Feb 23


When a person is convicted of DUI or certain traffic violations in Illinois, he or she may face driver’s license suspension or revocation. During the suspension or revocation period, Illinois prohibits the driver from operating a motor vehicle.

There are certain exceptions to this prohibition, including the restricted driving permit (RDP). In most cases, driver’s license reinstatement is not available until the end of the suspension or revocation period. Additionally, certain drivers face lifetime revocation from which there is no possibility of reinstatement.

Once a driver is eligible for reinstatement, he or she must attend an informal or formal hearing. The outcome of that hearing will determine whether the driver is able to regain driving privileges. The circumstances of the suspension or revocation determine whether the driver can attend an informal or formal hearing.

Informal Hearings

Informal hearings are available on a walk-in basis at numerous Illinois Secretary of State Driver Services facilities across the state. Drivers do not need to schedule an appointment for an informal hearing. Informal hearings are only available to drivers with a single DUI offense or minor traffic violations. Additionally, informal hearings are not available if the driver caused the death of another person.

Formal Hearings

Formal hearings are available by appointment only at specific locations across the state. Drivers must complete several requirements and pay the required fees to schedule a formal hearing. Formal hearings are required for drivers with multiple DUI offenses or an accident that resulted in the death of another person.

Reinstatement Granted

If after the informal or formal hearing the request for reinstatement is granted, several requirements come into play. In order to complete the reinstatement process, the driver must pay the required fees and:

  • Demonstrate financial responsibility with a qualifying insurance liability policy; and
  • Install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) as required by law.

Assuming the driver completes the requirements above, then he or she will receive written authorization for reinstatement by mail. The driver must take the written authorization to the nearest Driver Services facility and take a test to receive a new license.

Reinstatement Denied

If after the informal or formal hearing the request for reinstatement is denied, then there is waiting period. After an unsuccessful informal hearing, the driver must wait 30 days to reapply for reinstatement. After an unsuccessful formal hearing, the driver must wait 90 days to reapply for reinstatement.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.

(image courtesy of Alex Gilliott)