Illinois’s roads get more dangerous every day. More than 39,000 car accidents occurred in Illinois in 2020. The police made almost 6,000 arrests during that year, and hundreds of drivers had their licenses revoked.
License suspensions and revocations help keep roads safe. But losing your Illinois driver’s license can be devastating. If you need to get back on the roads, you need to figure out how to get your license reinstated.
What can you do before you get your license back? What process do you have to go through? Who can you turn to for help?
Answer these questions and you can reclaim your driver’s license. Here are five essential tips for getting your license reinstated.
1. Apply for a Restricted Driving Permit
A Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) lets you drive while your license is suspended or revoked. Driving lawfully on an RDP can help you build a case when you are looking for an Illinois driver’s license renewal. It also prevents your suspension or revocation from affecting your work or personal life.
You may need to show that you have a hardship that requires you to drive. You may need to drive to work or to take care of your relatives.
You may need to provide proof that you have undergone alcohol and drug treatment.
You then must attend a hearing with the Secretary of State. You must show that you do not pose a threat to public safety by driving on an RDP.
If you have multiple alcohol-related driving events on your driving record, you may have to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). You must blow into the BAIID in order to activate your vehicle.
2. Attend Your Hearing
In order to get your driver’s license in Illinois renewed, you must go to a hearing. First-time offenders can receive an informal hearing with a hearing officer at a Drivers Services facility.
During the hearing, you will hand over records of your driving history. You must answer the officer’s questions about your driving history and assert that you are a responsible driver.
If you have had your license revoked before, you may need to request a formal hearing. Formal hearings take place at the Secretary of State’s office, and you must pay a fee to arrange one.
Formal hearings are similar to trials. A prosecutor will attend the hearing and argue that you should not be given your license back. They can cross-examine you and give evidence to a hearing officer.
3. Undergo Drug and Alcohol Evaluations
If you have been convicted of a DUI, you must show that you have undergone a drug and alcohol evaluation before you get your license back. This evaluation also involves looking at your driving history.
You must submit to an interview with an evaluator. They will ask you questions about your driving history, alcohol use, and other details. If your answers do not match the documents you have provided, the evaluator may not recommend that you get your license back.
The evaluator can determine you to be one of four risk levels. If you are at minimal risk, you must complete ten hours of DUI Risk Education courses. The higher the risk you are, the more classes and substance abuse treatment you need to take.
4. Hire an Attorney
You can get an Illinois driver’s license renewal on your own. However, it is extremely difficult, especially if you are going up against a prosecutor in a formal hearing.
You should try to hire an attorney as soon as your license gets revoked. Talk to someone familiar with Illinois driving laws and license suspensions and revocations.
Then ask them to handle the reinstatement process for you. You need to give them the documents you will present in your hearings. They can use those documents to build a case, and they can ask you questions at the hearing.
If your reinstatement request gets denied, you can appeal the process or your lawyer can schedule a second hearing with the Secretary of State and revise their arguments.
Reclaim Your Illinois Driver’s License
Sitting around won’t help you get your Illinois driver’s license. You should apply for a Restricted Driving Permit so you can return to the road. You should request a hearing as soon as possible and submit your necessary paperwork.
Participating in drug and alcohol treatment will help you build a case for yourself. But you must be lawful and you should get help from a lawyer. Your hearing can be difficult, and you need help to defend your driving record.
Help is never far away. The Law Offices of John M. Quinn serves anyone who needs to either get their Illinois driver’s license reinstated or get their Illinois revocation cleared so they can get a driver’s license out of state . Contact us today for a free consultation.