Watch this video for an explanation of the Occupational Driver's Licenses in Texas.

Q: What is an “Occupational License”?

A: It is a temporary court order that allows to you drive while your regular license is suspended. It lasts for the term of your suspension – anywhere from three months to two years.

Q: Is it only for driving to work?

A: No. The ODL also allows you to drive to school, for groceries, legal appointments and general household duties.

Q: That sounds like almost all normal driving, right?

A: Yes. But it doesn’t cover recreational activities – going to the movies, karaoke, eating out, etc.

Q: Can I drive any time I want?

A: No. You will have to choose the hours you need to drive when we apply for the ODL. You can drive up to twelve hours per day.

For example: Monday-Friday from 8:00am-8:00pm and Saturday-Sunday from 10:00am-10:00pm.

You can also break up the hours during the day.

For example: Monday 8:00am-2:00pm and 5:00pm-11:00pm – as long as the hours total twelve.

We define the hours for a full week – and these apply to the entire suspension period.

Q: Can I drive anywhere in Texas?

A: You can only drive in counties that are specifically listed on the occupational license. You need to choose these based on where you expect to drive during the time of your suspension.

Q: How do you know which counties and times I need?

A: You tell us by filling out this ODL TIMES AND COUNTIES form.

Q: What if something changes and I have to adjust the hours after I get the occupational license?

A: Unfortunately changing the hours after a judge has granted the ODL is very difficult.

Q: When do I get the Occupational License? Can I get it before my regular license is suspended?

A: We apply for the ODL if/when your regular license is suspended – you can’t get it before the suspension happens.

Q: How will I know when the ALR hearing is going to be?

A: We send e-mails with updates on the status of the hearing.

Q: Do you need anything from me for the Occupational License?

A: YES! We can’t get the license without you getting us certain items (YOU CAN ALSO DOWNLOAD/PRINT THE CHECKLIST AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE):

  1. SR-22 Certificate of Financial Responsibility
  2. Copy of your Type AR (Certified Abstract) driving record
    • — If you have never had a Texas license, call our office at (512) 472-1113.
  3. A pay stub from your employer. If you are self-employed or unemployed, please write a letter addressed to the judge explaining why you need to drive.
  4. $55 filing fee for the Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5. You pay this fee to our office (by CREDIT CARD, check, cash, or money order) and then we pay JP5 when we file the petition.
  5. $135 license reinstatement and ODL fee for DPS (subject to change if you’ve had other issues with your license). You also pay this fee to our office, and we will pay DPS on your behalf when we send in the completed ODL.
  6. Tell us the hours and counties you need to drive by filling out this form.
  7. Come in to the office and sign the application for the ODL. Or, print out the "Verification" PDF below, sign it in front of a notary, and mail it to us or drop it in the mailbox of our office. We need the original. Another option is to do a virtual notarization. Watch this video about the process.

Q: How soon can you get the ODL?

A: It takes from 3-6 business days to get the ODL signed by the judge once you have given us all of the above documents/information/signature.

Q: What if I give you some (but not all) of the documents and information you need? Can you get started?

A: Unfortunately, no. Everything must be submitted to the Judge at the same time.

Q: What is a SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility?

A: SR-22 is a certification issued by a car insurance company showing proof that you are carrying the minimum liability coverage required by the state.

Q: Is it separate from regular insurance?

A: No. It is bundled together with liability insurance. When you purchase SR-22, you are also getting liability insurance. However, you can purchase a non-owner’s policy and SR-22 bundle from an independent insurance provider that will not interfere with your regular policy.

Q: Where should I get it?

A: We know the people who runSPEEDY SR-22. They are great! However, you can google “SR-22 Texas” and a thousand companies to choose from will pop up.

Q: Can I buy it from my regular insurance company? Will they raise my rates?

A: If your current insurance company sells SR-22, you can get it from them. Unfortunately, I don’t know if your rates will be affected by this decision.

Q: What do I do with the proof of SR-22 insurance?

A: Send us a copy. We need to attach it to the application for your ODL.

This is what an SR-22 certificate looks like:

sr-22 image.png

How to order your AR driving record online

Q: Where do I get a copy of my driving record?

A: If you ever have had Texas license- Order your AR driving record online through the DPS website. You will need to refer to the 20 digit audit number on your license (or answer some security questions). The cost is $22.

    If you never had a Texas license- Call the office at (512) 472-1113 and we can help you.

Q: How do I check my license eligibility online?

A: After the judge signs the judgment suspending your license, it usually takes DPS 1-2 days to process the license suspension. I recommend checking your license online after the hearing to make sure your license is still eligible during the “grace period.” Here is the link to check license eligibility. If the suspension has not been processed, the status will read “ELIGIBLE.”

If you check your license and the status is “ELIGIBLE” but you see a suspension date below, this means DPS knows you have a pending suspension. This is a placeholder suspension and not your actual suspension date (i.e., the suspension dates you would have served had we not requested the hearing and tried to stop the suspension).

If the status reads “NOT ELIGIBLE”, then the suspension has been processed and your license is suspended. The suspension shown on the DPS page should be accurate.

Q: Why do I bring a payment of $55 to you? Why not give it directly to the Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5?

A: JP5’s ODL filing system only accepts payments from law office accounts. You can make the payment to us online via our website and we will pay it to the court on your behalf.

Q: What about the $135 (for reinstatement fee and ODL fee)? Where do I pay that?

A: You will also pay this fee to our office. We will send DPS a check from our office when we submit your completed ODL to them. Office checks are easier to track than personal money orders. We want to make sure we can track the check in case DPS forgets to credit your account (unfortunately DPS has done this in the past).

Q: Why do you mail it in and not me?

A: We mail everything to DPS for you. We do this because so many of our previous clients have forgotten to mail the documents to DPS or lose them altogether. We provide this service for free.

Q: What counties can I put in the ODL? What if I have to drive to Houston/Dallas/El Paso?

A: We always include Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties in every ODL. However, if you need additional counties, you must put in every county that you will be driving in. This includes all the counties in between destinations.

Q: How do I find out what counties are in between Austin and Houston/Dallas/El Paso?

A: You can look it up on this map.

Q: Can I add counties after I get my ODL?

A: No.

Q: Why do I have to come into your office to sign the ODL application?

A: The ODL petition requires an original, notarized signature. We provide the notary service for free – but you must be present. If you’d rather get it notarized yourself, we can e-mail you the document and you can mail the original back to us.

Q: Is the ODL just paperwork? Or does it look like a regular license?

A: Once the judge signs the ODL order, we give you a certified copy of the order that describes the terms of the ODL. You can drive using only this paperwork for 45 days.

Within that 45 day period, you should receive a physical ODL in the mail from DPS that looks like a regular driver’s license. Once you receive the hard copy of the ODL, it must be kept with the certified order you were given previously. Both of these items together make up your ODL.

Q: What if they don’t send me the license before the 45 days end?

A: This happens sometimes. Call us and we’ll discuss the options.

Q: What if I don’t want to get an Occupational License? It sounds expensive and inconvenient.

A: You do not have to get an ODL. However, you can’t drive legally during the suspension period without one. If you do drive without an ODL and they catch you, then it is another class B misdemeanor (Driving While License Invalid).

Q: Do I have to get an occupational license right away? Can I see how hard it is to use public transportation first?

A: You don’t have to get an ODL right away. We can get one whenever you decide you want it.

Q: I still have questions.

A: No problem. Call our office at (512) 472-1113. Or you can e-mail us.