Articles Posted in License Reinstatement

All Illinois Secretary of State facilities are currently closed to the public. Emergency rules have been enacted to extend the expiration (in certain circumstances) of driver’s licenses, driving permits including Restricted Driving Permits, ID cards, vehicle registrations, and other transactions through the period of closure and for at least 90 days after the facilities have reopened.

To be eligible for the extension of your driver’s license or permit (including Restricted Driving Permits), your license or permit must have been valid as of March 17, 2020. If your driver’s license or permit expired before this date, this extension does not apply to you.

We do expect significant delays in assigning hearing dates, decisions from hearings, processing of permit requirements, and the issuance of driving relief when the Secretary of State eventually reopens. 

The Illinois laws governing teen driver’s licenses and traffic tickets can be confusing for teens and parents alike. The Illinois Secretary of State operates a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program for teen drivers. Different laws apply depending on the age of the driver, which can be found under 625 ILCS 5/6-107. Below is a breakdown of the current laws that apply to teen drivers in Illinois and the consequences of traffic tickets.

Rules for Drivers Age 15 (Instruction Permit Stage)

During the Instruction Permit Stage the teen driver:

If you are under the age of 21, you face stiff penalties for alcohol-related offenses under Illinois law. Aside from the possible criminal penalties, which may include jail time, community service, traffic safety school and/or high fines and court assessments, the Illinois Secretary of State may impose a driver’s license suspension or revocation for many of alcohol-related offenses as follows:

Illegal Transportation of Alcohol 

  • Conviction – 12-month driver’s license suspension

On October 29, 2019, the Illinois House passed Senate Bill 1786 known as the License to Work Act. The Act has now passed both houses of the Illinois legislature and awaits the Governor’s signature.

Over the last 30 years, laws have been passed authorizing the suspension of a person’s driver’s license as a means of collecting past due parking ticket fines, tollway violations and fees owed to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The License to Work Act removes the authority of the Secretary of State to suspend driving privileges for such reasons.

The legislation also provides for restoration of driving privileges for those persons who have previously had their license revoked, suspended or cancelled for non-payment of parking tickets or tollway violations or fees owed the Illinois Commerce Commission. Those suspended for unpaid parking tickets account for the largest portion of those impacted by the new legislation.

If your driving privileges are suspended or revoked in Illinois, you may be unable to obtain or renew your driver’s license in the state in which you reside due to the hold that Illinois has placed on your ‘National Driving Record’. This may occur even if you never lived in Illinois or never obtained an Illinois driver’s license. Most states will not issue or renew your driver’s license until the hold has been lifted and your National Driving Record is clear of suspensions or revocations from Illinois or any other state.

Most holds in Illinois result from either a revocation of your driving privileges due to a DUI or your Failure to Appear in court. However, there are many other reasons Illinois may place a hold on your National Driving Record, including your failure to pay fines for tickets or suspensions caused by various other traffic violations.

DUI Revocations

A school bus permit is required to transport school children through 12th grade for a public, private or religious school in a school bus or any other approved vehicle owned by or operated for a school or religious institution over a regularly scheduled route. School bus permit holders are subject to strict rules and regulations, especially when it comes to traffic tickets.

School Bus Permit Requirements

Permit holders must be at least 21 years of age, have held a valid license for the previous three years prior to application for a school bus permit, complete a classroom training course, pass a written test, road test, physical examination, and an FBI criminal background check.

Drivers who have been revoked for DUI in Illinois often ask our driver’s license attorneys how long they are required to drive on a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (“BAIID”) or whether they are required to have a BAIID at all.

Drivers who have one DUI revocation and do not have a prior suspension from a previous DUI (as a result of failing a test or refusing testing) are not required to have a BAIID device installed on their vehicle. On the other hand, driver’s who have one DUI revocation and have also lost their license due to a suspension on a prior DUI are required to have a BAIID device installed on their vehicle as a condition of obtaining a restricted driving permit (“RDP”). The driver must then drive on the RDP with the BAIID for 75% of the period it is issued before the Secretary of State will consider full reinstatement.

An Illinois resident with 2 or 3 DUI convictions must drive with a BAIID for a period of 5-years before they can be considered for full reinstatement (regardless of their ‘reinstatement eligibility date’).

Individuals convicted of DUI often ask our Illinois license reinstatement attorneys when they will be eligible to obtain their full driving privileges. This question has become more and more complicated due to changes that have occurred in Illinois law over the last several years.

Generally, in order to determine an accurate eligibility date, the driver must take two factors into account: the length of the statutory summary suspension (“SSS”) and the length of the DUI revocation. The length of the SSS can be anywhere from 6-months to 3-years depending on whether the person is a first offender or second (or subsequent) offender and whether they refused chemical testing or submitted to (and failed) testing. For purposes of the SSS, a first offender is a person who has not had a prior DUI disposition within 5-years of the current arrest:

Length of SSS

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding driving records in Illinois. Driving records are different across all 50 states. Illinois driving records are maintained by the Illinois Secretary of State. They also are often referred to as driving record abstracts and motor vehicle records (MVR).

What information appears on an Illinois driving record?

  • Convictions (traffic tickets, including those issued in other states)

Will Illinois find out about my out-of-state DUI?

Illinois is a member of the Driver’s License Compact, which is an agreement between states to exchange information regarding traffic violations and license suspensions or revocations of non-residents and forward that information to the state where they are licensed. Therefore, if the state where you are charged with DUI is part of the Driver’s License Compact, the appropriate authorities will report the information to the Illinois Secretary of State. Illinois will then treat the DUI as if it had been committed here.

While most states are part of the Driver’s License Compact, the few non-member states include Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. However, in practice, many of these states still report offenses to Illinois under their own laws and regulations even though they are not officially part of the Driver’s License Compact.

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