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IL Reinstatement Basics
Driver’s License Reinstatement Basics in Illinois
If your driver’s license is revoked in Illinois, you will need to have an informal or formal hearing in order to reinstate it. Unfortunately, there is no automatic reinstatement once your license has been revoked in Illinois.
Informal vs. Formal hearing
Generally, you are eligible for an informal hearing if you’ve only had 1 DUI. If you have more than 1 DUI on any driving record, then you’ll need a formal hearing. There are a few exceptions, but this is a good general rule of thumb.
An informal hearing means you can walk in and see an informal hearing officer. A formal hearing requires that you file a request for a hearing, they will mail you a specific date and time, and you’ll need to pay a $50 fee for the hearing.
If you live out of state and no longer in Illinois, you qualify to apply for reinstatement through the mail. If you do this, you are not eligible for an Illinois license for 3 years.
In order to apply for reinstatement, you will need a current alcohol and drug evaluation. Current means it can’t be more than 6 months old. If it has expired, you’ll need an updated evaluation.
The hearing will be based around your prior drinking history as well as current patterns.
Many people mistakenly believe that they will leave their hearing with a decision by the Secretary of State. This is not true. Whether you’ve had an informal or formal hearing, you will get mailed an official order from Secretary of State usually within 90 days of your hearing. You will not find out whether you get reinstated at the hearing.
After the hearing, one of 3 things may happen:
- You can get full reinstatement
- You can get denied
- You can get denied full reinstatement but given a permit to drive to and from work, school, alcohol treatment, or child care.
If you are granted a permit, it will be good for 1 year and then you’ll have to go back for another hearing before it expires.
If you have had 2 convictions for DUI, you are required to drive for 5 consecutive years on a permit before getting full reinstatement granted. You will have a breathalyzer in your car (also called a BAIID device) during all 5 years. If you are granted a permit and are mandatory 5 years of driving with a BAIID, some of the permits will be granted for 2 years at a time, rather than just 1 year. To renew the permit, you can go back for an informal hearing. You will still need a formal hearing at the end of the 5 year to seek full reinstatement. It is crucial you don’t have any issues during these 5 years such as blowing over a .02 on the breathalyzer in your car, no tickets or accidents or driving outside the date/time/distance/purpose of your permit.
Contact a Chicago DUI Lawyer to learn what must be done in order to successfully get your drivers' license restored after a DUI conviction.
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