Suspended License in Illinois
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Driver's License Suspensions in Illinois
In Illinois, your driver's license can be suspended or revoked by the IL Secretary of State (SOS) for several reasons, including not paying your traffic tickets, having too many traffic violations, failing to pay child support, and more.
Suspensions and revocations both mean you've lost your driving privileges, but suspensions have an end date and revocations represent the loss of your driving privileges indefinitely.
Read more to lean about Illinois driver's license suspensions, reinstatement, DUI revocations, and fees.
When your driver's license is suspended, you will be given a written notice from the Illinois SOS requiring you to surrender your license.
Reasons for Your License Suspension
In Illinois, the SOS can suspend your driving privileges for the following offenses:
- Traffic violations – 3 moving violations within 12 months.
- If you need to review a list of your traffic violations you can order your Illinois driving record.
- Failure to appear in court for a traffic citation or otherwise resolve the issue before your court date.
- Parking violations –10 unpaid parking violations or more.
- Automated traffic violations – You will have your license suspended if you have been photographed running a red light 5 times or more and have not paid your violations.
- Failure to pay child support. – Under the “Deadbeats Don't Drive" Act, you can have your license suspended for non-payment of court-ordered child support.
- Tollway violations –Your license may be suspended for failure to pay fines for 5 toll violations or more.
- Safety responsibility violations – If the SOS finds you to be at fault for a car accident while driving without car insurance, you face a suspension of up to 2 years.
- DUI – Your license can be suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance (or for being impaired by medication).
- For more information, please see the “DUI Revocations" section below.
NOTE: You may face additional penalties imposed by the court system in addition to those imposed by the IL SOS.
Driving with a Suspended License
Convictions of driving with a suspended license can lead to:
- An increase in the length of your suspension.
- Possible revocation of your license.
- Jail time.
- Seizure of your car.
Check Your License Status
Your IL driving record is a picture of your driving history in the state and shows everything from moving violations to your license status (i.e., valid, suspended, or revoked).
It's always smart to monitor your record – even if your license status is valid – because it can affect your car insurance rates, and sometimes even your employment if you drive on the job.
The SOS requires either an informal or formal hearing for all Illinois drivers facing license suspension.
A hearing will result in either the restoration of your driving privileges, the granting of a restricted driver permit (see “Restricted Driving Permits" below), or the denial of your driving privileges.
Please see “Reinstating Your License" below for more details on the types of hearings and requirements.
To have your suspended Illinois driver's license reinstated, you will have to participate in an informal or formal hearing with a Secretary of State hearing officer.
To request an informal or formal hearing, you must first have a consultation with a SOS hearing officer to assess your eligibility and guide you towards further action. Contact any Hearing Officer Facility Location for more information on scheduling a consultation.
You may request an informal hearing with an informal hearing officer IF your driver's license was suspended for:
- An offense that did not involve a fatality.
- A single DUI offense.
- Penalties handed down for minor moving violations.
To request an informal hearing, contact any hearing officer facility location.
Your hearing may result in a granting of a restricted driving permit (see “Restricted Driving Permits" below) or full reinstatement of your driver's license. The final decision will be mailed to you within 90 days.
You must have a formal hearing IF your driver's license has been suspended for:
- An offense involving a fatality.
- Multiple DUI offenses.
You may only request a formal hearing by mail. To do so:
- Complete a Formal Hearing Request (form DAH H 12).
- Mail the form to the address of the location where you wish to have your hearing. Each address is listed on the Formal Hearing Request (form DAH H 12).
- Provide payment for the $50 filing fee with one of the following payment methods:
- Check or money order payable to “Secretary of State".
- Credit card (a $2 processing fee will apply).
Upon receiving your hearing request and fee payment, the SOS will mail you a Notice of Hearing with your scheduled hearing date.
- If you do not speak English, you are responsible for bringing in your own interpreter to your hearing.
- If you are hearing impaired, you can request that the Secretary of State provide a sign language interpreter.
Your hearing may result in a granting of a restricted driving permit, denial of reinstatement, or full reinstatement of your license. Results will be mailed to you within 90 days after your hearing. Results will NOT be given by phone.
NOTE: When you go in for your hearing, remember that you must show a valid photo ID when entering a state building. Acceptable photo ID includes:
- Driver's license.
- State-issued ID card.
If you are unable to provide photo ID, bring your Notice of Hearing and another form of ID, such as your:
- Social Security card.
- Voter registration card.
- Credit card.
If an informal or formal hearing results in the restoration of your full driving privileges, you will be required to take additional steps to have your license reinstated.
To reinstate your license, you must provide the SOS with the following:
- Proof of insurance.
- Fee payment.
- (See “Fees for Suspended IL Licenses" below.)
If your driver's license is being reinstated after your second DUI conviction, you will be required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your car.
The BAIID tests your breath and will not allow you to start your car if alcohol is detected.
Reinstatement of Revoked Licenses
If your license is revoked for any reason, you CANNOT apply for reinstatement for at least 1 year.
If you are convicted of a criminal DUI in Illinois, your driver's license will be revoked.
A revocation of your license is an indefinite loss of your driving privileges. Remember, if your driver's license is revoked for any reason (including a DUI conviction), you cannot apply for a new license for at least 1 year.
The minimum length of your DUI-related revocation depends on the number of offenses for which you are convicted and the specific circumstances surrounding your arrest and conviction:
- 1st offense: 1-year revocation.
- 2nd offense in 20 years: 5-year revocation.
- 3rd offense: 10-year revocation.
- 4th offense (and any subsequent offenses): Lifetime revocation.
Please note that DUI convictions may result in additional criminal penalties imposed by the court.
Statutory Summary Suspensions
If you are pulled over and arrested for drinking and driving in Illinois, you are subject to a statutory summary suspension of your driver's license by the SOS, whether or not you end up being criminally convicted for a DUI.
The arresting officer will request that you submit to chemical testing. If you refuse to take the chemical test, you automatically face license suspension for up to 1 year, depending on the number of offense.
If you submit to the testing and are found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you face suspension up to 3 years, depending on the number of offense.
Statutory suspensions are effective on the 46th day from the date of the notice of suspension.
You might be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) that allows you to drive a vehicle installed with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAAID) if you are under a summary suspension. You can be issued an MDDP through your formal hearing.
For more information regarding DUI and related penalties, please visit our IL DUI page.
DUI-Specific Reinstatement Requirements
To have your driver's license reinstated after a DUI conviction or a summary suspension, you must complete an alcohol/drug evaluation by a Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse-licensed provider within 6 months of your reinstatement hearing.
Your evaluation will classify you as minimal risk, moderate/significant risk, or high risk.
Depending on your risk level, you will have to take the following additional steps before having your license reinstated:
- Minimal risk:
- Complete a Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA)-licensed alcohol/drug remedial education class.
- Moderate risk:
- Complete a DASA-licensed drug/alcohol education course.
- Provide proof of early intervention.
- Significant risk:
- Complete a DASA-licensed drug/alcohol education course.
- Provide proof of entering recommended alcohol treatment.
- Provide continuing care status report.
- High risk:
- Take all above steps for “significant risk."
- If you are non-dependent, you must provide a clinical explanation why you are considered non-dependent.
- If you are dependent, you must:
- Provide 3 letters from members of your recovery program confirming your participation.
- Provide 3 letters from independent sources confirming your abstinence from alcohol/drugs.
For more information on DASA-approved courses, contact the Department of Human Services helpline at (800) 843-6154.
You may be able to apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) while your license is suspended or revoked.
An RDP allows you to drive:
- During certain times of day.
- In certain designated areas.
To apply for an RDP, you must go through the same informal/formal hearing process described in “Reinstate Your IL Driver's License" above.
During your consultation, you must show that you need to drive for at least one of the following reasons:
- Medical appointments, daycare, or school for:
- A child.
- A family member.
- An elderly person.
- A person with disability.
- An alcohol awareness class (if your license has been revoked due to DUI).
NOTE: Meeting the above criteria does not automatically make you eligible for an RDP.
You will not be eligible for an RDP during a summary suspension. However, you may be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. (See “DUI Revocations" above.)
Your reinstatement fee depends on the reason for your license suspension:
- $70 for:
- Failure to appear in court.
- Failure to pay child support.
- Parking suspensions.
- Safety responsibility suspensions.
- Tollway suspensions.
- $100 for not having the minimum required Illinois car insurance.
- $250 for:
- Statutory Summary Suspension – 1st offense.
- $500 for:
- Statutory Summary Suspension – 2nd offense and subsequent suspensions.
- $500 for any revocation including DUI-related revocations.
You can pay by mail through check, cashier's check, or money order payable to the Secretary of State to:
Secretary of State
Driver Service Department
2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62723
You can also pay by phone with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card by calling 217-785-8619.
Rules for CDL suspensions can differ from standard driver's license rules, with most regulations being harsher for commercial drivers.
Common reasons for CDL disqualifications include:
- Hit-and-run accidents.
- Committing a felony while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
- The use of a commercial vehicle for transportation of illegal substances.
For more information, visit our Illinois Commercial Drivers section.