If your license is suspended in Texas, you may be eligible for an Occupational Driver’s License (known as an ODL). An ODL is a form of restricted license that allows you to drive during certain periods of time and only for certain “essential” needs like taking care of children, going to work, court appointments, doctor appointments and the like. We have compiled more information about ODLs below.
License suspensions typically occur as as result of failing to request an ALR Hearing after a DWI arrest, or after losing an ALR hearing or after a DWI conviction. The rules for obtaining an ODL are different depending on your particular circumstances, and they can be extremely complex. No matter what, you will have to file a Petition for an Occupational Driver’s License with a court. If the license suspension occurred as a result of a DWI conviction, you can only petition the court in which you were convicted.
DPS will require that you have an SR-22 on file during the period your license is suspended. You may choose any company that offers SR-22 insurance. However, there are important things you should know about SR-22 insurance before you purchase it.
The law allows you to drive with an ODL for a maximum of four hours per 24 hour period, but the Court may waive the minimum and allow up to a maximum of twelve hours based upon certain essential needs.
The courts in Dallas and Collin County prefer to use a driving schedule. For example:
- Monday – Friday – 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (12 hours)
- Saturday – Sunday – 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (12 hours)
Links to answers about some frequently asked questions about ODLs are below.
- What Is An Occupational Driver’s License? What is an ODL?
- Am I Eligible to Receive an ODL?
- How Do You Get An Occupational Driver’s License?
- Do I Need a Lawyer to Get An Occupational Driver’s License?
- How Much Does It Cost to Get an Occupational Driver’s License?
- What Are the Fees for an Occupational Driver’s License in My County?
- What Paperwork Do I Need For an Occupational Driver’s License?
- Can A Lawyer Do My ODL? Where Can I Find a Lawyer for my ODL?
- What Are the Restrictions on an ODL?
Other Important Notes about ODLs
It is important to note that the court order is NOT the occupational license. It is the order granting the occupational license. The court order and all other required items must be submitted to the Department of Public Safety for issuance of an occupational license. The court order may be used as a license for 30 days from the date of the Judge’s signature while DPS processes the occupational license request.
There are certain limitations on your ability to get an ODL. Under certain circumstances, you will not be eligible for an ODL (usually this occurs if you have had more than one ODL because of a DWI conviction). And depending on whether you have had prior license suspensions, you may have a waiting period before an ODL can take effect. These factors and others can make the ODL process complex.