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Why Can’t I Find My Driver’s License After My DWI Arrest?

Where’s your driver’s license and how can a DWI defense attorney help you find it? After being arrested for a DWI or a DUI most people are afraid and confused. Usually, people accused of DWI have never been in trouble before, and aren’t sure what they should do. But the first question most people ask, where’s my driver’s license? This post will explain what happened to your driver’s license. But answering that question also answers the question about the first thing you need to do after a DWI arrest.

The Police Officer Took Your Driver’s License

You can’t find your driver’s license because the police officer who arrested you took it from you. In Texas, when someone gets a driver’s license they make an agreement to surrender their license if a police officer suspects that they’ve driven while impaired by alcohol. This is called implied consent. Once a police officer completes their investigation if they believe there is probable cause to support a DWI arrest they will take your driver’s license. In exchange, they will give you a temporary driver’s license and a deadline. You won’t get your driver’s license back and if you call the nice officer who arrested you they won’t call you back. Do yourself a favor and call a qualified DWI defense attorney.

What’s This Temporary License

Discovering you have a temporary driver’s license is one of the most intentionally confusing things about getting a DWI. Your temporary driver’s license is just like your regular license. With a couple of important exceptions.

  • It’s made of paper
  • It’s only good for forty days UNLESS
  • You properly request a hearing to defend your license.

If you let the 14 days pass without requesting a hearing your license will be suspended. A DWI license suspension will require you to get an occupational license or make due without a license for the term of the suspension. An occupational license will require you to get an interlock device (a machine that attaches to your vehicle and periodically requires you to provide a breath sample) and special insurance (SR-22). All of this is costly. Requesting a hearing requires the police officer to swear to their police report and if he is subpoenaed by your DWI defense attorney he will have to appear at the hearing and explain why he believes you were intoxicated. This process extends the validity of your temporary driver’s license until the administrative judge decides to suspend your license. So, requesting a hearing is important.

  • It strengthens the chances of a successful DWI defense
  • It buys you time so that you can save money and prepare for the possibility of having an occupational license
  • It may allow you to avoid a license suspension entirely in the police officer fails to show up or cannot otherwise explain why they believed you should be arrested for DWI.


Your driver’s license isn’t lost. It won’t be coming back. The funky temporary driver’s license you got is only good for the next 40 days, unless you correctly request an ALR hearing 14 days after you were arrested. Stop looking for your driver’s license and call a qualified DWI defense attorney today.