While some motorists regard driving as a basic right, the fact is that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. Under certain circumstances, an individual's Illinois driver's license may be suspended or revoked for a specific length of time, depending on the person's driving record or history, and the particular violation(s).
REASONS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
There are a variety of reasons why your Illinois driver's license might be suspended. Some of these are related to specific driving violations, while others may be due to violation of other State laws. Following are some of the most common reasons for an Illinois driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
- Excessive Moving Violations. The state of Illinois operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate points for more than three violations in a 12 month period on your current driver record, your license will be suspended.
- Driving Under the Influence. Your Illinois driver's license will be suspended if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the violation and whether it is a first or repeat offense. A minimum revocation period of 12 months will be given to you.
- Driving with a Suspended License or no License. Driving with a suspended license will lead to an increase in the length of the suspension, and you may also be imprisoned for up to five years. The duration of the additional suspension varies depending on the reason for the underlying suspension. Your driver's license may also be suspended if you do not have your license with you while you are driving.
- Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in Illinois must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended.
- Other Driving-Related Violations. Your Illinois driver's license may also be suspended if you engage in reckless driving, are found to be at fault in a fatal accident, or if you abandon your vehicle on a public highway.
- Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The Driver Services Department can order a re-examination of any person who may not be fit to drive. An individual's driving privileges may be suspended if the re-examination finds they are physically or psychologically unable to drive safely.
- Non-Driving Reasons for License Suspension. A variety of non-driving violations or issues can result in your license being suspended. These include: not responding to a Driver Services Department notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges. In addition to this, in certain cases, the right to apply for a driver's license or instruction permit can be withheld from a person under 18 years of age, either for six months or until the 18th birthday.
- Parking Suspensions - These suspensions are issued against drivers who have 10 or more parking violations and these have not been dealt with. Once again a fee will be needed to reinstate the license.
- Automated Traffic Violation Suspension- This suspension comes into effect when you have failed to pay a fine or have five or more automated traffic violations.
- Failure to pay Child Support - Your license can be suspended under the Family Financial Responsibility Law if you default on your court imposed child support payments. For more information on this, check the Deadbeats Don't Drive Program.
- Toll way Violations/Evasions - Your license can also be suspended if you do not pay fines for five or more toll way violations or evasions. Check here for more information on this kind of suspension.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR ILLINOIS DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED
Having your Illinois driver's license suspended is a serious matter, and it is essential to adhere to State law in the event that your license is suspended. If you believe your license may be suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer.
The most important things to be aware of following a license suspension are:
- If your license has not already been taken away from you in court, you must surrender it to the Illinois Vehicle Services Department. You can surrender your license in person at a Driver Services Facility, or mail it to Driver Services Division:
Springfield office 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway Springfield, IL 62723
17 North State Suite 1100 Chicago, IL 60602
- While your license is suspended, you are not permitted to drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, you may be imprisoned for up to five years, and/or the length of your suspension may be increased.
- After your suspension is over, you will receive a written notice of restoration, with instructions on how to restore your license. Do not drive until you have completed the necessary steps and received a valid, replacement license from the Illinois VSD.
- You may apply for Restricted Driving Privileges of RDP. The program is also known as Driver Relief. You will need to contact the informal hearing office at Driver Facility Office to ascertain your eligibility.
APPEALING A SUSPENSION
If you receive a notice of suspension from the VSD, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. Use the Formal Hearing Request Form if your license was suspended due to DUI or a fatal accident and you wish to request a hearing. An administrative law judge or a VSD approved formal or informal hearing officer will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program. Completing a Driver Improvement Program may remove points from the current driving record, and in some cases can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended.
It is also a good idea to seek the advice of a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer, based on the reason for the suspension.
RESTORING YOUR LICENSE
Once you have completed your suspension period, you can get your license back. Generally, you will need to:
- Pay the restoration fee - the fees vary according to the reason of suspension/revocation. The fees are given below:
- DUI - first suspension - $250
- DUI - Second suspension or subsequent - $500
- 1st Revocation - $500
- 2nd or subsequent revocation - $500
- Other Suspension (except Statutory Summary Suspension and Mandatory Insurance Conviction Suspension) - $70
- Other revocation(except DUI) - $50
- Discretionary Suspension (resulting from court convictions or other sufficient evidence) $ 70
- Failure to Appear Suspension - $ 70
- Family Responsibility Suspension - $ 70
- Parking Suspension - $70
- Safety Responsibility Suspension (Uninsured Crash) - $ 70
- Toll way Suspension - $ 70
- Unsatisfied Judgment Suspension - $ 70
- Zero Tolerance Suspension - $70
- 1 Statutory Summary Suspension - $250
- 2 or more Statutory Summary Suspensions - $ 500
- Any revocation - $ 500
- Mandatory Insurance Conviction Suspension - $ 100
- Provide proof of financial responsibility (SR-22), if required.
- Install an interlock ignition device in your vehicle if the license was suspended because of a DUI violation.
- Apply for a standard license renewal to obtain a new license and pay the required fees as well.
You can get further information on reinstatement by reading Road to Reinstatement : Restoring Your Driving Privileges.