Occupational License Procedures
Occupational License Procedures
PLEASE NOTE: THIS PAGE DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FOR INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION.
The Order of the Court directs the Department of Public Safety to issue the Petitioner an Essential Needs License. It must be forwarded to the DPS (with an SR-22 and any reinstatement fee) to secure issuance of the license. The Court Order itself may only be used as a license for 45 days (Texas Transportation Code 521.249). After the DPS has issued a license a certified copy of the Court Order must be carried with the license holder (TTC 521.250). Occupational Licenses cannot be granted for the operation of commercial vehicles (TTC 521.242(f)).
The County Courts at Law do not have jurisdiction over occupational license applications if the suspension is the result of a DWI conviction. You must apply to the convicting court. Petitioners must be Tarrant County residents for seeking a license as a result of a suspension arising out of a law enforcement action in Tarrant County (Texas Transportation Code 521.242).
County Court at Law No. 3 will grant most unopposed occupational driver's licenses without a hearing. Pro se litigants and Petitioners under 25 years of age will require a hearing. Do not use orders or affidavits that are found on the Internet, most are for criminal courts only. This is a civil court. If you have a "fill-in-the-blank" form, you must handwrite it or re-type it. The Court will not accept "fill-in-the-blank" forms.
MATERIALS WHICH MUST BE FILED
The following materials must be submitted to the Court Clerk. No action will be taken on the application until all materials are submitted.
- An affidavit, separate from the verified petition. DO NOT COMBINE THE VERIFICATION FOR THE PETITION AND THE AFFIDAVIT. THEY ARE TWO SEPARATE DOCUMENTS. Include the following information in the affidavit:
- The petitioner's driver's license number;
- Jurisdictional facts under Texas Transportation Code Section 521.242(a);
- The date of suspension of the Petitioner's driver's license (or the date suspension is anticipated);
- Particular facts supporting the essential need for the license;
- The hours and areas of travel for which the license is needed (set forth specific facts which support a request for driving in areas outside of Tarrant County);
- The necessity, if any, of waiving the four hour restriction;
- If the petitioner has had one or more DWI's in the past, whether there is an ignition interlock device on the Petitioner's vehicle as a condition of bond (if there is, include a copy of the installation agreement);
- Verification of insurance coverage, with proof of SR-22 attached; and
- A statement that the petitioner agrees to comply with all conditions placed on the license.
- If it is the petitioner's first time to be charged with DWI, the order will only need to include the Court's standard provisions set forth below. If the petitioner has had one or more previous DWI arrests, and an ignition interlock has not been ordered as a condition of bond, you will need (or need to instruct your client) to have an ignition interlock installed on his/her vehicle and provide the Court with a copy of the installation contract before the hearing. You must include in the order a paragraph which restricts the petitioner to driving only the vehicle equipped with the interlock (See Texas Trasportation Code 521.246).
- If the Petitioner is requesting permission to keep a log book instead of driving set hours the following language must be included in the order:
"Petitioner is ordered to keep at all times, in any vehicle driven, a log book and accurately record therein the dates, times and purposes for which Petitioner is driving. Petitioner is ordered to show said log book to any law enforcement officer upon request. Petitioner is restricted to driving no more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period."
The Court will require hearings on all safety responsibility suspensions; all habitual violator suspensions; all alcohol related suspensions where the petitioner is under the age of 25; all pro se applications; and when requested by the District Attorney's Office.
All Orders must contain the following language (in addition to that regarding a log book, if requested):
- Petitioner shall not carry in any vehicle that Petitioner operates a radar or laser detection device;
- Petitioner shall not refuse any lawful request for a sample of Petitioner's breath, blood or urine in the event Petitioner is stopped for investigation of any alcohol related offense;
- Petitioner shall not consume any alcoholic beverage or other intoxicant for at least four hours before and during any period of time Petitioner is permitted to drive;
- Petitioner shall not be convicted of any moving traffic violations;
- Petitioner shall maintain in full force and effect a policy of automobile liability insurance as required by law and SR-22;
- Petitioner shall attend alcohol counseling (AA or equivalent) not less than ___ times per week/month and report such attendance to the court not later than the Monday/first of the month following such attendance.
APPEALS OF ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
If an occupational license is requested after an administrative hearing at the State Office of Administrative Hearings, and you are not actually appealing the decision, use the conditions above and add the following:
"The (date of the ALJ ruling) ruling of the Administrative Law Judge is hereby upheld and Petitioner's appeal dismissed."
- Allow a minimum of five business days to get the Order signed after all materials are submitted.
- Include a self-addressed stamped envolope if you wish the Clerk to forward the Orders to your office.
- A clerk of the court will call you when the Order has been signed if you request to pick up the Order.
- No Order should include language suggesting that the Clerk must forward the Order to the DPS. The Petitioner, or their attorney, must forward a certified copy of the Order to the DPS, together with SR-22 and the reinstatement fee. The Clerk will not do so on behalf of any Petitioner or their attorney.