How to Get Around with a Suspended License

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. We’re all familiar with that old adage. It applies to things we take for granted. Our driver license certainly falls into that category. Few of us remember that driving is a privilege, not a right.

If your driver license is suspended, the results can be devastating, especially in areas with no public transportation. Suddenly, you have no way to get to work, school, or church. If your license is suspended, it’s important that you pay all fines that have been assessed against you. If your suspension is the result of a conviction, you must also pay surcharges assessed by Department of Public Safety (DPS). These annual surcharges are typically paid every year for three years from the date of conviction. They can be quite hefty, often in excess of $1,000 to $2,000 every year.

If your license has been suspended, you may be able to apply for and obtain an occupational license, sometimes called an essential need license. This is a special type of restricted license that is issued to individuals whose driver license has been suspended, revoked, or denied for reasons other than delinquent child support.

An occupational license allows for the operation of a non-commercial vehicle to allow the driver to get to work, school-related activities, or to perform essential household duties. If you are interested in an occupational license, you must apply for one in the county where you reside or to the court of the jurisdiction where the offense occurred. There may be a waiting period based on the type of offense involved.

If you are able to obtain an occupational license, make sure you comply with the restrictions. While it may be tempting to do other errands and additional driving, don’t do it. You will only make matters worse if you get caught.

If your driver license has been suspended, consult with a DWI defense attorney to make sure you comply with all of the restrictions and to determine whether you may be eligible for an occupational license.

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