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Obtaining an Occupational License After a DWI

In Texas, when people are convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) on a first-offense, they face a 180-day driver’s license suspension. For most everyday citizens, they can’t afford to lose their driving privileges for six months. After all, Texas is a BIG state and it’s very difficult to drive to and from work and take care of one’s family without a valid driver’s license.

So, if your driver’s license is suspended for six months for DWI, what can you do? Is there any way for you to maintain your driver’s license so you can keep your job and provide for your loved ones? Fortunately, you may be able to obtain what is called an “occupational license.”

What is an Occupational License?

In Texas, an occupational or “essential need” license is a restricted license available to certain drivers whose license has been suspended for some reason, such as surcharges or DWI. However, individuals whose license was suspended because of a medical reason or because of past-due child support are not eligible. When someone qualifies for an occupational license, it means he or she may drive a non-commercial vehicle strictly for the purposes of:

  • Work,
  • School, and
  • Essential household duties.

When someone is convicted of DWI and they want to obtain an occupational license, he or she must submit their request by following specific procedures in the jurisdiction where the individual lives or in the jurisdiction where the DWI offense was committed.

If the county or district court, or Justice of the Peace decides that the applicant qualifies for an occupational license, a court order will be issued, authorizing the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to issue the person an occupational license.

To learn more about fighting a Texas DWI, applying for an occupational license, the Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22), and the occupational license fee, contact our office to meet with an experienced Plano DWI attorney.