The Effect of Outstanding Warrants on Occupational Licenses
There are a few things that seem to go hand in hand, such as, peanut butter and jelly, BBQ and summer, or Thanksgiving and holiday shopping. Well, when it comes to occupational licenses, it seems the majority of persons who need an occupational license also have outstanding warrants. The warrants are traffic warrants and are usually reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) who issues a hold on a person’s drivers license. The hold prevents the license holder from renewing their license or being issued a replacement license until the warrant hold(s) are lifted. What effect does the warrant(s) have on a person’s ability to obtain an occupational drivers license? Generally speaking, none. There maybe an exception which this article will explain.
First, the purpose of an occupational license is to grant the holder the limited ability to operate a motor vehicle on public roads for the purpose of driving to work or school and to perform essential household duties. The reason the person needs the occupational license is because their driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or invalidated for any number of reasons, e.g., too many convictions, driving while intoxicated, driving while license invalid, driving without liability insurance, etc. Outstanding traffic warrants do not suspend a person’s license. Rather, warrants merely hold the license from further issuance. Therefore, if a person has a valid license and outstanding warrants, he/she will not be issued another license when their current license expires until the warrants are handled.
Warrants do not necessarily preclude a person from obtaining an occupational drivers license. As mentioned earlier in the article, there can be an instance where warrants may effect the ability to obtain an occupational drivers license. A judge must order that an occupational license be issued. While it is not necessary for the presiding judge to inquire into the petitioner’s warrant history, per se; the judge may refuse to sign an occupational license order until the petitioner resolves any outstanding warrants. We have seen this happen before and it usually occurs with judges in smaller counties and/or who do not order many occupational licenses. Thus, a warrant is not an absolute preclusion to an occupational license but may hinder the process if you have to file for an occupational license in an unfriendly court.
Look HERE for outstanding warrants in Texas.
Lastly, while it is true that you will likely be issued an occupational license while you have outstanding warrants, you will not be issued your original or regular license until you take of your warrants. So, if you must obtain an occupational license now, be sure to take care of your warrants before your suspension period expires. That way, you will not risk driving with a suspended license which can lead to jail time if you are caught.
Our office is happy to review your particular situation and advise you on the hows, whats, and whys of an occupational license, warrants, or drivers license suspensions. Call today for a free consultation.