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Instructions & Forms for an Occupational Driver's License

Click on each step to expand with more information and forms.  To print both the instructions and forms, click here.

 

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Step 1: Check the status of your license to see if you really need to get an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL) or if you can reinstate your license at www.Texas.gov/driver.

Sometimes people think they need an Occupational Driver’s License when they could just reinstate their license.

Before asking the court for an ODL, check your license eligibility status at www.Texas.gov/driver. Click on “Drivers License Reinstatement and Status.”

This free site will tell you if you can drive with your current license and, if not, what you need to do to become eligible. If you are not eligible, the website will tell you:

  • The requirements to meet.
  • The fees you need to pay.
  • About surcharge waiver programs.

You can pay fees on this website and get information on how to mail proof that you met the compliance requirements to DPS. Keep checking the website because it is updated daily.

You can also call the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to check your eligibility/qualifying status at 512-424-2600 (English) and 512-424-7181 (Español)

Be careful! Recent court actions, out-of–state violations, and AG-reported child support arrearages may not be reflected in your current eligibility status.

Step 2: Check to see if you qualify for an ODL.

Even if you get a court order for an Occupational Driver’s License, DPS cannot issue one if:

  • You lost your driving privileges for a medical condition.
  • You lost your driving privileges because you owe child support.
  • You have received two ODLs after a conviction in the past 10 years.
  • You don’t qualify to get a Texas driver’s license because you are in the United States unlawfully. The documents to verify that you are a citizen or that you are in the United States lawfully are listed on the Texas DPS website.
Step 3: Gather the forms and information you need to ask the Court to order DPS to issue you an ODL.
  • Two court forms:
  1. The Petition for Occupational Driver’s License asks the Court to issue an order.
  2. The Order for Occupational Driver’s License orders DPS to issue you an ODL.
  • Certified Abstract (Type AR) of your driving record:
  • Be careful: To get your certified Abstract online, you MUST verify that ALL of your DPS records (DL, ID or unlicensed record) have been CONSOLIDATED or you risk purchasing incomplete information and may need to purchase additional records.

    If you have determined that your records are consolidated, you may purchase your driving record online, with a credit card and print it out. The online cost is $22. You will need to enter your driver’s license number and license audit number from your most recent DL (or ID, if your records are CONSOLIDATED) and the last four digits of your social security number at: www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/driverrecords.htm

    To get a Certified Abstract by mail, print the DR-1 form called “Request for a Certified Abstract of a Driver Record” from www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/driverrecords.htm

    Mail the completed form and a $20 check or money order to Texas DPS. This form does not require the audit number or your social security number.

  • Proof that you need to drive to go to work, school, or perform essential household duties, etc. Examples of proof: your school schedule or registration, a current pay stub, a letter from your job, or an affidavit (sworn statement) explaining your need to drive.
  • SR-22 proof of insurance from your insurance company. Get the SR-22 (also called a “Financial Responsibility Certifi­cate”) from your insurance compa­ny. The SR-22 proves that you have the minimum liability insur­ance required by law. If you don’t own a vehicle, you can get a Texas Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance Policy. Your insurance company will tell DPS if the SR-22 coverage lapses, terminates or is cancelled—and then your ODL will be revoked.
  • Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs. Fill out this form only if you have a low-income, receive public assistance because you have a low income, or cannot pay the court filing fee. Read Court Fees & Fee Waivers for more information.
Step 4: File your forms with the Clerk of the Court.

When you file your Petition for Occupational Driver's License with the Court you are asking the court to order DPS to issue you an Occupational Driver’s License.

  • If your license was automatically suspended or canceled following a conviction, file the Petition in the same court that convicted you.
  • If your license has not been suspended or canceled following a conviction, file the Petition in the county where you live or where the offense that is currently suspending your license occurred. You may have a choice between filing in District Court, County Court-at-Law or Justice of the Peace (JP) court. If so, you may want to research local procedures, court costs, and court scheduling to decide which court is best for your situation. 

Ask the court clerk when you should come back for the hearing. You may need to schedule a time for your hearing.

Step 5: Go to Court to ask the Judge to sign the Order.

When you go to Court, bring:

  • The Order for Occupational Driver’s License form. Fill out all but the restrictions and the judge’s signature.
  • A Certified Abstract of your full driver record (Type AR).
  • The SR-22 from your insurance company.
  • Some courts may require a copy of the court order suspending your license and/or the notice of suspension from DPS.
  • Proof that you need to drive.
  • A copy of the filed Petition.

Note: If you filed a form to request the court filing fees be waived, the court may require proof of income & expenses.

At the hearing:

  • The judge reviews your Petition and other paperwork. Then the judge decides whetherto sign the Order granting an occupational license.
  • If the judge signs the order, he/she will mark the restrictions as to when and where you can drive.
  • After the judge signs your order, get a certified copy of your filed Petition and at least two certified copies of the Order from the clerk.

You may use a certified copy of the Order for Occupational Driver's License to drive for 45 days after the order takes effect. Read your order to learn when it takes effect. See the FAQs about waiting periods.

If you don’t receive your ODL from TxDPS before the 45th day you can’t drive until you either receive the ODL or go back to court to get an Amended Order for ODL that extends the deadline.

Step 6: If the Judge signs the order, mail the paperwork and fees to DPS right away.

A court’s occupational driver’s license Order is not the license itself. Rather, it is a court order telling the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to issue an occupational driver’s license to you.

After you get the court Order, you must contact DPS to get the actual occupational driver's license.

Mail the following documents to DPS as soon as possible!

  • a certified copy of your Petition for ODL
  • a certified copy of the Order for ODL that was signed by the Judge
  • your SR-22 proof of insurance certificate,
  • A check, money order or cashier’s check payable to the Texas DPS for the Occupational License fee. Send $10 for a 1-year license or $20 for a 2-year license.
  • A check, money order or cashier’s check made out to the Texas Department of Public Safety for the amount you owe in reinstatement fees, if any. Go to www.Texas.gov/driver or call DPS at 512-424-2600 to find out what you owe. 

Mail all the documents together by certified mail return receipt requested (so that you have proof you mailed them) to:

Texas DPS Central Cash Receiving
Box 15999
Austin, Texas  78761-5999