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Illinois Restricted Driving Permit (“RDP”): Hardship License

Illinois Hardship License

The driver’s license reinstatement attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent revoked and suspended drivers seeking driving privileges before the Illinois Secretary of State.

In order to obtain a driving privileges, you must first request relief through an administrative hearing. After a successful hearing, certain drivers may first be granted a Restricted Driving Permit (“RDP”), also known as an Illinois hardship license, by the Illinois Secretary of State.

How to Get a Restricted Driving Permit in Illinois

There are generally three situations in which the Illinois Secretary of State will require that you drive on a RDP/hardship license before being considered for full reinstatement of your driver's license:

  1. The driver is not eligible for full reinstatement;
  2. The driver is revoked for DUI and is eligible for full reinstatement but has not previously held a RDP and the Illinois Secretary of State determines that the person should first drive on a RDP as a probationary device; or
  3. Even if eligible for full reinstatement, the driver has been convicted of DUI on 2 or more occasions in which case the driver will be required to drive on a RDP (subject to breath alcohol ignition interlock device (“BAIID”) requirements) for five-years before becoming eligible for full reinstatement.
  4. If you are not yet eligible for reinstatement at the time of your application for a RDP/hardship license, then you must first establish that if granted driving privileges you will not pose a risk to the public safety and also that you have an extreme hardship resulting from the loss of your drivers license. Typically, the extreme hardship results from the driver being subject to termination from employment due to a lack of driving privileges.

    If you are eligible for reinstatement at the time that you apply for a RDP, you are required to demonstrate that if granted a license you will not endanger the public safety and welfare. You are not required to demonstrate that you have an undue hardship.

    Under Illinois law, there are several different types of RDPs available to you: employment, medical care, alcohol/drug rehabilitative activities (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous meetings), child care or elder care. These hardship licenses may be granted for the purpose of transporting yourself or a member of your household.

    BAIID Required Permit

    If ineligible for any of the Illinois hardship licenses mentioned above, a driver may be eligible for a BAIID Required Permit. The BAIID Required Permit is limited to five days per week, eight hours per day, and a 200 mile radius from the driver's home. This permit is extremely limited in application, as the driver must not be able to show eligibility for any of the other Restricted Driving Permits available under Illinois law.

    If you are revoked for DUI, as a condition of being granted a RDP, you may be required to drive on a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (“BAIID”).

    Generally, you must drive on a Restricted Driving Permit/Hardship License for 75% of the length of the permit before the Illinois Secretary of State will consider granting further driving relief (i.e. 9 months of a 12 month permit). At a subsequent hearing, a renewal of the RDP or full reinstatement will primarily depend on your driving record. A RDP may be cancelled as the result of a conviction for any moving violation.

    If you are seeking a RDP/hardship license or reinstatement of your driver’s license before the Illinois Secretary of State, contact the attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. to discuss your case. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and will provide the professional and knowledgeable representation that you deserve.

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