Charlie explains what an occupational license is and how it allows you to drive for essential activities like work, household duties, and medical appointments
Q: What is an occupational license?
A: An occupational license is a special court order that permits individuals to drive for essential needs during the period their regular license is suspended. This can last from three months to two years.
Q: Can I get an occupational license before my regular license is suspended?
A: No, you cannot obtain an occupational license until your regular license has been officially suspended.
Q: What are the allowed uses for an occupational license?
A: While it's called an "occupational" license, it can be used for driving related to essential household duties beyond just commuting to work. This includes grocery shopping, taking children to school, attending legal and medical appointments, but not for entertainment purposes like going to movies or karaoke.
Q: Are there different types of occupational licenses?
A: Yes, there are two main types:
- With an ignition interlock device requirement: There are no restrictions on when or where you can drive.
- Without an ignition interlock device requirement: You must specify the counties you need to drive in and are limited to driving 12 hours per day.
Q: How do I define the hours and counties for my occupational license?
A: You must outline a schedule for a whole week, specifying the hours and counties you will need to drive. If your occupational license doesn't have an ignition interlock device, you're limited to 12 hours per day and cannot easily change your schedule once it’s set.
Q: What do I need to provide to get an occupational license?
A: You'll need to supply:
- An SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility.
- Your driving record from DPS, which requires a 20-digit audit number from your license.
- Proof of employment or a description of your job duties if self-employed.
- Payment for various fees, including filing, reinstatement, and the occupational driver's license fee.
- A notarized affidavit signed at the lawyer's office or mailed to you if not in Austin.
Q: How long does it take to get an occupational license?
A: It typically takes one to three business days for us to get the occupational license signed by a judge once we have all the required information.
Q: What happens after I receive my occupational license?
A: You will be given a certified copy of the occupational license to carry with you, and DPS will mail you a plastic license. The paper license is valid for 45 days, by which time you should receive the plastic license.
Q: Do I have to obtain an occupational license if I don't want to?
A: No, it is not mandatory. You can choose alternative transportation methods such as public transit, biking, or ride-sharing services.
Q: What is the duration of a license suspension that necessitates an occupational license?
A: The suspension could be as brief as three months or as lengthy as one to two years. You can apply for an occupational license at any point during the suspension if you change your mind about needing one.