When am I eligible to get my license back after a DUI?

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

  • First Offenders
    • Refused Testing: 12-month suspension
    • Failed Testing: 6-month suspension
  • Second or Subsequent Offenders:
    • Refused Testing: 36-month suspension
    • Failed Testing: 12-month suspension

Suspensions begin the 46th day from the date the notice of suspension is served by the police officer on the driver. This typically happens at the time of arrest, but may occur later (i.e. when a blood draw or urine test is performed). In certain situations, the suspension may be extended due to a conviction for driving while suspended or due to a violation of the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (“BAIID”) while on a Monitored Device Driving Permit (“MDDP”) during the suspension period.

Length of Revocation

Before a driver can determine his or her eligibility date, the length of revocation must also be taken into account. In Illinois, a conviction for DUI results in a driver’s license revocation. Court supervision for DUI is not a conviction and, therefore, does not result in a driver’s license revocation. The minimum length of revocation depends on the number of DUI convictions the person has had:

  • First Conviction: 1-year
  • Second Conviction (arrest dates occurring within 20-years of each other): 5-years
  • Third Conviction (regardless of arrest dates): 10-years
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction (if last arrest occurred on or after 1/1/99): Lifetime

The driver must separately determine the termination date of both the SSS and the revocation. The later of the dates is the driver’s projected eligibility date.

Drivers should remember that regardless of the calculated date, the SSS does not terminate until the required reinstatement fee is paid. Further, the revocation does not terminate, regardless of the eligibility date, until the person has received a favorable decision for reinstatement after an administrative hearing before the Office of the Secretary of State.

If the driver has 2 or 3 DUI convictions, and is an Illinois resident, reinstatement will not be granted until he or she has successfully driven on a restricted driving permit (RDP) with a BAIID for a period of 5-years.

Finally, if the driver has 4 or more DUI convictions and is an Illinois resident, he or she is never eligible for full reinstatement. This is known as a lifetime revocation. The driver would be eligible to apply for a RDP 5 years from the date of his or her last revocation, or release from incarceration, whichever is later.

Contact Our Illinois Driver’s License Attorneys

We recognize that this is a complicated area of the law. The driver’s license attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have a substantial concentration in the area of driver’s license law and have successfully represented thousands of drivers before the Illinois Secretary of State.

Feel free to give us a call or submit your information via our contact form to request a consultation. Let us put our experience and knowledge to work for you.

Client Reviews
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.
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.
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.
My special thanks for your help, guidance, and support during a most difficult time. You came recommended as "the best" and you lived up to your reputation! I wish you a lovely holiday season and a new year of challenges overcome, new joys experienced, and much fulfillment realized. All good thoughts your way. S.S.
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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