost your license due to physical or mental disabilities
- Lost your license due to a failure to pay child support
- Need your license to drive a commercial motor vehicle
- Are a threat to public safety if permitted to drive
- Do not have an essential household need that requires you to drive
- Received two ODLs in the past ten years following a conviction that affected your license
Another situation that might make you ineligible for an ODL is if you have a hard suspension waiting period because of a previous DWI arrest or conviction. For example, if your license was suspended because you refused to take a breath test when arrested for DWI and you had a license suspension due to an alcohol or drug-related arrest within the previous five years, you are subject to a 90-day hard suspension. This means that you cannot get an ODL during those 90 days.
Once the judge orders that you are eligible for an ODL, you can use a certified copy of the court order as proof of your ODL for up to 45 days after the effective date of the order. You typically will receive your official ODL from DPS during that timeframe. If you don’t receive it within those 45 days, however, you cannot drive until you receive it or go back to court to get the deadline extended.
When you are facing any criminal charges in the state of Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.