Occupational Driver’s License

Occupations Driver's License


If your license is suspended for any reason, whether its related to a DWI or not contact us immediately! We will look at your driving record to determine what kind of occupational driver’s license (ODL) is right for you. There are several different types of ODL’s.


The first is called an “essential needs” ODL. An essential needs ODL is a restricted license that lets you drive at certain times, on specific days, and when you have an essential need such as getting back and forth to work or doing essential household jobs like going to the grocery store or doctor’s office. With an essential needs ODL you can you drive no more than 12 actual hours in a single day. You will need to keep a driving log with you. If you are stopped by an officer, he will know that you have an ODL, and you must provide him a copy of your driving log.


If you’ve had a previous suspension on your driver’s license related to a DWI charge or if you provided a specimen during the current arrest that is .15 or higher, you may have to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. We may be able to get an interlock restricted ODL that allows you to drive any where in Texas at any time. I say “may”, because the judge that signs your ODL will be able to make other restrictions on your ODL. It is important to choose the right judge when we are arguing for an ODL. Soyars and Morgan Law understands this. We know our judges and will strategically choose the right one for your ODL. However, if your suspension is a result of a DWI conviction, we must go back to the judge that sentenced you.


No, not everyone will be issued an ODL. You can not get an ODL for a commercial driver’s license. If fact, if you have a CDL and you are issued an ODL, this will cancel your CDL. You will then have to apply and recertify your CDL when the suspension is lifted.

You cannot be issued an ODL if your license is suspended due to mental or physical disability. If your license is suspended for failure to pay child support, you will not be able to get an ODL. If the judge does not believe you have an essential need or if the judge is worried about the public safety, he or she will not issue the ODL.

There may be a “hard suspension” on your driver’s license. A hard suspension or waiting period is the result prior DWI arrests or convictions. It is specific to your driving record. We will need to look at your driving record before we can advise you if there will be a hard suspension. If you’ve had two ODL’s within 10 years, DPS will not issue you an ODL. Contact us if your license is suspended! We will look at your driving record and give you the answers you need.

Reason for Suspension?






Can You Get an ODL?







Soyars and Morgan Law has a detailed instruction packet we will send you to start the process of getting an ODL. We will need to file a petition with the clerk’s office in the county you reside or were arrested in. You will need SR-22 insurance. SR-22 insurance is a special type of insurance for high risk drivers.

CALL US FIRST before you call your insurance company to inquire about SR-22 insurance. Our goal is to make sure your insurance company does not learn of your arrest. We have different companies we will refer you to and try to prevent your insurance company from learning of the arrest.

We will also need to request an abstract of your driver’s license record from DPS. If you have a driver’s license in your possession, we can use the audit number at the bottom to request your abstract online. Otherwise, we will need to request the abstract by mail. This could take several weeks for DPS to get us that paperwork. It is essential that you contact immediately, so we can start the process of applying for an ODL.

As a condition of your ODL, you may also be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device. You are required by law to install and maintain an ignition interlock device if you have had a previous DWI conviction. You are also required to install the device if your breath or blood is .15 or higher.

After the judge signs the order issuing you an ODL, we will provide you with a certified copy of the order. You can use this certified copy to drive for 45 days. DPS should mail you a plastic driver’s license that says ODL on it. If you do not get this ODL, you cannot drive after 45 days. We will have to go back to the judge and have he/she sign an amended order for ODL that will extend the deadline. You must contact us if you have not received the plastic ODL within 45 days.


If you have retained Soyars and Morgan Law for your DWI arrest, we include this fee. You will not need to pay us an additional legal fee for obtaining an ODL. However, you will need to pay the filing fee, the cost of SR-22 insurance, and ignition interlock, if required. DPS may assess reinstatement fees and ODL issuance fees, that will need to be paid to DPS before they will issue an ODL. The filing fees are different for each county, but they are approximately $300. SR-22 insurance is approximately $40 per month. If your license is suspended because of an ALR hearing, the reinstatement fee is $125. If your license is suspended because of driving while your license was suspended, the reinstatement fee is $100. DPS also charges $10 per year for issuing an ODL.


Filing Fee


ALR Reinstatement Fee

DWLI Reinstatement Fee



$300 (county specific)




$10 per year


A waiting period or hard suspension is a specific time period you must wait before you can drive on your ODL. Usually an ODL is valid as soon as the judge signs it, and we provide you with the certified copy. Depending on your driving record there may be waiting period. So, even though we have petitioned the court for an ODL and the judge has signed your ODL, DPS will not issue it until the waiting period has expired.

If your license is suspended for refusing or failing to give a specimen of breath or blood, and you’ve had a previous suspended during the previous 5 years before your arrest, there is a 90 day hard suspension.

If your license was suspended in the last 5 years because of a DWI conviction, intoxication assault conviction or manslaughter conviction there is a 180 day waiting period.

If your license was suspended in the last 5 years because of a subsequent DWI conviction there is a 365 day waiting period.

Contact Soyars & Morgan Law Centered Crop

If your driver’s license has been suspended because of a DWI, it’s not the end of the road! It’s important that you know what your options are, and the first is not fighting alone.

Soyars & Morgan Law wants to fight for your right to drive.