Occupational Driver's License Attorneys
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Occupational License Knowledge Center
An occupational driver's license (ODL), also called an essential needs license or a restricted license allows you to drive for essential needs. The law defines essential needs as driving for work related purposes, school related purposes and essential household needs. Work related purposes includes going to and from work and driving required by your employer as a part of your job, for example driving to a job site or for a sells call. School related purposes includes going to and from school for you and your children as appropriate. Essential household purposes includes anything necessary to maintain your household such as driving to the grocery store or doctor's offices.
An occupational driver's license has certain restrictions. For example, you may be restricted in the times and places you can drive in addition to the reasons you can drive as referenced above. We can work with the issuing court to ensure these restrictions are the least restrictive possible. In most cases we can obtain the occupational license without you needing to appear in court. You will usually have to get a SR-22 insurance policy (see below) and may have to keep a log book. Upon obtaining an occupational driver's license, our staff will work you to make sure you understand what you need to do to comply with the requirements of the occupational driver's license.
If your Texas driver's license is suspended, there may be steps you can take to get your driver's license restored. We can help walk you through these steps; however, not all problems can be fixed. For example, your driver's license may be suspended for a certain period of time, or for restitution following an accident that you cannot pay. In these cases, you need to obtain an occupational driver's license so you can legally drive. In other cases, you may just have an omni hold or two that needs to be lifted and/or a reinstatement fee that needs to be paid. If this is the case, you may not necessarily need an occupational driver's license. Determining why your Texas driver's license is suspended and how to restore your driving privileges can be complicated. We can review your individual case and provide solutions to getting your driving privileges restored.
If your license has been suspended, revoked or denied, you cannot legally drive but that does not mean life stops. An occupational drivers license will allow you to legally drive for essential needs, such as going to and from work and school and necessary trips to maintain your household such as trips to the store and doctor's offices.
If you drive with an invalid or revoked license, you may be subject to arrest, fines and an additional license suspension. The cost of the occupational license is far less than the consequences of driving without a valid license and provides you peace of mind.
The costs, rules, and procedures for the issuance of an occupational drivers license vary based on the reason your license was suspended and the court the application is filed in. Courts cannot and will not provide assistance in dealing with the complexities in applying for the license. In addition, not everyone with a suspended license needs an occupational driver's license or is eligible.
When you contact us, our experienced staff will review your status to make sure you actually need an occupational license and you are eligible. If you are eligible, we can take care of the necessary paperwork without you coming into our office.
In most cases, we can get the occupational license without you appearing in court. Not only does this save you time and anxiety, but you can also be assured that the process will be handled as professionally and expeditiously as possible. With more than 35 years of combined criminal defense and traffic law experience, including representing numerous individuals in occupational license matters, the lawyers of Hawkins & Walker, PC have the experience and expertise to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.
An Omni hold is a hold on your driver's license for failure to appear on a citation or failure to pay a fine that has been accessed. The Omni hold may be lifted upon payment of an Omni fee and posting of a surety bond if there has been an alias warrant or appealing the case to a higher court.
You can check to see if you have Omni holds click here.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) charges a reinstatement fee when your license is suspended. The fee needs to be paid to get your license reinstated. If your license has been suspended for multiple items you may have multiple reinstatement fees.
To check and pay your reinstatement fees, click here.
SR22 is a financial responsibility insurance certificate that verifies that the holder maintains auto insurance. With the certificate, the insurance company will notify the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) that the holder of the policy has the minimum amount of insurance required by law. The insurance carrier will also notify DPS if the policy is canceled, terminated or lapses.
Most, but not all, insurance companies can issue SR-22 certificates. If you have an existing insurance policy, your agent will likely be able to add an SR-22 certificate to your existing policy. You can get an SR-22 certificate even if you do not own a vehicle.
TYPICALLY NO. We can usually file in a court that will not require you to appear. This is not true in all counties.
You can get an ODL if you have a commercial driver's license (CDL) or a commercial learning Permit (CLP); however, you cannot drive a commercial motor vehicle with an occupational driver's license. You can operate any vehicle that you would be able to operate with a class C, non-CDL license.
If the Texas Department of Public Safety's Medical Advisory Board (MAB) determines that you may have a medical condition that could affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, the Department may suspend your license. The most common ways an individual is referred to MAB are:
The individual self-reports his/her medical condition,
DPS refers an individual due to an evaluation conducted at the driver license office,
The individual has multiple convictions for alcohol or drugs on their driver record, or
Law enforcement or a physician who has cause for concern and reports an individual to DPS for further evaluation.
If the department has suspended your license for medical reasons you cannot get an occupational license; however, we may be able to help get your license reinstated through an administrative hearing.
If your license has been suspended by court order for non payment of child support you are not eligible for an occupational license; however, our family law attorney may be able to help.
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If you’ve lost your license for any reason, but still need to be able to drive to work, school and to maintain your household, Hawkins & Walker, PC may be able to help you take the proper steps to restore your driving privileges or obtain an occupational driver's license. Call our traffic ticket attorneys today to schedule a meeting, or to discuss your situation by phone. The consultation is free of charge: it costs you nothing to talk to an experienced Occupational License Attorney!
Call 817.877.3355 or complete the questionnaire below to see how we can help restore your driving privileges.