An occupational driver license, also called an essential need license, is a special type of restricted license issued to you when your driver license has been suspended, revoked or denied for certain offenses, other than a medical reason or delinquent child support. If you have been suspended as a result of a surcharge assessment, you may still qualify for an occupational driver license.
An occupational driver license authorizes you to operate a non-commercial motor vehicle only in connection with:
You must petition the Justice of the Peace, county or district court where you currently reside, or to the court of original jurisdiction where the offense has occurred, to obtain an occupational driver license.
An example of an occupational driver license petition is available for free from the Travis County Law Library. Due to varying requirements for each court, please consult the court with which you intend to file a petition for an occupational driver license to determine if the petition on the Travis County Law Library website is acceptable.
Upon reviewing your petition, if the court determines you are eligible to apply for an occupational driver license, you will be provided with a signed court order. This court order is not the occupational driver license. You must submit the court order to the Department along with the other necessary documentation for the issuance of an occupational driver license.
The court order and all required items must be submitted to DPS before an occupational license will be issued. The court order may be used as a driver license for 45 days from the date of the judge's signature while the request for an occupational license is processed.
You must submit the following items to DPS:
All required documents, including all fees should be submitted in one envelope to the mailing address below for processing. You must write your full name, date of birth and driver license number on each document submitted. If you have your suspension notice, please include a copy so your driver record can be identified. Please allow 21 business days for processing.
Texas Department of Public Safety
Enforcement and Compliance Service
P.O. Box 15999
Austin, TX 78761-5999
If you fail to submit all of your documentation to the Department for the issuance of your occupational driver license, the Department will send a request for the additional items needed for processing. These documents can be submitted by fax or email. Be sure to include your full name, date of birth, and driver license number for proper identification.
Fax Number: 512-424-2848
Email: Driver Improvement (Documents must be submitted in PDF format.)
Once you are issued an occupational driver license, you are only permitted to operate a motor vehicle within the terms of the court order. You must keep your court order in the vehicle with you at all times and present it along with your occupational driver license upon demand by a peace officer.
An occupational license will be issued once the request is processed, unless one of the following situations applies and the judge has not ordered the waiver of the waiting period: