Occupational/Restricted Driver License (ORL)

While your driver license is suspended or revoked, you may be eligible to receive an Occupational/Restricted Driver License (ORL).

You may use an ORL for:

  • Work, including self-employment, WorkFirst, apprenticeship, or on-the-job training.
  • School, if you’re enrolled in an educational institution and pursuing a diploma, degree, or other certification.
  • Court-ordered community service.
  • Substance abuse treatment or 12-step meeting, if no transit service is available.
  • Continuing your own healthcare, driving to a healthcare provider.
  • Providing continuing care of someone who is dependent on you.
  • Applying for an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. This type of ORL gives you 14 days to apply for these employment programs.

How to apply for an ORL

  1. Complete a Restricted Driver License Application.
  2. Provide 1 of the following as proof of financial responsibility:
    • A certificate of insurance (SR-22). Contact an auto insurance agent for help.
    • A State Treasurer’s certificate of deposit of $60,000 or approved collateral of equal value.
    • A surety bond executed by the person giving proof and a surety company authorized to do business in Washington State, or by the person giving proof and by 2 individual sureties.
  3. Submit your application, proof of financial responsibility, and non-refundable fee.
  4. If you qualify, we’ll issue your ORL by mail or email on the day your suspension begins.

Note: We’ll hold your application for 30 days so you’re able to get us any required documents. After 30 days you forfeit any fees you’ve paid, and you’ll have to start over again with a new application and fee.

ORL driving restrictions

An ORL restricts the:

  • Times of day you may drive (not to exceed 12 hours in a 24-hour period).
  • Days of the week you may drive.
  • Areas where you may drive.
  • Vehicles you may drive (only vehicles that you’ve filed proof of financial responsibility).

Who’s eligible to get an ORL?

We only issue ORLs to people who have a WA driver license. If you want to get an ORL and have a WA residence address you’ll need to get a WA driver license. This will include passing all tests and paying fees.

Who’s not eligible to get an ORL?

You’re not eligible if:

  • You’ve been convicted of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide within the last 7 years prior to your current incident.
  • Your driver license is suspended for:
    • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI).
    • Physical control (drug or alcohol-related).
    • Minor in possession.
    • Vehicular assault or vehicular homicide.
    • Intermediate (teen) license violations.
    • Too many rules of the road violations while you have an intermediate license.
    • Failure to pay child support.
    • Fraud.
    • Medical or vision reasons.
    • Violation of court-ordered probation.
    • Habitual traffic offender status.
    • Failure to:
      • Qualify on a medical or visual exam.
      • Qualify on a driver skills exam.
      • Undergo required alcohol/chemical dependency treatment.
    • Violation of ORL restrictions.
    • Canceled SR-22 insurance (proof of financial responsibility).

Commercial drivers

You can’t get an ORL to drive a commercial motor vehicle. But, if you have a commercial driver license, you may apply for an ORL to operate a non-commercial motor vehicle.

If you are denied an ORL

If your application is denied, you may request a hearing with us to consider whether or not you meet the eligibility requirements for an ORL. Use the hearing request form enclosed with your denial letter to request a hearing, or mail a letter requesting a hearing to:

Hearings and Interviews
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9031
Olympia, WA 98507-9031

We may deny your hearing request if your license is suspended or revoked for a reason where the law does not permit us to issue an ORL, or if the law otherwise prevents us from issuing an ORL.

ORL cancellations

We’ll cancel your ORL and notify you in writing if any of the following occurs:

  • You’re convicted of operating a vehicle in violation of the ORL restrictions.
  • You commit an offense that requires us to suspend/revoke your driving privilege while the ORL is in effect.
  • You no longer meet the criteria.
  • You cancel your SR-22 insurance (proof of financial responsibility).
  • You remove a required ignition interlock device (IID).

Related laws

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