Ticket Fines and Penalties in Illinois
Traffic ticket fines vary throughout Illinois. Typically, each county and municipality sets its own fines.
Check your ticket for information about your costs; most tickets have the information printed on them. Our Lost Traffic Ticket section can help you gather the necessary information if you've misplaced your ticket.
Like traffic ticket fines, court costs and other surcharges vary by location. Your ticket may or may not include this information; if it doesn't, get a heads up by contacting your court.
Likewise, fines related to DUI vary by location. The initial DUI-related fine will depend on where you're ticketed.
For more information on DUI in Illinois, check Chapter Six of the Illinois Rules of the Road.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine
- Potential option to plea bargain and lesser penalties
- Potential option to attend traffic school to avoid the conviction
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates
Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest traffic ticket at a hearing
- Hire an attorney or represent yourself
- Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties
- No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees
- Possibility to attend traffic school to avoid incurring a violation and points on your driving record
Learn more about
Fighting your Traffic Ticket »
Auto Insurance Rate Increase
It's not unusual for an auto insurance company to increase a driver's rates for receiving a traffic violation. Check with your provider any time you get a traffic ticket and:
- Plead guilty, pay the fine, and receive a conviction rather than the opportunity to attend traffic safety school and keep the violation off your record.
- Fight the ticket but receive a guilty verdict.
Both are scenarios that could get you higher auto insurance rates; if either does, shop for lower car insurance rates online.
Illinois traffic fines, court costs, and other related surcharges vary throughout the state, but additional penalties stay the same across the board.
Illinois Point System
Illinois uses a point system, meaning if you are convicted of a traffic violation you will receive a certain number of points on your driving record. The number you receive depends on your violation.
Some drivers can enroll in a traffic safety school per the Northwestern University for Public Safety to reduce points; others, depending on where they received their tickets, can even keep violations off their driving records by enrolling.
Learn more at our Defensive Driving section.
IL Driver's License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation
The SOS will suspend, revoke, or cancel your license for certain violations.
License Suspension: In most cases, suspension is a temporary loss of license. You'll have to pay a fine and wait a specific amount of time until you can get your license back. Less often, but not unheard of, you'll have to satisfy some other requirement, too.
License Revocation: Revocation withdrawals your driving privileges indefinitely. Usually, you can reapply for your license after a minimum of one year, but this is a possibility rather than a standard rule.
License Cancellation: Typically, when Illinois cancels a license, it's for a medical condition-related reason, because the applicant was ineligible or provided false information, or the driver failed to satisfy a re-examination requirement.
The Illinois Rules of the Road provides a complete look at all the ways a driver can lose his license to suspension, revocation, or cancellation. Some traffic violation-related examples include:
- Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
- Failure to obey a railroad-crossing signal.
- Causing a crash in a construction zone.
- Reckless driving.
- Drag racing or street racing.
- DUI or aggravated DUI.
- Refusing to take, or failing, a drug or alcohol test.
Accumulating a certain number of points can lead to license suspension, too. For example, if you accumulate:
- 15 points or more as a 1st time offender (meaning your license hasn't been suspended or revoked during the last 7 years), you could lose your license anywhere from 2 months to 12 months.
- 15 points or more as a repeat offender (meaning your license has been suspended or revoked during the last 7 years), you could lose your license anywhere from 4 months to 12 months.
Check our section on the IL point system for more details.
Penalties for Drivers Younger than 21
Drivers younger than 21 years old often face stiffer penalties. For example, if you're convicted of:
- Violating the nighttime driving restrictions, your license can be suspended.
- An alcohol-related offense, you can lose your license.
- 2 moving violations within 2 years, you can lose your license.
- Any violations during your initial permit phase, your 9 month “conviction-free" period (the one you must complete before you can move on in the GDL process) starts all over.
The Illinois Rules of the Road fully explains requirements, rules, and regulations for drivers younger than 21 years old.
Penalties for Illinois Commercial Drivers
Typically, an Illinois CDL holder must notify his employer within 30 days of receiving a traffic ticket, and the SOS within 30 days of receiving an out-of-state traffic ticket.
When an IL commercial driver loses his CDL for any length of time, Illinois refers to it as “disqualification." This means the CDL holder is disqualified from using his CDL.
Examples of offenses that lead to CDL disqualification include:
- Refusing to submit to chemical testing.
- Any DUI-related conviction, regardless of BAC.
- Leaving the scene of an accident while operating a CMV.
- Committing a felony with a CMV.
- Excessive speeding.
- Reckless driving.
- Following another vehicle too closely.
- Improper lane usage (changing lanes improperly or erratically).
For more information, check Section One of the Illinois Commercial Driver’s License Study Guide.
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