Getting caught driving with a suspended license can lead to serious consequences.
License Suspension and Revocation in Illinois
License suspension is when your driving privileges have been temporarily withdrawn, generally for a set period of time. Revocation, on the other hand, is when your license is terminated and there is no guarantee of reinstatement.
Why Would My License Get Suspended?
There are a number of reasons you could have your driving privileges taken away. These include:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Drivers under the age of 21 who are found to have any trace of alcohol in their systems will have their driving privileges taken away. The same goes for drugs: any trace detected will lead to a DUI charge.
- Breaking Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Rules: If you are convicted of a moving violation or serious offense, you can lose your driving privileges.
- During the permit phase, if you are convicted of a moving violation you will have to wait an additional 9 months before you may apply for your Illinois drivers license.
- If you are under 18 and have traffic tickets that you have not taken care of, you will not be allowed to get your driver’s license.
- After you get your drivers license, if you are convicted of 2 moving violations within a 24-month period, you will face a 1-month (or more) license suspension. The suspension length depends on the offense committed.
- Failure to Appear: Ignoring a traffic ticket won’t make it go away, it will only make things worse. If your citation remains unsatisfied (you don’t pay the fine or don’t appear as required), your license can be suspended.
How Do I Get My License Back?
There is no one set of requirements for a driver to get his/her license back. The process for reinstating your license depends on the reason your license was suspended/revoked, as well as other factors like your driving history. Typically, you will have to do the following:
- Pay a reinstatement fee.
- Satisfy any specific requirements made by the court.
Reinstating a revoked license is trickier, and there are typically more steps to follow. For example, to get your license back after a DUI conviction, you must:
- Have kept a clear driving record.
- Have an alcohol/drug evaluation.
- If an alcohol/drug problem is noted, you must submit proof of treatment.
- Complete an alcohol/drug remedial education program.
- Meet with a Secretary of State hearing officer.
- File proof of financial responsibility.
- Pay the $500 reinstatement fee and application fee.
If you request a formal hearing for reinstatement, you will need to a pay a $50 nonrefundable filing fee.
- Pass a written exam, a driving exam, and a vision exam.
Your drivers license reinstatement only becomes valid when it is entered on your driver’s record in the Secretary of State’s office.
Losing your driving privileges isn’t a fun experience, but the penalties are designed to keep you from breaking the rules again. Drive safely and you’ll avoid all the hassle.