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Obtaining an Occupational Limited License or "Bread and Butter License" in PA

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An Occupational Limited License is a possibility for many suspended drivers in PA.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Driver's Licensing Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

What is an Occupational Limited License?

Sometimes called a 'bread and butter' license or "OLL", this is a limited license to allow an otherwise suspended license holder to drive to and from work, school, medical appointments or for other essential reasons.  It allows them to maintain their occupation or education or their 'bread and butter', hence the euphemism.

Who is Permitted to Get One?

Under the PA Motor Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1553, any driver that is not otherwise prohibited by statute and has served at least 3 months of their suspension imposed by statute.  The exact language from the statute indicates: "The department shall issue an occupational limited license under the provisions of this section to a driver whose operating privileges have been suspended and is not prohibited under any other provision in this section."

Who is Not Permitted to Get One?  What does 'Not Otherwise Prohibited' mean?

  1. If the underlying offense for which the suspension occurred is due to a violation while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver may not get an OLL;
  2. Anyone whose license has been recalled, cancelled or revoked.  If you're not sure about this, it's best to request a certified copy of your PADOT record.  (Here's the link to order);
  3. A person whose operating privilege has been suspended for a conviction of section 1543 (Driving on a suspended license DUI-related);
  4. The Department is prohibited from doing so under the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (Title XII of Public Law 99-570, 49 U.S.C. App. § 2701 et seq.) or the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748);
  5. Any other offense which has been specifically enumerated, may not get an OLL.  (See link to the PA Department of Motor Vehicles Website).

So, How Do I go About Getting an OLL?

You need to file a petition to PADOT by certified mail, setting forth in detail the need for operating a motor vehicle.  It has to be on PADOT's form (here's that link) and shall identify the specific motor vehicle or vehicles the driver seeks permission to operate.  If you can identify only one vehicle, it's best. 

The Petitioner must set forth the following on the form:

  1. Identify the specific motor vehicle or vehicles the petitioner seeks permission to operate;
  2. The petition shall include an explanation as to why the operation of a motor vehicle is essential to the petitioner's occupation, work, trade, treatment or study;
  3. The petition shall identify the petitioner's employer, educational institution or treatment facility, as appropriate, and
  4. Shall include proof of financial responsibility (ie: proof of insurance) covering all vehicles which the petitioner requests to be allowed to operate;
  5. Include the application fee of $50.00;
  6. You should receive an OLL within 20 days of receipt of your Petition.

Some Parting Tips

  1. Always keep the receipt for the certified mail you send to the Department.  Being able to prove you sent it is always important;
  2. Keep a copy of the filled out petition;
  3. Keep a copy of any statements submitted with the Petition as your reasons why you need the OLL;
  4. Keep a copy of the check or money order.  If the check has been cashed by the Department, copy both sides or get it from your bank.  Being able to prove the application was sent, received and appropriate fee paid is important.

Finally, if you have questions or concerns about your OLL license application or have questions about your eligibility, contact an experienced PADOT attorney at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.


need to know about eligilbility for oll, licsense is susspended for dui related drliving

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