Reinstating Your Illinois Driver's License

Schaumburg Criminal Defense Lawyer

An Illinois driver can lose his or her driving privileges through a license suspension or revocation. The difference between a suspension and a revocation is the length of time the driver's privileges are lost. A suspension has an end date, which means that after a specified length of time, the driver's privileges are legally restored. A revocation is permanent; unless the individual takes action to have a formal or informal hearing, his or her license will stay suspended forever. With DUI convictions, this means that the driver must apply for a driver's license reinstatement once his or her revocation period is over. If you have had your driver's license revoked, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about the reinstatement process and the possibility of having your driving privileges restored.

If your driver's license is suspended, you will need to complete the reinstatement process with the Illinois Secretary of State Office to have your privileges restored. Do not drive until you have completed this process. Driving while your license is suspended or revoked is a criminal offense and can result in penalties ranging from a longer suspension and fines to jail time.

Reasons Why Your License May be Suspended or Revoked

There are many reasons why a driver's license may be suspended or revoked. Not all of them have to do with driving and traffic violations. A driver's license may be suspended for any of the following reasons:

  • DUI;
  • Failure to pay the fines for five or more toll violations;
  • Three or more moving violations within a 12-month period;
  • Failure to pay court-ordered child support;
  • Ten or more unpaid parking violations;
  • Failure to appear in court for a traffic violation hearing;
  • Five or more automated traffic violations for running red lights; or
  • Being found to be at fault for a car accident that occurred while you were driving without insurance.

An Illinois driver's license may be revoked for a criminal DUI conviction. This means that the court has taken legal action against your driver's license following a DUI arrest.

Reinstating a Suspended License

If your driver's license is suspended, you must wait until your suspension period is over to complete the reinstatement process. Your license is not automatically restored when this period ends – you need to pay a reinstatement fee to the Secretary of State’s office to begin driving again. This fee is $250 if you are a first-time offender. If this is your second or subsequent license suspension, this fee is $500.

To reinstate your driver's license, all other suspensions and revocations attached to your license must also be cleared. If you are unsure of the charges against your driver's license, you can contact the DMV for this information.

Reinstating a Revoked License

If you are convicted of a DUI in Illinois, you will have your driver's license revoked. The length of your revocation period depends on the number of DUI convictions you have had and the specific circumstances of your case. For a first time offender, the revocation period is usually one year. For an individual's second DUI in a 20-year period, his or her license is revoked for five years. A third DUI results in a 10-year revocation and for a fourth or subsequent DUI, the individual's driving privileges are revoked for the rest of his or her life.

Once your revocation period is over, you can work with an attorney to apply for a reinstatement of your driver's license. You must have a clear driving record to be able to reinstate your license. If you underwent a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program during your revocation, you must prove that you completed the program.

You must then request a hearing officer from the Secretary of State's office. He or she will conduct a hearing, during which you will have to prove that you do not pose a danger to other motorists and pedestrians. If the hearing officer determines that you are safe to drive again, you will be permitted to take the written, vision, and driving exams to reinstate your driver's license after paying a $500 reinstatement fee and the driver's license application fee.

Schaumburg Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are facing a criminal charge that can result in having your driver's license suspended or revoked, contact Glasgow & Olsson to schedule your free legal consultation with a skilled Schaumburg criminal defense attorney at our firm. We can advise you toward the most productive legal strategy for your case based on your individual circumstances. Do not wait to begin working with an expert member of our firm. Give us a call today at 847-577-8700 or reach us on the web to begin working on your case with us.