Articles Posted in License Reinstatement

A relatively new Illinois law requires that before a driver with more than one DUI conviction can be considered for full reinstatement, he or she is first required to drive on Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) for a five-year period. Unfortunately, this requirement applies even if the person has already served the minimum period of driver’s license revocation and was eligible to be considered for full reinstatement.

The Illinois Secretary of State has chosen to apply this requirement to any person who applies for driving privileges after the effective date of the new law, January 1, 2016. Therefore, even if your DUIs occurred prior to this date, whether a month earlier or 30 years earlier, the new law applies to you.

A RDP usually can only be issued for work, school, medical reasons or for child/elder care. Therefore, a problem arises if the person is eligible for reinstatement, but is required to first drive on the RDP for five-years and has no need for any of these types of permits. A good example is the unemployed or retired person.

It may be possible to remove convictions for Illinois traffic tickets from your driving record.  By filing a “Motion to Vacate,” our attorneys are able to bring your ticket back into court and argue for a more favorable outcome (i.e. court supervision or dismissal). Under Illinois law, only criminal charges may be eligible for expungement, not traffic tickets. As a result, the only way to clear a traffic ticket conviction from your driving record, is to bring the case back in front of a judge.

We are often contacted by clients facing a license suspension for too many moving violations. A “Motion to Vacate” may be the best solution to removing the entire suspension or shortening the suspension period. An administrative hearing for driving privileges before the Secretary of State is a more complex and lengthy process. Whenever possible, a “Motion to Vacate” is the preferred course of action.

We regularly hear from CDL holders (i.e. truck drivers) that need a ticket removed from their record due to severe employment consequences, insurance increases and/or license suspension. Handling this process for a CDL holder requires a similar approach.

A driver may be required to use a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), also known as a breathalyzer, if they have been issued a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) or a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) as a result of a DUI suspension or revocation. The Illinois Secretary of State has implemented strict rules under the Administrative Code regarding BAIID violations. Violations include:

  • BrAC reading of .05 or more
  • Failing a rolling retest

It can take, on average, 10-14 weeks to receive a restricted driving permit (RDP)/hardship license from the date of your administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State. There is not only a waiting period before the hearing is scheduled (for a formal hearing), but there is a waiting period to receive a decision from the Illinois Secretary of State after the hearing is held, and it takes additional time to receive the physical permit. It is a long and complex process that must be handled properly step-by-step.

In-person formal hearings are scheduled approximately 60 days after the date of request. After a formal hearing is held, the Illinois Secretary of State has 90 days to issue a decision. Decisions often do not take the full 90 days to be issued.

Drivers do not have to file a request for an informal hearing. Informal hearings are available during regular business hours on a walk-in basis. The Illinois Secretary of State does not have a time limit to issue a decision for an RDP at an informal hearing. You can expect to wait anywhere between 6-12 weeks for a decision.

Drivers under 21 years old will have their driver’s license suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State if they receive two traffic ticket convictions within a period of two years (24 months). Illinois law holds drivers younger than 21 years old to a higher standard than other drivers.

Primarily, convictions for moving violations under the Illinois Vehicle Code count toward a license suspension. The offense does not need to occur within the State of Illinois. Out-of-state traffic tickets received by the driver may also be reported back to Illinois and used by the Secretary of State to impose a license suspension.

It is important to note that the Illinois Secretary of State uses the date the traffic ticket was issued, not the date that the conviction was entered to determine if the offenses occurred within the 24-month time period.

According to the Illinois Secretary of State, traffic tickets for moving violations will stay on your Illinois driving record for four to five years from the date of conviction. Moving violations include offenses such as speeding, disobeying a stop sign, disobeying a traffic control light, and improper lane usage.  The Secretary of State generally  removes these offenses at their discretion during that timeframe.

Traffic tickets that result in a suspension or revocation will stay on your driving record for at least seven years from the date of license reinstatement. Convictions for alcohol and drug-related offenses (i.e. DUI) will permanently stay on your Illinois driving record.

Only court supervision or a dismissal will prevent a traffic ticket from showing up on your public driving record in Illinois. Convictions not only count toward the suspension of your driver’s license, but can significantly effect insurance premiums. An Illinois traffic attorney can often increase the chances of keeping your driving record clean. Contact The Davis Law Group, P.C. if you have received an Illinois traffic citation.

The Illinois Secretary of State uses a unique system to determine driver’s license suspensions and revocations based on the number of moving violations and a point system. A driver 21 years of age or older will have their license suspended if they receive three moving violation convictions within a 12 months period, while a driver under the age of 21 will have their license suspended if they receive two moving violation convictions within a twenty-four month period.

Every moving violation is assigned a specific number of points. Once a driver reaches the number of convictions outlined above, the Secretary of State will use the total number of points accumulated to determine the duration of suspension or revocation.

For those 21 or older, if you have three convictions for traffic violations within a 12-month period your Illinois driver’s license will be suspended as follows:

If you fail to pay fines or court costs for a traffic ticket, the court may request that the Illinois Secretary of State to place a hold on your driver’s license which would prevent you from renewing an expired license or obtaining a license for the first time. This hold is also referred to as a “Failure to Pay Stop”. Technically, it is not a license suspension. In order to clear your driver’s license, you must satisfy the amount due to the court and/or file a motion to reopen the case.

You may attempt to contact the specific courthouse where the ticket is assigned by phone to determine the amount owed and your payment options. However, it may be beneficial to appear in-person at the Clerk’s Office located within the courthouse to obtain this information.

Once you pay the amount owed on the traffic ticket, you should obtain a Failure to Pay Fines Receipt for the Illinois Secretary of State. This receipt should be submitted to the Secretary of State either in-person or by mail. You may rely on the courthouse to notify the Secretary of State, but this can take additional time. However, in Cook County, the Clerk’s Office will notify the Secretary of State electronically and you do not need obtain and submit the paperwork yourself. Once it is processed by the Secretary of State, the hold will come off of your driving record.

If you failed to appear in court or respond to a traffic ticket within the required timeframe, the court may direct the Illinois Secretary of State to suspend your driver’s license. The type of suspension is referred to as a “Failure to Appear” suspension or as an “09” suspension (625 ILCS 5/6-6-306.3). In order to reinstate your driver’s license, you must resolve the traffic ticket, provide proof to the Illinois Secretary of State, and pay a reinstatement fee.

Often, resolving the old ticket will require you, or your attorney, to file a motion with the court. The case will have to be brought back into court, where you will appear in front of a judge. Every county and courthouse has rules and procedures that must be followed. Often, it is beneficial to hire legal representation to ensure that the process is handled properly and efficiently. Depending on how long ago the traffic ticket was issued, the file may even need to be ordered by the Clerk.  Also, your motion may need to be filed days or weeks in advance of seeing the judge. As a result, the process may require multiple court appearances. An attorney familiar with the specific courthouse will be able to guide you through the process and handle many of the necessary steps on your behalf.

After the case is resolved, the Clerk’s Office may provide you with a certified transcript or receipt acknowledging the disposition of the case. This document should be submitted to the Illinois Secretary of State to ensure proper removal of the Failure to Appear suspension. In addition, the Secretary of State will require the payment of a reinstatement fee.

Illinois law allows drivers relocating to Illinois to drive on their valid driver’s license from their home country or state for ninety (90) days. CDL holders have a reduced window of thirty (30) days to obtain an Illinois CDL. “International driver’s licenses” are not valid in the State of Illinois. International driving permits are issued by the driver’s home country and simply translate the foreign license to make it easier for United State’s officials to read. However, international driving permits still fall under the same rules as foreign driver’s licenses and are only valid for ninety (90) days.

Students at Illinois colleges and universities are allowed to drive on a valid driver’s license from their country or home state while enrolled in school. This is also true for the spouse and/or children of students.

International students who wish to obtain an Illinois driver’s license may be eligible to do so. Students with a valid social security number may apply for an Illinois driver’s license. Students without social security numbers may apply for a Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License (TVDL). TVDLs are issued by the Illinois Secretary of State to those persons unable to obtain a social security number. It is important to note that TVDLs cannot be used for identification purposes.

Main Office

View Larger Map

Chicago Office

View Larger Map