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How Occupational Licenses Work in Wisconsin

If you lose your driver’s license due to an administrative suspension or a conviction for an OWI, you may be eligible for an occupational license. This is a restricted driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles allowing you to drive for work and limited other purposes during a restricted time frame. In order to get this license, you will need to complete the occupational license application and show proof you have SR22 insurance in place.

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60 Hours of Drive Time per Week

With an occupational license, you are granted 60 hours of drive time per week, with no more than 12 hours of drive time on any one day. You are able to divide this time up any way you see fit for your own schedule. Each day of the week can have different hours depending on your particular needs.

Assigning Your Occupational Hours

Part of the application includes the assignment of driving time or your occupational hours. Remember, you only need to give yourself occupational hours for the time you will actually be driving your vehicle, and not the time you are gone from your home.

However, it is also important to note there is no grace period. If your occupational hours end at 6:00 pm, and you get stuck in traffic and are still driving home at 6:10 pm, you can be charged for driving outside of your hours. Therefore, you should give yourself additional time beyond when you think you will need to account for unforeseen circumstances.

Fee for Changing Your Occupational Hours

If the schedule of driving hours you set does not give you enough time, you can change them with the DMV. While there is no limit to how often you can change your hours, you will have to pay a fee every time you want to change the times you are able to drive.

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If I don’t schedule all 60 driving hours per week, can I save them up for later?

There is no advantage in not assigning all 60 available hours. You cannot save up hours to allow additional driving hours at a future date. Therefore, it is best to ensure you give yourself plenty of extra time to account for traffic, weather, and other unexpected issues.

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Applying for an Occupational License in Wisconsin

To get an occupational license in Wisconsin, you need to fill out the application, pay $50, submit to required tests, and submit an SR-22. Our attorneys have years of experience with situations just like yours. Let us help you determine eligibility and ensure you have everything you need to apply for an occupational license. Make sure you understand your rights as well as your obligations. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced lawyers.

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How much does it cost to get an occupational license in Wisconsin?

After an OWI, to get an occupational license in Wisconsin, you need to fill out the application, pay $50, submit to required tests, and submit an SR-22. If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, such as after an OWI conviction, you may apply for an occupational license. This is a restricted license that allows you to drive to work, school, church, the doctor, and necessary household duties such as the grocery store and laundromat. You may not drive to visit friends and family or to go to parties or ball games. An occupational license also limits where, how much, and in which areas you may drive.

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How Do You Apply For an Occupational License after an OWI?

To apply for an occupational license: first, check to see if you are eligible and then fill out the application available at the Wisconsin DMV website. You may be required to submit to various tests, such as vision and drug screening, as well as provide proof of your identity. If you have been ordered to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your car, it will need to be installed before you can get an occupational license. If you are under the age of 18, you will need a sponsor who can sign the application.

Additionally, an SR-22 will need to be filed with the DMV. This is a certificate that verifies you have auto insurance when you have been classified as a high-risk driver. You do not personally submit this to the DMV – you will have to have your insurance provider file it for you. If your insurance company has canceled your policy, you will need to shop around for a new provider who will be willing to file the SR-22 (for a small fee). Be prepared to pay much higher insurance rates than before your DUI conviction.

If your license has been suspended or revoked, it can obviously be extremely difficult to live your life, especially if you have to get to work or school. Despite the restrictions, an occupational license will allow you to care for your basic responsibilities. Still, it is much better to avoid the whole situation to begin with. If you are facing DUI charges, you risk serious disruptions to your life and hefty financial burdens on a first offense, and also a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life on subsequent offenses.

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How do you get an occupational license in Wisconsin?

Depending on your reason for suspension or revocation, you may not be immediately eligible for an occupational license. If your license is suspended as part of an administrative suspension by the Department of Transportation, you will be immediately eligible. If you are revoked after conviction of a 1st OWI, you are also immediately eligible. For more information on eligibility and applying for your occupational license, contact our experienced attorneys.

OWI occupational license

Is there a waiting period for an occupational license in Wisconsin?

Once you are revoked after a conviction of a subsequent OWI, you have to wait 45 days after you are convicted before you can become eligible for an occupational license. The number of days changes when an OWI involves bodily injury, great bodily harm, or homicide. It also changes if there is a chemical test refusal.

An occupational license will limit you to the number of hours you can drive, where you can drive, and your purposes for driving. During a one-week period, your actual driving time is limited to 12 hours per day and 60 hours per week. While you may not be limited to a certain number of counties you can drive in, you must list all of the counties that you intend to drive in over the next six months. If you are caught driving outside one of those counties, you can be found to be outside the limits of your occupational license and charged with operating while suspended or operating while revoked.

What professions have eligibility for an occupational license in Wisconsin?

Your profession is not always a factor in whether you are eligible. Your purposes for driving will be limited to employment, school, homemaking, church, and providing emergency services. If you are going to list an occupation, you must also list who your employer is. If you are in school and need to drive for that, you must list where you are enrolled in school. You will be setting specific hours for when you are driving to and from work and school, but you will also be setting specific hours for homemaking and church. If you need to grocery shop, pick up dry cleaning, and buy flowers each week, you will have a set time to do so.

Can you drive in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, or Michigan with a Wisconsin occupational license?

Wisconsin can only take action on your Wisconsin driver's license and privilege to drive in Wisconsin. This means that a Wisconsin occupational license technically only grants you the ability to drive within Wisconsin. Some states may accept a Wisconsin occupational license as a valid license, it varies from state to state.

SR-22 Insurance through the DMV

When your license gets suspended or revoked, you will need an occupational license in order to drive during that suspension or revocation period. The first thing you will need is SR-22 insurance through your car insurance company. This is also known as High-Risk Insurance. You will need proof of this insurance to present at the DMV when you go to apply for your occupational license. 

How long do I need SR22 in Wisconsin? SR-22 is required up to 3 years after conviction and higher insurance premiums can be expected for up to 5 years.

Call the OWI Attorneys at Grieve Law to Help You Today

At Grieve Law, our DUI attorneys have spent years successfully defending the rights of Wisconsin citizens. We will provide you with a free case assessment where we will discuss your options with you. Do not risk your freedom and your finances facing a DUI charge alone. Schedule a free consultation with our award-winning team today.

Call the Wisconsin OWI lawyers at Grieve Law today to get a free case assessment.

Occupational License & Your Record

The charges that get you an occupational license in Wisconsin typically stay on your record for life. They can be accessed for free by prospective employers with a search on CCAP. 

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