Suspended License for DUI or DWI (Texas)

   In San Antonio, people who have their license suspended for DUI or DWI can get what is called an occupational driver’s license.  This is essentially a temporary driver’s license that will enable you to drive to work, and drive to other essential places.  It is very common for people to hire criminal defense attorneys in San Antonio to get the Occupational License.


In San Antonio, Texas about 5000 thousand people are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) every year.  When a person in San Antonio is arrested for DWI, it will result in a suspended license.  If you refuse the breath or blood test, the license will be suspended for 6 months.  If you consent to taking the blood or breath test, a person in San Antonio will get their license suspended for 90 days.

Arrested in San Antonio for DWI (License Suspended)

The Law that Applies To Texas Suspended License for DUI or DWI

The following Texas transportation Law is the basis for enabling people in San Antonio or other areas of Texas to get the Occupational License after the original suspended license.

§ 521.242. PETITION.  (a) A person whose license has been suspended for a cause other than a physical or mental disability or impairment or a conviction under Section 49.04, Penal Code, may apply for an occupational license by filing a verified petition with the clerk of the county court or district court with jurisdiction in the county in which: (1)  the person resides;  or(2)  the offense occurred for which the license was suspended.(b)  A person may apply for an occupational license by filing a verified petition only with the clerk of the county court or district court in which the person was convicted if:(1)  the person’s license has been automatically suspended or canceled under this chapter for a conviction of an offense under the laws of this state;  and(2)  the person has not been issued, in the 10 years preceding the date of the filing of the petition, more than one occupational license after a conviction under the laws of this state. (c)  A petition filed under this section must set forth in detail the person’s essential need.(d)  A petition filed under Subsection (b) must state that the petitioner was convicted in that court for an offense under the laws of this state. (e)  The clerk of the court shall file the petition as in any other civil matter.(f)  A court may not grant an occupational license for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle to which Chapter 522 applies.

How to Get a Temporary Drivers License After DWI (Guide for San Antonio ONLY)

Our general advice is to hire a San Antonio criminal Defense Attorney (we hope you hire us–call 210-271-2800).  Your attorney will be taking the following steps to complete your occupational license:

Step 1 Collecting Information needed

To Get an Occupational Driver’s License in Bexar County, your attorney will require the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your Date of Birth
  • Your driver’s license number
  • The date your license was suspended
  • The reason your license was suspended
  • The court that your original case was out of
  • Your insurance policy number
  • The place that you work
  • The hours that you work at that place
  • any other essential needs for driving you have
You will also need to get an SR-22 insurance policy for your vehicle.   Often you can pay around $150 down and $50 per month for this insurance. Once you have all this stuff in order, get ready for Step 2

Step 2 Your Lawyer Will Write and File an Occupational Petition

In order to get a Temporary Driver’s License, a person has to file a “Petition for Occupational Driver’s License” with the court where the case arose out of.

The Petition will substantively state this:



Now comes NAME DOB, Petitioner, and petitions the Court for an occupational driver’s license under the provisions of Section 521.242 of the Texas Transportation Code, and in support thereof would respectfully show this Honorable Court the following:

1.            Petitioner is a resident of Bexar County, Texas, and his home address is_____________.  Petitioner’s mailing address is __________________

2.            Petitioner’s Texas driver’s license was suspended on or about January 9th, 2012 for an alleged offense, which occurred in Bexar County, Texas.  Petitioner was charged with DWI 1st in the County Court 1, Bexar County Texas.  Petitioner consented to do the breath test.  The Cause of action was disposed via a no-contest plea agreement on __________.

3.            There is an essential need for Petitioner to operate and drive a motor vehicle to perform his occupation or trade or for transportation to and from where Petitioner practices his occupation or trade on the following days and times and on the routes, highways and roads of Texas counties, to-wit:

Days and Times

Monday through Sunday from 6:30 AM to 11:30 PM

(Petitioner works at ____________________ for varying shifts between the hours of 6:30 AM and 11:30 PM.)


Bexar and Contiguous Counties.

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Petitioner prays that he be granted the privilege to drive a motor vehicle to perform his occupation or trade under such restrictions as the Court may determine.

Respectfully submitted,

Megan V. Cook, Attorney at Law

Format wise, a Petition for Occupational License Looks Like this:

Picture of the general formatting of the Petition for Occupational Driver’s License in San Antonio

Similar to the Petition, the Attorney will write the Order for Occupational Driver’s license which will reflect the information in the Petition.  The Petition will be brought FIRST to the Bexar County Civil Filing Office which is located in the Bexar County Court House on the 2nd floor, through the door right next to the County Court 2 clerk’s office. There, the clerk will request that the attorney fills out what is called the civil filing case information sheet. The clerk will make an County Clerk file, and will send the lawyer to the cashier to pay for the occupational filing fees ($212.00 made out to the Bexar County Clerk).

Step 3 Hold a Hearing to Get the Occupational License Signed by the Judge

Once the Occupational License has been filed with the Bexar County Clerk, your lawyer will take the clerk’s file to the Judge.  The lawyer will ask the Judge if he would prefer to have you set up a hearing date and time or whether the judge will permit the hearing right then.  Your lawyer will present the Petition and Order for the Occupational Driver’s License.  The Judge will ask any questions needed.  If all goes well, the judge will sign off on the Order for occupation.

After the Judge signs the Order granting the Occupational Driver’s license, the attorney will walk the clerks file back the the Bexar County Clerk’s Office.  Time for Step 4.

Step 4

 Once the Attorney has obtained the Judge’s signature, the Clerk will be willing to provide 2 certified copies of the order granting the occupational license.  (one copy for the attorney, and one copy for the client).  The client will pick up the Occupational license from your office.  (the client will need the ORIGINAL certified copy so do not fax it to him).

The client will be able to legally drive for 30 days with this document in and of itself.  However, by the 30th day, other procedures will have to be completed (see step 5)

Step 5

The Attorney is not done simply because he filed the occupational and obtained the judge’s signature.  The attorney now must send the certified order granting the occupational license to DPS, along with the SR-22 (an ORIGINAL COPY), along with the reinstatement fee (between $100 and $125 made out to DPS) along with the additional $10.00 (per year) fee tacked on after the cost of reinstatement. Once DPS receives this, the client will have a valid occupational license until his or her license is reinstated and is no longer suspended.


In San Antonio, Texas the costs of getting an occupational license will vary from Firm to Firm and over time (as filing fees, etc tend to fluctuate).  The average cost of the ENTIRE occupational license  including attorney’s fees, filing fees, and reinstatement fees is estimated to be anywhere from $850-$1200).

You are going to pay about $212 for filing in San Antonio, $135 to DPS for reinstatement and yearly fee, and about $500-$700 for the attorney time and service.  This will vary depending on how many prior DWI or drug offenses.  The more convictions you have, the more time it takes to get the occupational and thus the higher the cost.


Our Texas Transportation Code clearly provides that a license in San Antonio will be suspended when a person refuses a specimen:

License Suspension Law

§ 724.035. SUSPENSION OR DENIAL OF LICENSE. (a) If a person refuses the request of a peace officer to submit to the taking of a specimen, the department shall: (1) suspend the person’s license to operate a motor vehicle on a public highway for 180 days; or (2) if the person is a resident without a license, issue an order denying the issuance of a license to the person for 180 days. (b) The period of suspension or denial is two years if the person’s driving record shows one or more alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contacts, as defined by Section 524.001(3), during the 10 years preceding the date of the person’s arrest. (c) A suspension or denial takes effect on the 40th day after the date on which the person: (1) receives notice of suspension or denial under Section 724.032(a); or (2) is considered to have received notice of suspension or denial under Section 724.033.

 If your texas license was suspended under this provision, we can help you by getting you an occupational drivers license (a temporary driver’s license).  Call our criminal defense attorneys at 210-271-2800.

Upon Final Conviction of Alcohol or Drug Offenses, a Person’s Texas License is Suspended

Another time when you may need to apply for a temporary license (occupational license) is when you are convicted of a crime:

§ 521.372. AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION; LICENSE DENIAL. (a) A person’s driver’s license is automatically suspended on final conviction of: (1) an offense under the Controlled Substances Act; (2) a drug offense; or (3) a felony under Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, that is not a drug offense. (b) The department may not issue a driver’s license to a person convicted of an offense specified in Subsection (a) who, on the date of the conviction, did not hold a driver’s license. (c) Except as provided by Section 521.374(b), the period of suspension under this section is the 180 days after the date of a final conviction, and the period of license denial is the 180 days after the date the person applies to the department for reinstatement or issuance of a driver’s license.

If your Texas driver’s license was suspended under this stated law in Texas, our criminal attorneys can help you get a temporary drivers license.  Call our San Antonio criminal defense attorneys  at 210-271-2800!

Other San Antonio Resources that Can Help You With Your Suspended License

Texas Department of Public Safety  Here you will find the costs involved with getting your texas license reinstated after you have been arrested for certain crimes in San Antonio including drug offenses, DWI and DUI.  The cost of reinstatement is generally between $100 and $125 (This fee is in addition to the cost of hiring your criminal defense lawyer for a temporary occupational license in San Antonio).  At the DPS site, you will also find the updated address that your lawyer will send the occupational license to.

The address to send the occupation license is:

Texas Department of Public Safety
Central Cash Receiving
P.O. Box 15999
Austin TX 78761-5999

We can get your San Antonio 30 day occupational license done within 24 hours (if you hire us before noon on a business day and the judge is in town to sign it)