Everybody makes mistakes. Some of our earlier, naïve mistakes may have led our licenses to be suspended as a consequence. A revoked license is used as more long-term punitive measures for the offense you may have committed.
Almost all of us have made some mistakes when driving in the past. But everybody deserves a second chance, right? Well, not necessarily. The law only gives you a second chance if you prove that you have changed for the better and will not be repeating your mistakes.
Your license and driving privileges are only revoked in very serious conditions, and it is not that easy to get it back. If you want to try to attain your license back, you might have a lot of documentation to submit, and assure the authorities that you are not a risk to others or yourself on the road. It is strongly advised that you enlist the help of a lawyer to assist you in ensuring that you have met all the conditions and criteria to qualify you for applying for your reinstated license.
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Difference between A License Suspension and Revocation
Is your driver license suspended or revoked? Though many might use the term interchangeably, the two are certainly not the same things in the eyes of the law. A suspended license is much easier to get back than a revoked one.
For minor offenses on the road, authorities can suspend your license for a limited period of time as a punitive measure. The license suspension may range from a month to a year, depending on the severity of the offense. A suspended license is automatically reinstated when the suspension period is over, and the driver can get their license back without any further criteria being met.
However, in case of serious offenses such as a recurring offense or an accident that resulted in someone’s death, licenses are not merely suspended, they are indefinitely revoked, taking away all driving rights of the person for an unstated period of time. A revoked license is not automatically reinstated, but rather has to be requested after a certain length of time. Your request must be accompanied by documentation that proves that you tried to remedy your mistake, and did everything suggested by the authorities, such as attending a DUI program and financial responsibility papers. There are re-issuance fees and fines as well to submit before you are eligible to be considered for reinstatement. Even so, your request may be rejected if you are deemed unsafe on the road still.
Is it Possible?
Getting a revoked license back is pretty complex, but it is not impossible. Not in most circumstances, at least. If you make a good case of how you have tried your best to remedy your mistakes, put in the effort to ensure a repeat does not occur, and fulfill all the conditions that are pre-determined for the kind of offense you made, your application may get approved, and your driving rights may be restored. The right legal help can also ensure that you have covered all your bases and are sending in a fool-proof application.
Why Was Your License Revoked?
Perhaps the most important question you must take into account when trying to get your license back is why it was revoked in the first place. The most common reasons for license revocation:
- Driving under Influence (DUI)
- A Mental or Physical Condition
- Driving a motor vehicle accident and not having Insurance
- Failure to Appear in Court for A traffic misconduct
- Failure to Pay Child Support
All of these are offenses that may result in your driver’s license being revoked. However, there are predetermined criteria that once you fulfill, you can get possession of your license and driving rights after you complete the mandatory waiting period. The conditions include getting car insurance, paying traffic tickets, paying fines and fees, and completing a DUI treatment program.
How Long Before You Can Get It Back?
Most sentences would have a specific period of time of ‘mandatory suspension.’ This means that even if you fulfill all other criteria to apply for a reinstatement of your license, you must wait for this mandatory period of time before you can get your license back.
How soon you can get your license back depends on the offense you committed, the damage you cause, and whether you are a repeat offender or not.
For example, one of the most common reasons for a license revocation is driving while intoxicated. The following are the revocation periods for the number of offenses.
- One conviction for DUI means the revocation of the license for a minimum of 1 year.
- Two convictions for DUI means a minimum of a 5-year revocation if the two offenses occurred within 20 years of each other. If these offenses occurred more than 20 years apart, 1 year of revocation, at minimum, will be imposed.
- In the case of three different DUI convictions, irrespective of the time period they occurred in, will result in a 10-year revocation at a minimum.
- A lifetime revocation will be imposed in the case of 4 DUI convictions or more.
What is a Lifetime Revocation?
There is no guarantee that your revoked license can be obtained back at all – if you have been sentenced with a lifetime revocation, chances are you will NEVER get your license back, no matter how many years pass and whatever you try to do. The lifetime revocation is not dished out casually.
It is mostly reserved for repeat offenders who continue making the same mistake over and over, despite suspensions and warnings. When the judge sees that such a person has no hope of ever improving their conduct and will continue being a nuisance and danger to everyone on the road, the big decision of a lifetime revocation is made.
How to Get Back Your Revoked License?
For most offenses, if you follow the rules and fulfill the mentioned criteria for your offense, you can get your revoked license after the mandatory period has passed.
Know the Reason for Suspension
Be very clear on what your offense was that led to your license being revoked. Since all offenses have slightly different criteria that have to be met for you to be eligible to get your license back, know what offense you should be looking under.
Fulfill all the conditions for Revocation
The criteria are listed down for each type of offense that led to your revocation. Check with a lawyer or authorities if you are unclear about exactly what you need to do.
Prepare and Submit Documents
You will need to present documentation to prove that you have indeed fulfilled the criteria. Compile your financial responsibility papers, traffic tickets, and other forms and submit them. Someone will review your application and make a decision on whether to reissue your license back or not.
Legal Help Can Make All the Difference
Strong legal counsel is necessary if you truly wish to get your revoked license back. Talk to a Chicago Traffic Lawyer who is well-versed in traffic laws and has experience with getting people back their revoked licenses. Not only will the attorney help you by reviewing your documents and applications, but they will also guide you about what you can do if your request is rejected. The team at our Chicago traffic law firm deals with revoked licenses on a daily basis and could have valuable advice to give. Contact us for a FREE consultation to discuss your options for getting your license back.