Recently, we had a person called who hired another law firm last year to help him obtain an occupational license in Tarrant County. The law firm failed to submit the required $10.00 occupational license fee to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) timely. The person was told by DPS that because of the failure to submit the payment timely, his occupational license would not longer be valid.
The truth is that an occupational license is a court order for DPS to issue an occupational license. For the first 30 days after the court order is signed, the order and the petition serve as a temporary occupational license until DPS can issue the hard copy of the occupational license. Unfortunately, DPS rarely issues the hard copy within the 30 day temporary period so many people are left with no real license until they receive the hard copy.
Many times, we have submitted all the required paperwork and payments to DPS within days of the court order only to be told in subsequent correspondence that DPS never received payment. A review of the check always showed it was delivered and negotiated by DPS therefore satisfying all the requirements for DPS to issue the hard copy. Sometimes, we do not receive notice that they did “not” receive the money (but we know they did) until several weeks have passed. Our clients continue to drive with their temporary occupational license hoping that they are not issued any subsequent criminal violations while DPS sits on their butts taking their sweet time doing their jobs!
In summary, DPS cannot be trusted! Additionally, nonpayment of the occupational license fee within 30 days of the court order is not a cancellation of the occupational license. Rather, DPS simply cannot issue the occupational license until it is received, even months later!
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