What is a Restricted Driving Permit?

If you have had your license revoked or suspended in Illinois and you are not yet eligible for full license reinstatement, you may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) through an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State. Likewise, even if you are eligible for full license reinstatement, you may initially be issued an RDP after your hearing prior to being granted full reinstatement.

RDPs are often called “work permits” because their most common purpose is employment. However, under the law, there are several types of Restricted Driving Permits that may allow you to drive for other purposes such as medical visits, education/school, child care, elder care, alcohol/drug-related counseling and, in limited circumstances, for “any purpose”. Restricted Driving Permits are issued only to those drivers who, after a hearing with the Secretary of State, are able to demonstrate that they are not a risk to public safety. Of course, there are a number of other factors taken into consideration by the Secretary of State before granting this type of driving relief. Depending on your background, an RDP may be issued for a period of up to 2 years.

An RDP is not a driver’s license although it is sometimes referred to as a “restricted license”. An RDP only allows you to drive for a specific purpose on certain days, hours and within a specific radius. If you are caught using a permit outside of these limits, you may be charged with driving on a revoked or suspended license depending on the status of your underlying driving privileges.

You can only use a Restricted Driving Permit for the purpose stated on the permit. However, it is generally acceptable to stop solely for the purpose of getting gas or emergency repairs while driving between your home and the destination allowed on the permit. Normal vehicle maintenance such as oil changes, tire replacement or rotation are not specifically allowed. Furthermore, errands such as grocery shopping, stopping at a fast-food restaurant, doctor’s visits (unless on a medical permit), banking or going to the pharmacy would not be permissible unless you are issued an “any purpose” permit.

Under Illinois law, a conviction for any moving violation will result in a cancellation of your Restricted Driving Permit. Therefore, it is important to follow all the rules of the road while driving on the permit. Obviously, despite your best efforts, traffic tickets sometimes cannot be avoided.

If you need assistance in obtaining a Restricted Driving Permit or if you received a traffic ticket while driving on a permit, contact the license reinstatement attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C.. Our driver’s license lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of this area of the law and have helped thousands of clients regain their ability to drive.