Texas Occupational and Restricted Licenses

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Attorney Mark Morasch answers questions related to occupational and restricted licenses. Get in touch with the firm if you have any further questions or require legal help with your DWI charges in Houston.

1) What is an occupational license?

An occupational license is a special restricted license issued to persons whose license has been suspended or revoked for certain offenses (other than medical reasons or delinquent child support). An occupational license authorizes the operation of a non-commercial motor vehicle in connection with a person's occupation, for educational purposes or in the performance of essential household duties. Requests for such licenses are made to the county or district court in the county of the licensee's residence or to the court of original jurisdiction where the offense occurred. Texas Transportation Code Section 521.242, 37 Texas Administrative Code 15.7.

2) Is the court order the occupational license?

No, this is the order granting the occupational license. The court order and all other required items need to be submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) so an occupational license can be issued. 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.

3) Can you drive a commercial motor vehicle with an occupational license?

No, if a person's driver license or privilege is suspended, revoked, cancelled, or denied under any law in this state, the person may not be granted an occupational or essential need license to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Texas Transportation Code Section 522.086, Texas Transportation Code Section 521.089.

4) What are the requirements for the occupational license?

All required reinstatement fee(s) must be paid prior to the issuance of the occupational license. 37 Texas Administrative Code 15.7.

  • The certified copy of the petition and a certified copy of the court order granting the occupational license.
  • An original pink SR-22 certificate of insurance. This is the only proof of insurance acceptable.
  • Payment the reinstatement fee
  • Payment of the surcharge, or a payment plan in place for the surcharge

5) What is a restricted interlock license?

A restricted interlock license authorizes the person to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.

6) What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol analyzer that is connected to a motor vehicle ignition. In order to start the motor vehicle engine, a driver must blow a breath sample into the analyzer which measures alcohol concentration. If the alcohol concentration exceeds the startup set point on the interlock device, the motor vehicle engine will not start.

7) When is the ignition interlock required?

On receipt of notice from the court that a person has been restricted to the use of a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) shall send notice that the driver license expires on the 30th day after the date of the notice. Texas Transportation Code Section 521.2465,

8) How long is the ignition interlock required?

The interlock is required until the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) receives a court order removing the restriction. Texas Transportation Code 521.2465.

9) Can an individual drive if the ignition interlock is required?

Yes, on application by the person and payment of the required fee, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) shall issue a special restricted license that authorizes the person to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. A restricted license will not be issued if the driver license is expired or suspended or if the individual has not paid the required reinstatement fees. Texas Transportation Code 521.2465.

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