Understanding the Occupational Driving License in Texas

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If your license has been suspended due to a criminal charge – or for any other legal reason – it does not alter the fact that you need to get to work in order to continue providing for yourself and your family, to pay off attendant fines, and to do everything else that responsible adults are responsible for taking care of. Fortunately, help in the form of an occupational driver’s license may be available.

What Is an Occupational Driver’s License?

An occupational driver’s license is sometimes called an essential need license, and it allows its holder restricted rights to drive (after having his or her right to operate a motor vehicle suspended, denied, or revoked for specific offenses). These licenses are generally issued for one year or less – with a maximum renewal that cannot exceed two years. The only exceptions that will stop you out of hand from being eligible to obtain an occupational driver’s license include the following:

  • if your license was revoked due to a physical or mental disability that renders you incapable of driving safely

  • If you are in child support arrears

  • If you are in the country illegally

  • If your driving privileges had already been revoked when the current charge was levied against you

Other than these four primary exceptions, you have a very solid chance of obtaining the occupational driver’s license you need to move your life in the right direction post-conviction. An important caveat is that there is no occupational alternative to a commercial driver’s license.

The Most Common Reasons for a Suspended License

The most common reasons for having one’s driver’s license suspended, revoked, or otherwise denied, include the following:

  • Refusing to take a breath or blood alcohol test, or field sobriety test when required by law

  • A conviction for DUI or DWI

  • A drug conviction

  • An excessive list of driving citations on your record

  • Nonpayment of a legal judgment against you (such as if you do not have liability insurance to cover the damages you’ve been found responsible for)

How Your Occupational Driver’s License Can Help

With an occupational driver’s license going for you, you will be far better prepared to tend to the important tasks of daily living (that require transportation), including:

  • Driving to and from your job

  • Attending school-related activities

  • Showing up for your medical appointments

  • Taking care of essential household duties, such as picking up groceries and more

Your occupational driver’s license may include hours-of-use restrictions. For example, you may be restricted from driving between certain hours, or you may be required to maintain a driving log to ensure you don’t put in more than 12 hours of driving in any given 24-hour period.

You Need an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney on Your Side

Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchardin Killeen, Texas, is a formidable criminal defense attorney who has impressive experience helping clients like you obtain the occupational driver’s licenses they need. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.


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