LICENSE REINSTATEMENT

License suspensions are the most common sanction imposed in relationship to drunk driving. The primary purpose is to deter drunk drivers and to protect the public roadways from repeat offenders. Depending on an individual’s prior record, licenses can be suspended for a determined period of time or revoked indefinitely. License suspensions are automatically reinstated at the end of the suspension period with the payment of a reinstatement fee. An individual receiving a license revocation must apply for a driver’s license at the conclusion of the revocation period. The suspension reinstatement process is a fairly simple procedure so long as all of the terms and conditions of the reinstatement have been met. However, the application process for attempting to obtain a new license after a revocation is a lengthy and difficult process which often requires attending a final hearing on your application. These hearings typically take place at the individual state capital before an Administrative Judge representing the State. There are very specific qualifications to be met prior to being approved to receive a new license after a revocation. The process can be somewhat confusing for those not familiar with the administrative procedures when applying for a new license post-revocation. Our attorneys can aid you in your effort to effectively apply for your driver’s license after the revocation period has concluded.

License Reinstatement FAQs

What is the difference between a suspension and revocation?
How difficult is it to get my license back?
How do I prove that I am not a risk to the public safety?
What are the different risk classifications?
Why would I be denied driving relief after a hearing?
Do I need to have a lawyer represent me?
Where will my hearing be held?

What is the difference between a suspension and revocation?

A suspension is the temporary loss of driving privileges for a specified period of time. At the end of the period of suspension, a person may be reinstated by paying the required reinstatement fee.

A revocation is the indefinite loss of driving privileges. There is no automatic reinstatement after the period of revocation runs. Instead, a person becomes eligible for reinstatement and cannot drive until appearing before the Secretary of State and being granted driving privileges.

How difficult is it to get my license back?

The rules of the Secretary of State’s office are highly complex and unfortunately result in denials of most applications. It is highly recommended that anyone seeking driving relief after a revocation seek professional legal help.

You must prove to the Secretary of State that you are not a risk to the public safety. You as the petitioner have the burden of showing this factor. You must demonstrate to the that you are not a risk. The more driving offenses you have on your record, the more difficult this process becomes.

How do I prove that I am not a risk to the public safety?

As part of the reinstatement process you will need to obtain and Alcohol /Drug Evaluation/Uniform report or a Uniform Report Update. The State will consider this alcohol/drug evaluation/uniform report and any treatment documentation completed by you through a State-licensed program. The State will also review any character reference letters you provide and will give you the opportunity to testify before a Secretary of State hearing officer.

The evaluation and your testimony should mirror those issues found in the facts and circumstances of your DUI arrest(s), past and prior drinking/usage patterns, intoxication levels, the results of any alcohol/drug breath, blood or urine test(s), reasons for the continued usage and whether your treatment adequately addressed any underlying reasons for alcohol and/or drug abuse.

*Note* – Never throw out an evaluation, discharge report, continuing care plan/status report or any other documentation that was utilized or produced as part of your evaluation or treatment. If you cannot provide proof to the Secretary of State that you completed treatment previously, you will have to do it all over again to have a hearing.

What are the different risk classifications?

Individuals must be placed within one of the five risk classifications that the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) has created before applying for driving relief. The different classifications generally defined are as follows:

 

“Minimal Risk” means the classification resulting from an alcohol and drug evaluation assigned to a petitioner who has:

no prior conviction or court ordered supervisions for DUI, BUI or SUI, no prior statutory summary suspensions, and no prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI; and

a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than .15 as a result of the most current arrest for DUI; and

no other symptoms of substance abuse or dependence.  (See 77 Ill. Adm. Code 2060.503(g).)

This definition applies to offenses that are committed in other states as well as in Illinois, and regardless of whether the offense has been recorded to the offender’s Illinois criminal or driving record.

“Moderate Risk” means the classification resulting from an alcohol and drug evaluation assigned to a petitioner who has:

no prior conviction or court-ordered supervisions for DUI, BUI or SUI, and no prior statutory summary suspensions, and no prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI; and

a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 to .19 or a refusal of chemical testing as a result of the most current arrest for DUI; and

no other symptoms of substance abuse or dependence.  (See 77 Ill. Adm. Code 2060.503(g).)

This definition applies to offenses that are committed in other states as well as in Illinois, and regardless of whether the offense has been recorded to the offender’s Illinois criminal or driving record.

“Significant Risk” means the classification resulting from an alcohol and drug evaluation assigned to a petitioner who has:

one prior conviction or court-ordered supervision for DUI, BUI or SUI, one prior statutory summary suspension, or one prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI; and/or

a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .20 or higher as a result of the most current arrest for DUI; and/or

other symptoms of substance abuse.  (See 77 Ill. Adm. Code 2060.503(g).)

This definition applies to offenses that are committed in other states as well as in Illinois, and regardless of whether the offense has been recorded to the offender’s Illinois criminal or driving record.

High Risk” means the classification resulting from an alcohol and drug evaluation assigned to a petitioner with either:

symptoms of substance dependence (regardless of driving record), referred to in this Part as High Risk Dependent.  This classification shall be assigned to a petitioner who has experienced the required number of symptoms within any 12 month period, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and regardless of whether the petitioner has attained a sustained period of remission/abstinence at the time that the evaluation is conducted; and/or

within the 10 year period prior to the date of the most current (third or subsequent) arrest, any combination of two prior convictions or court ordered supervisions for DUI, BUI or SUI, or prior statutory summary suspensions, or prior reckless driving convictions reduced from DUI, resulting from separate incidents, referred to in this Part as High Risk Nondependent.  (See 77 Ill. Adm. Code 2060.503(g).)  This definition applies to offenses that are committed in other states as well as in Illinois, and regardless of whether the offense has been recorded to the offender’s Illinois driving record.

 

TITLE 92: TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER II: SECRETARY OF STATE
PART 1001 PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS
SECTION 1001.410 DEFINITIONS

Why would I be denied driving relief after a hearing?

The Secretary of State has adopted multifaceted and highly technical rules. The failure to comply with any of these rules may result in a denial of driving relief.

Many of these hearings are contested. At a formal hearing, you are placed under oath and subject to cross-examination by a representative from the Secretary of State. You are also further subjected to questioning by a hearing officer. If your testimony is inconsistent with the information contained in your alcohol/drug evaluation you may be denied. If your testimony does not satisfy the hearing officer and he/she thinks you are not being truthful, you may be denied. If your testimony is inconsistent with your arrest history, chemical testing results or other historical information you may also be denied.

Do I need to have a lawyer represent me?

You are not required to have a lawyer represent you as you go through the hearing process. However, it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney who is experienced.

We will obtain and review your driving record, arrest history, your complete alcohol/drug use history, and (if applicable) obtain and review all of your prior hearing records. We order your entire file from the Secretary of State before we even begin the application process.

We will provide you with detailed written instructions as to the specific steps to follow in order to prepare for your hearing after receiving your file from the Secretary of State. We will directly address any issues or potential problems with your evaluator or treatment provider and make sure they are resolved prior to your hearing.

Where will my hearing be held?

Typically, our office conducts Secretary of State hearings at the Howlett Building in Springfield Illinois.

The Springfield Facility.
Howlett Building
501 S 2nd St, Springfield, IL 62701

Otherwise informal hearings are held locally at either the Silvis DMV or the Galesburg DMV.

Addresses are:

2001 5th St #10, Silvis, IL 61282

1066 E Losey St, Galesburg, IL 61401

 

Practicing Attorneys:

Katherine A. Drummond