75 Pa.C.S. § 1553
Occupational Limited License
When is it Effective
Pennsylvania is changing the law regarding occupational limited licenses (“OLLs”) beginning on August 25, 2017.
Who is Eligible and Who Isn’t
No OLL for DUI Conviction or Chemical Test Refusal
PennDOT will not issue an occupational limited license (“OLL”) to a driver whose operating privileges have been suspended under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802 or § 3731 for a DUI conviction, or for a suspension under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1547 for refusing a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine when suspected of DUI.
No OLL for Commercial Licenses
Additionally, if the underlying reason for the suspension of driving privileges was for violations committed while driving a commercial motor vehicle, the driver will not be issued an OLL for the purpose of operating a commercial motor vehicle.
No OLL if License was recalled, Canceled, or Revoked
PennDOT also will not issue an OLL to drivers whose operating privileges were recalled, canceled, or revoked.
OLL and Driving Without a License Charges
Drivers are also not eligible for an OLL if their operating privileges have been suspended as a result of a conviction under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1543, which prohibits driving under a suspended license.
However, a person convicted under § 1543 can get an OLL if the license suspension resulting in the subsequent § 1543 conviction was from one of the following: (1) failure to respond, 75 Pa.C.S. § 1533; (2) under 75 Pa.C.S. § 6146, which relates to enforcement agreements; (3) failing to complete a special examination under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1538(a) relating to an accumulation of points or excessive speeding; (4) failing to attend a PennDOT hearing imposed under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1538(b); or (5) failing to pay judgments under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 1772(b), 1774, or 1775. In addition to meeting one of the five preceding requirements, the person must also serve at least 3 months of any suspension under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1543(a) before becoming eligible for an OLL.
Must have a License to get an OLL
Any driver who is not licensed to drive in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any other state is not eligible for an OLL.
List of Other Situations where an OLL is Not Available
The following persons are ineligible for an OLL:
Any person who is required to take and pass an examination under the vehicle code and who has not taken and passed said examination;
Any person who has an unsatisfied judgment against him/her as the result of operating a motor vehicle;
Any person who is applying for an OLL to operate a commercial motor vehicle whose commercial driver’s license privilege is disqualified under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1611;
Any person who has previously been granted an OLL within the 5 years preceding the instant application;
Any person whose operating privileges have been suspended for a second or subsequent conviction under 8 Pa.C.S. § 6308, underage drinking or possession of alcohol, unless the suspension imposed has been fully served;
With a few limited exceptions, any person whose operating privileges have been suspended for a violation of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act unless the suspension imposed has been fully served;
Any person whose operating privileges were suspended or revoked as a result of a conviction for overtaking a school bus, 75 Pa.C.S. § 3345(a), for racing on highways, 75 Pa.C.S. § 3367, or other certain serious traffic offenses and offenses relating to accidents and accident reports;
Any person whose operating privilege is suspended for failing to respond to a citation pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 1533 or 6146;
Any person whose operating privileges are suspended for certain violations relating to retaining financial responsibility (i.e. insurance) coverage under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 1784, 1785, or 1786;
Any person whose driving privileges are suspended for failing to attend and complete a driver improvement course or hearing required under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1538;
Any person whose operating privileges are suspended under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1543, driving while under suspension, unless the conviction under § 1543 was caused by (1) failing to respond to a citation under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 1533 or 6146, (2) failing to undergo a special examination imposed under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1538(a), or (3) failing to attend a PennDOT hearing imposed under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1538(b);
Any person whose operational privileges have been suspended as a result of a suspension in another state if the person would not be eligible for an OLL if he/she was convicted of a similar offense in Pennsylvania;
Any person whose operating privileges have been suspended as a result of a conviction relating to falsifying documents or other information relating to motor vehicles under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 7102(b), 7103(b), 7111, 7121, or 7122 unless the suspension imposed was fully served; and
Any person whose operating privileges have been suspended for a conviction of homicide by vehicle or homicide by vehicle while under the influence under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 3732 and 3735.
Requirements After Obtaining an OLL
If a person receives an OLL, the driver must do the following:
Only operate the vehicle designated on the OLL application;
Only operate the designated vehicle within the terms of the OLL (i.e. only drive to work, school, or medical appointments as provided in the OLL application and OLL); and
Possess a completed OLL affidavit while operating the designated motor vehicle.
Put simply, OLLs only allow a person to drive for a specific reason and during specific times. If you are operating a vehicle outside of the specific reasons and times listed in the OLL, it is illegal.
A driver must also immediately inform PennDOT in writing if any changes in conditions occur that the OLL was based upon or that would affect the OLL. If a driver fails to give immediate notice of the changed conditions to PennDOT, the OLL will be recalled. Additionally, if the changed conditions make the driver ineligible for an OLL, PennDOT will recall the OLL.
Recalling or Violating the Terms of an OLL
If a person has been issued an OLL, PennDOT will recall the OLL if he/she is convicted of any offense that carries a penalty of cancellation, disqualification, recall, suspension, or revocation of that person’s operating privileges. If this happens, the person must surrender his/her OLL to PennDOT.
Any person who violates any conditions or restrictions of the OLL commits a summary offense. If convicted, the person must pay a fine of $200.00 and PennDOT will recall the OLL. After recall, the person’s operating privileges will still be suspended.
Anyone applying for an OLL must pay a fee of $65.00 to PennDOT as well as some other miscellaneous fees including but not limited to any applicable restoration fees.
Hiring an Attorney
As you can see, the Ignition Interlock Law and the OLL law are extremely complicated and replete with exceptions and pitfalls. Hiring an attorney to help you navigate this complex process and/or to evaluate whether you are eligible for an ignition interlock device or an OLL is often the best course of action to ensure a successful and speedy outcome.