The Difference Between A License Suspension and a Revocation In Illinois

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This will discuss the difference between a driver's license suspension and a driver's license revocation in Illinois.

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Note: Every state defines these differently. If you have an Illinois driver's license, these are the definitions you need to know. These definitions pertain to DUIs only.


  • A suspension is finite, meaning it will end at some point.
  • As long as you don't violate the suspension and you pay your reinstatement fee, you will automatically be allowed to drive again
  • A suspension for a first DUI is 6 months if you take a Breathalyzer or blood test and are over a .08. If it is not your first DUI your suspension is 1 year.
  • A suspension is 1 year if you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test and it is your first DUI. It is 3 years if you have had a DUI in the past 5 years.
  • A reinstatement fee is $250 paid to the Secretary of State for a first DUI, and $500 if it is not your first.


  • A revocation means you no longer have a driver's license. It has been taken away by the Illinois Secretary of State.
  • There is no guarantee you will ever have a driver's license again. There is no automatic way to get driving privileges again.
  • The only way to be able to drive again, is to have a Secretary of State hearing and have them grant you reinstatement after that hearing.
  • There are waiting periods once you have been revoked before you can apply to be reinstated.
  • The waiting period for a first DUI conviction is 1 year. If you plead guilty to an out of state DUI, and it is your first DUI, it is also 1 year. Note that supervision in IL is not a conviction and will not revoke you.
  • You may be eligible to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) to drive during your revocation. The RDP is only to drive to and from work, school, medical appointments or daycare. When applying, you must say which you want and why. This is also done through a hearing at Secretary of State and can take 90 days to get the result of the hearing.
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