Articles Posted in License Reinstatement

Having your driver’s license revoked or suspended can be a major inconvenience or even a life-altering problem. Losing your license can effect your work, family responsibilities, and personal life. We are often asked whether having your driver’s license suspended or revoked in one state will effect your ability to get a driver’s license in another state.

Most states, including Illinois, joined in an agreement called the Driver License Compact (DLC for short). The DLC is used to facilitate communicating information regarding people’s driving records between states. This means that if your driver’s license has been suspended in your home state, it will most likely prevent you from obtaining a license in the state to which you are moving. When you apply for a license, the local DMV (or its equivalent) will first check if your name appears in the National Driver Register’s (NDR) Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) which contains a list of names of people who have had their driver’s license revoked or suspended. If your name is listed in the NDR as “Not Eligible” you won’t be able to get a license in the given state.

If your driver’s license is revoked (not suspended) in your home state and you are a new Illinois resident, you can apply for a restricted driving permit one year from the date of the out-of-state revocation. In order to do so, you must have an administrative hearing before the Secretary of State and meet certain requirements. You are encouraged to seek competent legal representation to assist with this process.

Attorney Larry A. Davis, principal of The Davis Law Group, P.C., has been awarded the 2018 Richard H. Teas Legislative Support Award by the Illinois State Bar Association. The award acknowledges Mr. Davis’s work on behalf of the bar association’s legislative efforts in the Illinois General Assembly.

Mr. Davis has authored, co-authored and negotiated numerous laws primarily related to driving under the influence and driver’s license law. These laws include the Illinois summary suspension law, the offenses of driving while revoked and suspended, and the issuance of restricted driving permits following suspension or revocation. Additionally, Mr. Davis has spent countless hours in the analysis and negotiation of traffic and driver’s license law proposals. He has testified numerous times before the legislature on these various proposals.

This award was presented to Mr. Davis by Past-President of the ISBA and Retired Judge (Hon.) Russell W. Hartigan. It recognizes Mr. Davis’s continued leadership in the area of DUI, traffic and driver’s license law.

The Illinois Secretary of State is cancelling large numbers of driver’s licenses and state IDs due to fraud. The Secretary of State processes and compares the photos of anyone who applies for or renews a driver’s license or state ID in a central digital database. Therefore, if you obtained a license or ID under a false name, date of birth or social security number, there is a high probability that the Secretary of State’s facial recognition system will flag your application.

While you may initially leave the facility with a temporary permit (paper license), the official plastic license or ID may never arrive. Months later, in it’s place, you may receive a Notice of Cancellation which indicates that you “committed a fraudulent offense in the making of an application” directing you to contact the Illinois Secretary of State Fraudulent Review Unit. In turn, the matter is turned over to a Secretary of State Police investigator. At that time, an in-person interview may be required.

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It isn’t unusual for the lawyers at The Davis Law Group, P.C. to work with individuals who committed the fraudulent offense a decade or two ago. These individuals may have previously renewed their driver’s license multiple times without any issues. The technology has changed over the years and allowed even very old instances of fraud to be uncovered.

Effective January 1, 2016, the Secretary of State began to enforce a new law requiring that revoked drivers with 2 or more DUI convictions who were granted a restricted driving permit (RDP) after an administrative hearing, drive on a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) for a period of 5-years before applying for full reinstatement.

Unfortunately, the Secretary of State made the decision to apply this law retroactively. As a result, applicants whose DUIs occurred before the effective date of the new law and, in many cases years, decades earlier, are subject to the new law, only because they failed to apply before the change in the law went into effect.

Many of our clients have asked for the reasoning is behind the law. The law was proposed by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM), which claimed that a study they had found demonstrated that until a person drives successfully for at least 5-years on a BAIID device, the chances that the person will return to abusive drinking is unacceptably high. However, further investigation demonstrates that the study relied on by AAIM says nothing of the sort.

There are a number of DUI and traffic-related proposals currently pending in the 2018 Illinois legislature. These are a few highlights of those bills, which deserve close attention:

Traffic Ticket Fine Waiver Program

Fines, fees and costs for minor traffic offenses could be excused for a defendant who is unable to pay. Upon application, the court may convert all of the obligation to community service or partially excuse payment without condition.

Under the Illinois summary suspension law, a driver who is arrested for DUI and has not had a prior DUI disposition within 5-years is considered a ‘first offender’. This is significant because if the driver is considered a first offender, he or she faces a shorter driver’s license suspension based on whether chemical testing is failed or refused (6-months vs. 12-months). Furthermore, a first offender is automatically eligible for driving privileges during the period of the suspension through use of an MDDP.

The Secretary of State’s office is behind a new proposal now pending in the Illinois legislature that will drastically change the definition of a first offender under the Illinois DUI summary suspension law.

The new legislation would triple what has been called the 5-year look-back to a period of 15-years. This means that if the prior DUI disposition occurred within 15-years, the driver would be considered a second (or subsequent) offender and would be subject to a substantially longer period of driver’s license suspension based on whether chemical testing is failed or refused (6-months vs. 1-year for failed testing and 1-year vs. 3-years for refused testing) and would be barred from receiving automatic driving privileges during the period of suspension.

The DUI defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C., often find that many of our clients are both concerned and confused when confronted with the complex landscape of Illinois DUI law, which includes the statutory summary suspension law. As attorneys who have represented thousands of individuals charged with DUI and who are involved in the writing of DUI laws, we strive to make this complex area of the law more understandable.

In the vast majority of cases, a DUI can be broken down into two parts: the Statutory Summary Suspension of one’s driving privileges, which is a civil proceeding, and the criminal charge for Driving Under the Influence. In this post we address the first part of DUI: the Illinois Summary Suspension law.

The summary suspension law differs for those who are considered a “first-offender” and those who are not considered to be a “first offender.” Someone is considered to be a “first-offender” when he or she has not had a disposition for DUI, or a statutory summary suspension, in the five years preceding his or her current arrest. In other words, so long as one has not had a statutory summary suspension, pled guilty or been found guilty of a DUI in the five years preceding their current arrest, he or she is considered a “first-offender” for purposes of the statutory summary suspension—regardless of the number of DUIs and/or statutory summary suspensions they have had in their lifetime. If a “first-offender” submits to, and fails, chemical testing—i.e. testing of breath, blood, or urine—they face a 6-month driver’s license suspension. If a “first-offender” refuses testing, he or she faces a 12-month license suspension.

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

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I wanted to let you know that I finally got my license back today. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. You did an amazing job and helped another person turn their life around. I will forever be indebted. Rest assured that I will refer anybody that I hear is in trouble to you guys. Thank you again. All the best.
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I want to extend my sincere gratitude for the success in getting my charges reduced. It has been a rather traumatic experience for me. Though I try to keep an optimistic outlook, it didn't seem possible. But you guys pulled it off and I couldn't be more grateful. This has been a great weight lifted off my shoulders. D.F.
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I would like to take this time to thank you for a job well done. I received my full reinstatement documents today for full driving privileges. This took me by surprise. I did not expect to see the results this fast. I just want to say that I am blessed to have a very good lawyer like yourself to guide me through the process... I am very grateful. You're the best. Thanks again. G.B.
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I am very grateful for your work and representation. Although it is difficult for me to truly express my gratitude through e-mail, I hope you can still understand how thankful I am that we were able to dismiss my case on the first court date. I am very pleased with the outcome. Again, thank you very much for your time. Please enjoy the rest of your week. D.K.

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