Occupational License FAQs

Do I need an Attorney to get an Occupational License?

No, but currently with the Courthouse closed due to Covid, you may actually need to hire an attorney due to limited public access to the Courts. The process for getting an Occupational License is a little different for attorneys. We can speed up the process, navigate the court system and the clerk's office, and E-File your documents to get the earliest hearing date possible. Plus, we do al the paperwork for you, and go to court for you. All you'll need to do is sign some papers, get insurance and a few other items, and you're done.

Do I need to clear traffic warrants and tickets, or pay all my DPS fees first?

No. The Occupational License lets you drive over the suspension, regardless of unpaid tickets or owed surcharges. You'll need to take care of those items before your actual Texas Driver's License can be reinstated, but they will not prohibit you from using an Occupational License in the meantime. But you will need to pay the DPS Reinstatement Fee shortly after the Judge signs the Occupational License.

I have several warrants for outstanding tickets. Can I still get an Occupational License?

Yes, a lawyer can help obtain an Occupational License even if you have pending ticket or cases, whether in Austin or elsewhere. This also includes warrants, although it's always a good idea to clear up active warrants. You will need to pay or resolve the warrants and tickets before having your actual Driver's license reinstated in the future.


How Long do Occupational Licenses last?

We make our Occupational Licenses valid for up to two years, as long as the Judge agrees. At the end of two years, if your driver's license is still suspended, we can apply for an extension of one year.

What if I never had a License? Can I still get an Occupational License?

If you were never issued a Texas Driver's License, or your license has expired more than two years, you would need to arrange a new driver's test and exam after the Judge signed the ODL, to legally use the Occupational License.

When can I get my actual Texas Driver's License back?

It depends on your suspensions and lengths, as well as the fees and tickets you have. Each case is different, but our lawyers handle a variety of ODL cases. Most of the time, the max length of a suspension is two years.

What is SR22 and why do I need it?

SR22 is a component of auto insurance that notifies the State (DPS) if you lapse in coverage. In other words, SR22 guarantees that DPS will know if you don't have insurance. It is required on all Occupational Driver's Licenses, even if you have never had a DWI in Austin or Texas.

Can I get an Occupational License myself, without a Lawyer?

You may be able to, depending on the County and Court/Judge, but compared to other types of lawyers fees, Occupational Licenses are reasonably priced (at least with our office). The law and standard forms are constantly changing, and you want an Occupational License done correctly the first time, so you can legally drive as soon as possible. The wisest choice is to have an lawyer complete the process -- plus, you don't have to come to court! (in Austin only).

What are my chances of having the Occupational License granted if I hire you?

Unless you have very rare convictions such as Vehicular Assault or Manslaughter, then the chances are extremely high of the Occupational License being granted. At worst, a Judge may question certain hours or locations, but typically the Petition is granted. In the last ten years, we have never had a Judge say no. DPS will do their own processing, and there are a small number of situations that you may be ineligible, but we talk about those ahead of time.

How Long will it take for you to get my Occupational License?

An Occupational License typically takes between 2-5 days to obtain through our office, although many times we have obtained Occupational Licenses for clients the very next day. The faster you can gather the required items necessary to obtain an Occupational License, the faster we can set the hearing and get you driving legally.

Do you Offer Payment Plans for Occupational Licenses?

No, since the process for an Occupational License is so quick -- often a week or less.


When Can I Start Driving After the Occupational License is Granted?

As soon as the Certified Order is in your car, along with SR22 insurance, you can legally start driving. That means you can begin driving once the hearing is finished and we return the paperwork to you.

Can I use my Class A or B License for Commercial Driving with an Occupational?

No, Occupational Licenses cannot be used for a Class A Commercial Driver's License; only for personal Class C Texas Driver's Licenses.

Is there a Logbook Requirement in Travis County?

Yes, all County Court Judges in Travis County are now requiring a Log Book to be kept, noting when and where you're driving.

Are the Requirements Different for Occupational Licenses after a DWI?

They can be, mainly (sometimes) requiring an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), which is a device installed in your car that tests your breath for alcohol prior to starting the vehicle. Occupational Licenses based on a DWI suspension are also subject to closer scrutiny in terms of hours and locations being requested to drive upon.


Will you also handle my DWI or DWLI?

Yes, Keates Law Firm practices a broad range of Criminal Defense cases, and can handle your DWI and DWLS/DWLI case along with the Occupational License; in fact, when we're handling your DWI, we don't charge you extra for the Occupational License -- it's included! (minus filing fees and DPS fees)

When can I get my regular Texas Driver's License back? At the end of your suspension period, assuming you have picked up no new tickets/offenses and assuming you are current or have paid off surcharges, you will be eligible for your Texas Driver's License (since you've paid the reinstatement fees ahead of time). It's always our advise to check with DPS the day before, and after, your suspension is supposed to be up, since DPS may change your status.


What is a Hardship License?

There are several terms used to describe a temporary license in Texas, used when a person's normal DPS issued driver's license has been suspended: Hardship License, Revoked Permit, Temporary Driver's Order, and more. But the legal term and one most commonly used is an Occupational Driver's License: getting one lets you legally drive during a suspension.


More Occupational License Information



Benefits of Working with Keates Law Firm:

  • Direct Access to Attorney's Email and Cell (Texting Okay!)
  • Robert handles your case, not a junior lawyer
  • Trusted, Local, BBB+
  • Free Case Consultations
  • Low Rates available
  • Transparent Fees - No Unexpected Fees!



Frequently Asked Questions



Do I need an Attorney to get an Occupational License?
No. But the process for getting an Occupational License is a little different for attorneys. We can speed up the process, navigate the court system and the clerk's office, and E-File your documents to get the earliest hearing date possible. Plus, we do all the paperwork for you, and go to court for you. All you'll need to do is sign some papers, get insurance and a few other items, and you're done.

Do I need to clear traffic warrants and tickets, or pay all my DPS Surcharges first?
No. The Occupational License lets you drive over the suspension, regardless of unpaid tickets or owed surcharges. You'll need to take care of those items before your actual Texas Driver's License can be reinstated, but they will not prohibit you from using an Occupational License in the meantime. BUT! Surcharges (aside from DWI) are now over in Texas, as of 2019.

I have several warrants for outstanding tickets. Can I still get an Occupational License?
Yes, a lawyer can help obtain an Occupational License even if you have pending ticket or cases, whether in Austin or elsewhere. This also includes warrants, although it's always a good idea to clear up active warrants. You will need to pay or resolve the warrants and tickets before having your actual Driver's license reinstated in the future.

How Long do Occupational Licenses last?
We make our Occupational Licenses valid for up to two years, as long as the Judge agrees. At the end of two years, if your driver's license is still suspended, a Lawyer can apply for an extension.

What if I never had a License? Can I still get an Occupational License?
If you were never issued a Texas Driver's License, or your license has expired, a Lawyer can arrange a new driver's test with Austin or Travis County DPS to validate your Occupational License

When Can I Get My Regular License Back?
It depends on your suspensions and lengths, as well as the fees and surcharges you owe. Each case is different, but our lawyers handle a variety of ODL cases.

What is SR22 and why do I need it?
SR22 is a component of auto insurance that notified the State (Austin DPS) if you lapse in coverage. in other words, SR22 guarantees that Austin DPS will know if you don't have insurance. It is required on all Occupational Driver's Licenses, even if you have never had a DWI in Austin or Texas.

Can I get an Occupational License myself, without a Lawyer?
You may be able to, depending on the County and Court/Judge, but compared to other types of lawyers fees, Occupational Licenses are reasonably priced (at least with our office). The law and standard forms are constantly changing, and you want an Occupational License done correctly the first time, so you can legally drive as soon as possible. The wisest choice is to have an lawyer complete the process -- plus, you don't have to come to court! (in Austin only).

What are my chances of having the Occupational License granted if I hire you?
Unless you have a very rare convictions such as Vehicular Assault or Manslaughter, then the chances are extremely high of the Occupational License being granted. At worst, a Judge may question certain hours or locations, but typically the Petition is granted.

How Long will it take for you to get my Occupational License?
An Occupational License typically takes about a week to obtain through our office, although we have obtained Occupational Licenses for some clients the very next day. The faster you can gather the required items necessary to obtain an Occupational License, the faster we can set the hearing and get you driving legally.

Do you Offer Payment Plans for Occupational Licenses?
Usually no, since the process for an Occupational License is so quick -- often a week or less. However, through Paypal we can now offer our clients no interest financing with no payments for six months. See the banner logo at the top right of this page.

When Can I Start Driving After the Occupational License is Granted?
As soon as the Certified Order is in your car, along with SR22 insurance, you can legally start driving. That means you can begin driving once the hearing is finished and we return the paperwork to you.

What are my chances of having the Occupational License granted if I hire you?
Unless you have a very rare convictions such as Vehicular Assault or Manslaughter, then the chances are extremely high of the Occupational License being granted. At worst, a Judge may question certain hours or locations, but typically the Petition is granted.

How Long will it take for you to get my Occupational License?
An Occupational License typically takes about a week to obtain through our office, although we have obtained Occupational Licenses for some clients the very next day. The faster you can gather the required items necessary to obtain an Occupational License, the faster we can set the hearing and get you driving legally.

Can I use my Class A or B License for Commercial Driving with an Occupational?
No, Occupational Licenses cannot be used for a Class A Commercial Driver's License; only for personal Class C Texas Driver's Licenses.

Is there a Logbook Requirement in Travis County?
Yes, all County Court Judges in Travis County are now requiring a Log Book to be kept, noting when and where you're driving.

Are the Requirements Different for Occupational Licenses after a DWI?
They can be, mainly requiring an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), which is a device installed in your car that tests your breath for alcohol prior to starting the vehicle. Occupational Licenses based on a DWI suspension are also subject to closer scrutiny in terms of hours and locations being requested to drive upon.

Will you also handle my DWI or DWLI?
Yes, Keates Law Firm practices a broad range of Criminal Defense cases, and can handle your DWI and DWLS/DWLI case along with the Occupational License; in fact, when we're handling your case, such as a DWI or DWLI, we don't charge you extra for the Occupational License -- it's included!

When can I get my regular Texas Driver's License back?
At the end of your suspension period, assuming you have picked up no new tickets/offenses and assuming you are current or have paid off surcharges, you will be eligible for your Texas Driver's License (since you've paid the reinstatement fees ahead of time). It's always our advise to check with DPS the day before, and after, your suspension is supposed to be up, since DPS may change your status.

What is a Hardship License?
There are several terms used to describe a temporary license in Texas, used when a person's normal DPS issued driver's license has been suspended: Hardship License, Revoked Permit, Temporary Driver's Order, and more. But the legal term and one most commonly used is an Occupational Driver's License.

For More Information, try:

Call for a Free Consultation