As it stands in almost every state, driving is a privilege, not a right.
Because of this, your driver's license can be suspended or revoked for a number of reasons, these include unpaid traffic tickets or a DUI.
As we all know, people make mistakes, and sometimes these mistakes can lead to major hardships in our lives. A suspended license can mean not being able to drive to work, drive your children to school, or even to go get groceries.
Learning how to reinstate your Illinois driver's license can seem overwhelming, but there are things you can do to get the ball rolling.
Driving with a Suspended License
During the process of renewing your driver's license, you may be having trouble getting around town like you normally would.
This can make life difficult for a lot of people, and it may lead you to risk driving anyway, regardless of your license being suspended or revoked.
While you might think you won’t get caught, driving on a suspended license is a terrible idea, and you should not do it for a number of reasons.
Driving with a suspended license could lead to:
As hard as it may be to not drive your car now, getting caught driving on a suspended license in IL will make your life much worse.
The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) allows you to check on the status of your license at any time. You can request your driving records by mail or by visiting a SOS office location in person.
It's always good to have official documentation of the status of your Illinois driver's license, regardless of a suspension or revocation.
How to Reinstate Your Illinois Driver's License
The road to reinstatement of your driver's license can be a long one. You need to be mentally prepared for the fact that it may take a long time, and that you will be held accountable for what you've done.
At your hearing you will be asked a multitude of questions that are meant to dig into your past and present, which are used to determine if you're a good prospect for a permit . They might be difficult questions, and the officers conducting the hearing have heard every excuse imaginable.
Therefore, they probably will not respond well to people who do not accept responsibility for their actions, or at least people who don’t appear to feel this way. That is why it is important to have legal representation. An IL driver’s license reinstatement attorney can prepare you for the questions you will be asked, and help you frame your answers in a way that shows remorse.
Informal vs. Formal Hearings
You may be required to attend either an informal or formal hearing to have your IL license reinstated depending upon your circumstances.
The biggest difference is that a formal hearing is required if your revocation involved a fatality or if you've had multiple DUIs with multiple losses of driving priviledges.
Either way, you will need to contact a Hearing Officer Facility to get this process started.
A Restricted Driver's Permit – Hardship License
Your formal or informal hearing may result in one of a few things, such as being given a restricted driver's permit (RDP).
A RDP is a specific type of permit that allows you to do specific tasks, such as drive to and from work, or to and from school, or to daycare for your children.
For many people, a lack of a driver’s license completely throws their life out of control, a RDP, or hardship license, allows them to continue to live their lives while they are waiting for the suspension or revocation to be lifted.
Your informal or formal hearing is where you will be able to make the case for why you need a RDP.
There are a variety of reasons why you would need to have a RDP, but you will have to be able to prove those reasons at your hearing. A driver's license reinstatement lawyer can help show you how to provide proof of your hardship.
Many people believe that obtaining a RDP is incredibly difficult, or downright impossible, to get, but this is not the case. In fact, there's a good chance you may be approved for one after your initial hearing if you are prepared properly.
That being said, it's still not an overnight process.
Even if you are approved for a RDP, you still have to wait, up to 90 days in some cases, for the final decision to be mailed to you.
All the more reason to be well informed and well prepared.
IL License Reinstatement After a DUI
When your license is suspended or revoked due to a DUI, the process is a little different. A DUI requires more on your part for a reinstatement, including an assessment of your risk level.
There are four different levels of risk:
Your level will be determined by a Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse-licensed provider Uniform Report, and you must do this within six months of your formal hearing.
For minimal risk, you must complete a Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA)-licensed alcohol/drug remedial education class.
For moderate risk, you must complete the class and provide proof of early intervention.
For significant risk, you must complete the class and provide proof that you completed 20 hours alcohol treatment and 12 hours of aftercare.
For high risk, you must do all of the above, as well as provide letters from those involved in your recovery programs (and outside sources) showing that you are making the effort to stay sober and have a solid support system.
What You Can Do in the Meantime
Life goes on no matter what you do, and you still need to get around.
In the meantime, while going through the reinstatement process, there are a few ways you can continue life as normal:
- Ask for rides
- Use taxi services
- Use public transportation
Not all of these are possible for everyone, but it's time to get creative. The last thing you want is to significantly increase your suspension time, or even worse, driving on a suspended or revoked license.
So, it's time to think outside of your normal routine and look for other ways of getting around town.
Seeking Help for Illinois Driver's License Reinstatement
As you can see, the road to reinstating your Illinois driver's license is not impossible, but not necessarily easy or quick.
There are a lot of different factors to consider. For example, not only do you need to set up your initial informal or formal hearing, but you need to know how to prove hardship and it is your burden to prove that you will no longer be a danger to the public safety.
You also will need to understand the fees associated with what can happen while going through the process.
A driver's license reinstatement lawyer can not only help you through this process and show that you're serious about reinstatement. Contact us right away to see how we can help you with the process!