Our team at Chicago Traffic Lawyers can offer the legal advice to get your license reinstated if it has been suspended or revoked. If you have a conviction for a DUI that has resulted in a license revocation we can also help you prepare for your meeting with the hearing officer of the secretary of state. Let’s read more about the cost to get a revoked license back.
Many cases for license reinstatement are simple to manage, but some can be quite tricky. Regardless of the complexity of your particular case, we have the experience and dedication to provide you with the best legal counsel for your situation. Don’t take any chances with your driving status. Call us today to get started reinstating your driving privileges.
Table of Contents
Has Your License Been Suspended or Revoked?
While the two may seem the same at first there are differences between suspension and revocation of a license. A suspension has a defined time period before ending. Common suspension times last 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months. You may need to pay a reinstatement fee at the end of the suspension period to have their license returned.
These are some of the common causes of a license suspension:
- Too many traffic tickets in the past 12 months
- Failing to pay traffic tickets
- Failing to show for a required court appearance
- Additional license suspension from a Driving With License Suspended (DWL) conviction
- A recent DUI arrest
A license revocation has no defined time period. Your license will be taken with no date scheduled for its return.
Here are some common causes of a license revocation:
- A conviction for a DUI
- Certain criminal convictions
Remember that your license may be suspended or revoked for multiple reasons. All of the issues resulting in you losing your license must be handled before you can recover your license or before you can be made eligible for a hearing.
Learn More: Chicago Traffic Lawyer
Look Over Your Driving Record
You can get your Illinois Secretary of State Court Purposes Driving Abstract for the most effective way of reviewing your driving record. The abstract will cost you $12 at your local DMV or your traffic attorney can get a copy.
You can find 3 important pieces of information on the driving abstract:
- Your current license status will tell you whether your license has been suspended or revoked
- The reason for the suspension or revocation will be listed
- The date on which your license may be reinstated or you will be eligible for a hearing
The driving abstract can sometimes be difficult to read. If you have trouble interpreting yours, you should hire an attorney to help guide you through it and explain the steps you will need to take to recover your license.
How Do I Fix My License Suspension
If your Chicago license is suspended, you generally have two options:
1) Wait until the end of the minimum period of your suspension until your license may be reinstated
2) If possible, challenge and undo the cause of the suspension
Depending on the reason behind the suspension you may be able to eliminate your suspension altogether.
Too Many Traffic Tickets
If you are a driver over the age of 21, receiving 3 traffic tickets within a 12 month period will result in license suspension. Drivers under the age of 21 will have their license suspended for 2 convictions in a 24 month window. The length of the suspension will depend on the seriousness of the offenses. You may further be required to complete a remedial education program to have your driving privileges reinstated. If this is required it will be indicated on the suspension notice.
You may be able to file a Motion to Vacate the conviction depending on the county, date of the offense, and the way in which the ticket was handled. A successful filing will reopen the case. If your traffic lawyer can get your case overturned you may avoid the conviction, which could put you under the suspension threshold and see your license returned.
Failing to Pay Tickets
The Illinois Secretary of State may revoke your license if the County Clerk notifies them of unpaid fines or fees levied against you. In this case simply paying the fine and asking the Clerk to update your status is often enough to end the suspension. If there are other issues facing you, or the fines you must pay are too large, you may benefit from retaining the legal services of an experienced traffic attorney to reopen the case.
Failing to Appear in Court
If you fail to appear in court for a ticket that requires it you may receive a Failure to Appear on file. The Secretary of State will also be notified and may choose to suspend your license. Filing a Motion to Vacate is usually the only way to fix a Failure to Appear suspension. Your attorney is often able to appear on your behalf in the subsequent case and may be able to avoid a conviction and reduce any fines you might face. Your driver’s license suspension will be lifted if the Failure to Appear is removed from your record.
Further Suspension for a DWLS Conviction
You will be charged with Driving While License Suspended if you are caught driving with a suspended license. This is may result in additional license suspension as well as a criminal charge.
What Can I Do to Get My License Back?
Getting your license reinstated can have different requirements based on your individual circumstances. The process can depend on the reason for your initial suspension/revocation in addition to other factors including your driving history. In most cases an active suspension is easily cleared up:
- You will have to pay a reinstatement fee
- You will need to meet any specific requirements set for you by the court
- Getting your revoked license restored can be a bit more involved, and require more steps. Some of the possible requirements are:
- Have a clear driving record.
- Completion of an alcohol or drug education program will be required if your revocation involved either. The ruling on your particular case may also require you to attend an ongoing support program.
- Depending on your drug abuse history you may be required to attend DUI risk education. Proof of drug treatment will have to be submitted after you meet the minimum hours assigned for your DUI risk education.
- Meet with an impartial hearing officer for the secretary of state. These can further be broken down into two types of hearings:
- Informal Hearings. You may resolve the issue through an informal hearing for reinstatement if the motor vehicle offense leading to your license suspension or revocation did not involve a fatality, or if this is your first DUI. An informal hearing is conducted by an impartial hearing officer at a regional Driver Services facility. A successful hearing can result in reinstatement of your driving privileges or in the issuance of a restricted driving permit. You will receive the decision in the mail after all documents from the license hearing have been submitted. The hearing process is much more involved for a subsequent suspension.
- Formal Hearings. Multiple offenders, or those involved in a fatality, will have to submit a written request through the mail, pay a nonrefundable $50 application fee and attend a formal hearing. Formal hearings are presided over by a hearing officer, who will hear testimony and observe documented evidence. They are authorized to rule on all motions, administer oaths, subpoena witnesses or documents, examine witnesses, and rule on the admissibility of evidence throughout the entire process. The hearing officer will consider the seriousness of the offense and the overall driving record in determining whether the driver will be a threat to public safety. Formal hearings are available at facilities in Chicago, Springfield, Joliet, and Mount Vernon. Failure to attend a scheduled hearing will result in a 90 day hold on further hearing eligibility, and you will be required to pay another nonrefundable filing fee to schedule one in the future.
- Filing proof of financial responsibility
- Paying the reinstatement and application fees
- Passing a written license exam, a vision exam, and a driving exam
Regardless of the type, your license reinstatement will only be valid when the Secretary of State’s office has updated your record at the end of your suspension or revocation period.
How Do I Pay My Reinstatement Fee?
You can pay your reinstatement fee online. You will need to enter your license number, full name, date of birth, gender, and the last 4 digits of your social security number to access your bill. If you choose not to pay online you can pay over the phone or in person.
Get an Experienced Traffic Attorney
If you have had your license suspended or revoked, a knowledgeable traffic lawyer can help you navigate the different hurdles to getting it reinstated. If your conviction involved a DUI we can help you prepare for your hearing with the secretary of state.
Driving is a necessary day-to-day activity for us. A loss of driving privileges can cause any number of complications. Whether you need help filing your application for reinstatement, preparing for an administrative hearing, or simply have detailed questions about your legal situation, we have the expertise and drive to get the best possible result for you. Call a traffic ticket lawyer in Chicago today to begin the process of reinstating your driver’s license.