What to Do if Your License is Suspended/Revoked in Another State

A driver's license in the United States can become suspended/revoked for many reasons. An individual may face a suspension/revocation due to too many speeding tickets, or for driving under the influence. Suspension/revocation may be the result of leaving the scene of an accident or assaulting another motorist.

Whatever the reason, a suspended/revoked license can prove to be a huge obstacle in an individual's life, making it difficult to work and socialize. Suspension/revocation sometimes occurs months after an initial incident, making it hard to plan for.

A lot can change in this amount of time, and you may even find yourself in a different state by the time your license is suspended/revoked. What happens then? Is your license suspended/revoked in another state, or just the state of origin? Matters can get confusing quickly.

If you are confused as to what to do if you have moved to Illinois with a suspended/revoked license from another state, follow these guidelines.

Does a Suspension/Revocation Follow You?

It is tempting to believe that if you switch states, you may be able to wipe the slate clean and begin driving again. This is unfortunately not true.

Thanks to the Driver's License Compact, your driving record will follow you anywhere you go in the United States, including Illinois. The DLC is an interstate agreement that facilitates the exchange of information between states. This means that your traffic violations, suspensions, and revocations are clear and easy for another state's licensing agency - to find.

Under the compact, you will still be held accountable for all traffic offenses regardless of the state they took place in. Exceptions are limited but include offenses for tinted windows and parking tickets, depending on location.

What this means is, if you have a license suspended/revoked in one state, it will not be possible for you to get an Illinois driver’s license until that other state’s suspension/revocation terminates. This means you will be unable to apply for a new license in Illinois .

When an individual applies for a driver's license, the DMV checks to see if the name already exists in the National Driver's Register. The Register contains a list of all individuals who have had their licenses suspended or revoked. If you've been suspended/revoked, you won't be able to apply for a state license until your suspension/revocation in the other state has ended.

Exception to the Rule

There are a few small instances where a driving suspension/revocation can be rescinded- by simply paying an outstanding traffic ticket, or showing a judge that you have auto insurance. These cases are exceptions to the rule and are not indicative of most suspension/revocation cases. If you're unsure about the options you have in regards to your license, you should contact an attorney to see what they can do for you.

What to Do If You Have a License Suspended/Revoked in another State

Once you have made the big step to move out of state, you are likely going to want to start driving again and get your new life moving.

Unfortunately, if your driver's license is suspended/revoked, there is little you can do to get around the suspension/revocation. It is likely you already had an opportunity to plead your case against the charges prior to the suspension/revocation. The suspension /revocation of your license is the result of a guilty charge, and with few exceptions, there is no arguing the charge now.

You should take a close look at the license suspension/revocation notice you received from the previous state. There should be a timeline and instructions for reinstating your license included.

Requirements for driver’s license reinstatement will depend on the severity of charges. Typically, it will involve a block of time where driving is completely forbidden, followed by a fee paid for reinstatement of driving privileges. In certain cases, you may have to re-take a driver's license test and prove your aptitude. If you have a DUI license suspension, a class on substance abuse may be required.

You may also be required to outfit your vehicle with an ignition interlock system. This is a system that requires you to blow into a breathalyzer in order to start your vehicle's engine.

The most important thing you can do while facing suspension/revocation is obey the law. Ignoring a license suspension or revocation and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is a serious offense. Your suspension could be extended significantly, and you could even end up in jail.

In some cases, you may be allowed to apply for a hardship license. A hardship driver's license is a license that allows you to drive to work and/or school etc. The specific instructions on how to apply for a restricted license should be included in your initial letter from the state.

If you do receive a restricted license, it is equally important that you use it to drive only in your allotted times. Failure to do so can result in serious penalties and jail time.

Still Confused About Your License Status?

If you have a driver’s license suspension/revocation in another state, it can seriously disrupt your life. A suspension/revocation can be a huge obstacle in attempting to navigate work and family. It can be even more difficult when trying to handle the problem once you move to Illinois.

Inter-state driving rights can be a confusing matter. If you require assistance or have legal needs relating to suspended/revoked license, contact us any time for a free consultation. We are here for you.