How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License in Illinois
Illinois drivers license suspension, revocation or cancellation can occur as a result of various driving and non-driving violations. Suspended drivers licenses in IL are temporarily withdrawn from the driver by the Secretary of State until all requirements for drivers license reinstatement are met. This may include paying all overdue fines, enrollment in traffic school or attending a case hearing.
On the other hand, revoked drivers licenses are considered terminated and motorists may need to complete a different drivers license restoration procedure. A suspended or revoked driver’s license may be issued due to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unpaid child support, unpaid traffic tickets and more.
Reinstating an Illinois Suspended License
Drivers license reinstatement in Illinois for suspended drivers licenses is only possible upon meeting the requirements set by the Office of the Secretary of State and paying the related fees. Depending on the reason for suspension, drivers may need to wait for the suspension period to end in order to regain their driving privileges.
Most IL drivers license restorations require drivers to close all existing revocations or suspensions on their driving record and either attend a formal (or informal) hearing or complete a traffic school course. In cases of revoked drivers licenses due to multiple DUI violations, drivers may be obliged to undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation.
How to Reinstate an Illinois Suspended Drivers License
The requirements for Illinois drivers license reinstatement of revoked or suspended drivers licenses are based on the type of violation and the individual’s driving record. First offenders generally have their credentials suspended for a certain amount of time, while offenders with multiple violations on their record have their license revoked until they meet all criteria for drivers license restoration in IL or indefinitely.
A suspended drivers license in Illinois can be reinstated after the statutory summary period has ended, unless otherwise instructed by the court. Certain requirements necessary for reinstating suspended drivers licenses in IL include:
- A driving record cleared of all other revocations and suspensions.
- Attending a formal or informal hearing, depending on the reason for suspension (if applicable).
- Submitting payment for the reinstatement fee to the appropriate government agency (based on case).
Drivers with revoked drivers licenses must meet stricter criteria for reinstatement, including possible enrollment in a state-approved traffic school or a DUI program. To reinstate revoked drivers licenses in Illinois, motorists must complete the following steps:
- Clear out their driving record of other suspensions/revocations.
- Attend a formal hearing with a Secretary of State hearing officer.
- Pay the hearing and reinstatement fees.
- Undergo a drug/alcohol evaluation (if applicable) and complete a DUI program if needed.
- Provide proof of financial responsibility (if applicable).
- Pass a drivers license exam (if applicable).
Suspension Periods in Illinois
The duration of an IL drivers license suspension is based on the type and number of violations committed. Accordingly, licensees may either have a suspended drivers license for a limited period of time or until they have met all drivers license restoration requirements, or a revoked drivers license, terminated permanently.
Drivers can see the suspension period on their suspension notice or by viewing their Illinois driving record. Alternatively, they can also contact a Secretary of State office to inquire about the duration of their suspended license.
Note that suspensions and revocations for traffic violations will remain visible on a driving record for a minimum of seven years from the date of reinstatement, while drug/alcohol related suspensions may remain on the record for a lifetime. Listed below are some examples of Illinois drivers license suspension periods:
- 6-24 months for drivers younger than 21 who refuse to undergo chemical testing.
- 3-12 months for drivers younger than 21 whose chemical testing results have shown blood alcohol levels of over 0.00
- A minimum of one year for DUI convictions for a first offense, five years for a second offense, 10 years of a third offense and a lifetime revocation for a fourth and all subsequent offenses.
- 12-36 months of suspension for refusal to undergo a chemical test.
- 6-12 months of suspension if the results from a chemical testing show 0.08 or more.
Illinois Point System
An IL drivers license suspension or revocation will be issued to motorists who amass too many points on their driving record due to moving violations. Per state law, the conviction of a traffic offense will result in assigning negative points on your report.
The number of points received will be based on the type and severity of traffic misdemeanor. Motorists who commit three or more offenses within 12 months, thereby increasing the number of demerit points on their record, will lose their privilege to drive.
A suspended or revoked driving license in Illinois is also issued to drivers younger than 21 with two or more violations within any 24-month period. The following point system outlines some of the traffic offenses and the corresponding driving points:
- Negligent driving – 10 points.
- Failure to obey lawful order – 10 points.
- Driving too fast for conditions – 10 points.
- Failure to yield right-of-way – 20 points.
- Operating below the minimum speed limit – 5 points.
Traffic School in Illinois
Illinois residents with suspended drivers licenses may be required to attend state-approved traffic school safety courses. These safety programs help licensees restore their driving privileges or apply for a probationary license and in some cases may even contribute to removing points off their driving record. In Illinois, drivers have the option to enroll in the Remedial Driver Education Course (for drivers younger than 25 years of age) or the Probationary License Program.
Attendees who have successfully completed the Remedial Driver Education Course and met the drivers license restoration requirements set by the Secretary of State will be eligible for an Illinois drivers license reinstatement. Drivers who complete the Probationary License Program will be eligible for a hardship license with limited driving privileges.
Types of Illinois Drivers License Suspensions
Illinois suspended drivers licenses can be a result of various driving and non-driving-related violations. The most serious offenses and convictions can lead to permanent drivers license revocation, with no possibility of restoration. Thus, based on the kind of violation committed, drivers license suspensions in IL can be of the following types:
- A DUI suspension.
- A Failure to Appear suspension.
- A parking suspension.
- An Automated Traffic Violations suspension.
- A suspension for failure to pay child support.
- A suspension for tollway evasion or violation.
Illinois DUI Suspensions
The Illinois DMV and the court will take immediate actions against drivers after a DUI-related offense. An automatic Illinois driving license suspension will be issued to drivers who fail or refuse to submit to the chemical testing following a DUI arrest.
Note that criminal penalties will apply in addition to the suspension of your driving privileges. DUI penalties will differ based on the circumstances of the arrest and conviction.
Drivers Older Than 21
An Illinois suspended drivers license will be issued to motorists arrested for a DUI violation with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. The driving license suspension will also follow if drivers refuse to have a chemical test performed.
If you have a valid driver’s license at the time of arrest, you will be presented with a suspension notice, allowing you to drive for 45 days. The suspension will be effective on the 46th day from the issue date of the notice.
First offenders who fail the chemical testing will face a six-month suspension, though they can apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. In such a case, they will be also required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in their motor vehicle.
A second and any further violations within five years will result in a one-year license suspension. The IL driving license suspension periods are longer for chemical test refusal. Motorists will have their driving privileges suspended for 12 months for a first misdemeanor, and three years for any subsequent offense.
Note: The criminal penalties for DUI misdemeanors are typically appointed based on the driver’s age, the BAC level at the time of arrest and previous DUI offenses.
Drivers Younger Than 21
A drivers license suspension in Illinois is issued to motorists younger than 21 years of age caught with any trace of alcohol or drugs in their system. First traffic offenders will be issued a three-month suspension, while second violations lead to a one-year suspension.
Minors will have an IL suspended driving license for a test refusal as well. To reinstate your driving privileges in IL following a suspension, you may be required to complete a driver remedial education course.
Furthermore, you may need to pass a complete driving license examination, and thus be re-issued a new credential. The Illinois driving license reinstatement process will require minors to arrange payment for all applicable fees.
Car Insurance Suspensions
In general, licensees will face a driving license suspension or revocation if they fail to provide proof of auto insurance. Illinois drivers are also required to obtain the mandatory liability coverage, and thus stay in accordance with state laws and road regulations.
Failure to present the necessary proof when pulled over by a law enforcement agent will result in a suspension of your license plates, though you may also face an IL driving license suspension as well. The minimum insurance amounts required in IL are as follows:
- $20,000 for property damage.
- $25,000 for a single death or injury.
- $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people.
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
An IL driving license suspension will be placed against your license in case you have not satisfied the conditions for an issued traffic citation. However, a suspended drivers license in Illinois will not be issued to motorists for failure to pay a court-imposed fine.
Drivers who did not provide the required payment at the specified time will face a temporary stop placed against their license instead. This penalty will prevent you from applying for a new IL credential or renewing your existing one until you meet the imposed requirements. The stop will be cleared once drivers pay the allotted fees and present a confirmation receipt to the Secretary of State’s office.
Illinois Hardship Drivers License
Prior to reinstating their driving license in IL, DUI offenders may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) during the suspension period. This type of license will allow licensees to drive on a limited basis according to their permit.
The Secretary State’s office will, however, issue the credential only to drivers who meet the set requirements. For instance, motorists younger than 16 year of age with a revoked drivers license are not eligible for this permit.
Applying for an Illinois Hardship License
To obtain the IL provisional driving license (restricted credential), applicants must follow specific instructions imposed by the Secretary of State. First, you may need to prove that a hardship exists. Then, you will be required to present a professional alcohol/drug evaluation along with proof of remedial treatment.
DUI offenders must also appear before a hearing agent in the Secretary of State to have their driving record reviewed. Additionally, motorists will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device for the duration of the provisional drivers license if they have two or more DUI offenses. Finally, a $50 nonrefundable fee will be required to complete the application procedure.
Drivers License Reinstatement Fees
The amount of fees for a drivers license reinstatement in Illinois will depend on the type of drivers license suspension and must be paid before a new drivers license is issued by the IL Secretary of State. The reinstating drivers license fees for some of the most common suspensions are listed below:
- A traffic-related discretionary suspension – $70.
- A court-ordered suspension for failure to appear in court – $70.
- A field-sobriety suspension – $250 for first offense and $500 for multiple offenses.
- A family responsibility suspension – $70.
- A suspension for mandatory insurance conviction – $100.illinois
- A revoked drivers license – $500.
- A zero-tolerance suspension (DUI for individuals younger than 21) – $70.
- DUI – $250 for first offense and $500 for multiple offenses.
- Parking, automated traffic or tollway suspension – $70.
The most convenient way for drivers to pay their fees is online, by entering their driver’s license number, full name and date of birth. The system will display the fees owed and applicants can pay by a credit card.