What to do when license gets suspended
Suspended Driver’s License in Texas
A suspended driver’s license in Texas can happen for many reasons, including the following:
- DWI conviction
- Refusal/Failure of alcohol test
- Drug conviction
- Habitual traffic offender
- Out-of-State suspension
- Driving While License Suspended/Invalid conviction
- Accident while driving without insurance
- Failing to pay surcharges or fees
- Failing to provide proof of insurance (SR-22)
If you have a suspended driver’s license in Texas, an Occupational Driver’s License can help you continue to live a normal life in some of these situations, but hiring a lawyer for all of them is not always necessary. It’s best to speak with attorneys experienced in dealing with a suspended driver’s license in Texas to help you make that determination.
In order to obtain an Occupational Driver’s License, you will need to gather various types of documentation depending on the circumstances of your suspension. This can include some or all of the following:
- SR-22 form (Click here for more information)
- Installation or Calibration receipt for Ignition Interlock device
- Certified copy of driving record (Type AR)
- Proof of employment or attendance at school
- Proof of suspension
- Affidavit filed with the Petition
Your Occupational Driver’s License can potentially be used to drive in the following ways:
- Up to 12 hours per day, seven days per week
- To and from, as well as during, your work
- To and from school
- As part of daily household duties (i.e., grocery store, bank, laundry, taking children to and from school, etc.)
- Reasons related to your case (e.g., court date, probation requirements, meeting with your lawyer, etc.)
The Department of Public Safety requires that the court order specifically list which county you will be driving in on your Occupational Driver’s License. Some judges will allow you to drive throughout the entire state—others require a specific list. Additionally, there are judges who will restrict the times during which you may drive after a suspended driver’s license in Texas. This makes it especially important to determine exactly where and when you will need to drive before applying for one.
It can take anywhere from one week to over a month to obtain an Occupational Driver’s License depending on the court and what documents you need to gather. However, in some cases, these licenses are available within a day. Essentially, the quicker you are able to collect all of the necessary documentation, the quicker you will be able to get a hearing set and get yourself back on the road after getting a suspended driver’s license in Texas.
Most judges require that you attend a hearing, especially if you have been convicted of a DWI, have a drug or alcohol related suspension, or the government objects to you applying for an Occupational Driver’s License.
Finally, as you can expect, there are fees that go along with getting an Occupational Driver’s License in the State of Texas, which can include the following:
- Filing Fees (differ depending on where you live or where the suspension occurred)
- DPS Reinstatement Fees (vary from person to person)
- DPS Occupational License Fee ($10 per year paid directly to DPS)
- Interlock Restricted License Fee ($10 if ordered to install)
- Attorney’s Fees
As you can see, there are several documents you will need to obtain, and you may need guidance depending on the details of your specific situation. A lawyer experienced in handling cases involving a suspended driver’s license in Texas can help you get to the right court and help you potentially avoid certain restrictions or fees. Call Jarvis, Garcia & Erskine Law today to speak to attorneys with years of experience.
An SR-22 is a form that is filed with DPS by a person’s auto insurance provider. This form shows that a person is insured with the minimum liability required by law, and if at any time, the person causes their insurance to lapse, terminate, or cancel, the auto insurance provider must notify DPS. Once DPS receives notice that the policy is no longer in effect, driving privileges will be suspended. Most insurance companies will add an SR-22 to an existing policy for no charge or a small fee. However, there can be consequences to asking your current insurance provider for this form. If a person does not own a vehicle, he/she can buy a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy.
An SR-22 is required to obtain an Occupational Driver’s License. The SR-22 must remain on file with DPS for the duration of the Occupational Driver’s License period.
An insurance card is not a substitute for an SR-22. An actual copy of the SR-22 has to be submitted to the court on or before the date of the Occupational Driver’s License hearing. A copy of the declaration page showing that an SR-22 was added to the insurance policy will not be sufficient.
If you receive a DWI conviction, you will be required to keep an SR-22 on file with DPS for two years following your conviction regardless of whether you have an occupational license or not.
For more information on Form SR-22, please visit the Texas DPS website.