In Illinois, 83.9% of the driving-age population has a license. No doubt, the ability to drive is a crucial aspect of modern life. It allows individuals to commute to work, run errands, and attend important appointments.
Yet, certain circumstances, such as traffic tickets or a DUI conviction, can result in the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. Fortunately, Illinois provides an option for individuals facing such situations.
The Illinois hardship license (also known as a hardship permit in Illinois) isn’t the same as license reinstatement. However, it allows individuals to drive to certain places so they can maintain a normal routine.
If you or someone you know may benefit from a hardship license, keep reading this article. In it, we’ll explain more about the purpose of this permit. We’ll also review eligibility requirements, the application process, and its limitations.
The Purpose of the Illinois Hardship Permit
Difficulties stem from license suspension and revocation. At the same time, those who have lost their license may pose a threat to public safety. The purpose of the hardship permit is to strike a balance between these two problems.
To receive a hardship permit, individuals must prove that their inability to drive causes significant consequences. Some possible scenarios in which a hardship permit may be granted include:
- Need to commute to work or school
- Limited access to essential services, such as medical care
- Inability to fulfill personal or family obligations
Making allowances for individuals who are trying to fulfill their responsibilities can also benefit their family and the community long-term. By educating themselves and getting treatment, they are more likely to be rehabilitated. And, by facilitating employment, their families don’t suffer as severe of consequences.
Limitations of the Hardship Permit
While the Illinois hardship permit provides a lifeline to individuals facing license suspension or revocation, it does so with a focus on public safety. Those who qualify must follow strict restrictions. This keeps the public safe and reduces the risk of accidents on the road.
The hardship permit restricts driving to specific hours. For example, it may allow for driving to and from work. It is crucial to adhere to these hours to avoid further legal consequences.
Likewise, hardship locations only permit drivers to go to specific destinations, such as:
- Medical appointments
- Court-ordered programs
Deviating from these authorized locations can result in penalties. This prevents individuals from using their privileges for activities that could compromise public safety.
Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID)
In cases of DUI convictions, the Secretary of State’s Office may require the installation of a BAIID in your vehicle. This device measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If it detects alcohol, it prevents the vehicle from starting.
This measure aims to deter drunk driving and protect both the driver and other road users.
Compliance with Conditions
Individuals must adhere to all conditions regarding their hardship permit. If they do not, they will have their hardship permit revoked. This could result in further suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
To be eligible for an Illinois hardship permit, you must meet specific criteria.
- Have a revoked or suspended Illinois driver’s license
- Be at least 18years old
- Demonstrate a legitimate need for a hardship permit
If you can check all the boxes, you are eligible to apply for a hardship permit. We recommend seeking the help of an experienced law firm to improve your chances of a positive outcome. They can guide you and ensure you are ready for the application process.
Applying for an Illinois hardship permit involves several steps. Here is a general overview of the process.
1. Obtain Required Documentation
You’ll need to collect certain documentation before you can apply. This includes:
- A completed application form
- A formal hearing request (if applicable)
- Any supporting documents to justify your need for a hardship permit
Supporting documents can include employment verification, school enrollment records, or medical records.
2. Schedule a Formal Hearing (if applicable)
If your license was suspended or revoked due to certain offenses, such as a DUI conviction, you may need to schedule a formal hearing with the Secretary of State’s Office. During the hearing, you will present your case. You’ll also provide supporting evidence for obtaining a hardship permit.
3. Pay Required Fees (if applicable)
There is an application fee for a formal hearing ($50.00). You’ll have to pay it and any extra fees before your formal hearing. These fees are non-refundable .
4. Attend the Hearing
If you have a formal hearing scheduled, attend the hearing. Present your case before an administrative hearing officer. Provide all necessary documents and provide a compelling argument for why you should be granted a hardship permit.
5. Complete the Driver’s License Examination
Upon approval of your hardship permit, you may need to complete a driver’s license examination. This might include written and road tests.
Get Help Obtaining Your Illinois Hardship Permit
The Illinois hardship permit provides a lifeline for individuals facing license suspension or revocation due to traffic tickets or DUI convictions. By following the outlined eligibility requirements, completing the necessary application process, and adhering to the limitations and conditions of the hardship permit, individuals can regain limited driving privileges while they work towards restoring their regular driver’s license.
It’s crucial to consult with an attorney or seek legal advice to navigate the process effectively and ensure compliance with Illinois laws. Our firm has over 24 years of experience helping Illinois drivers regain their driving privileges. Contact us today for your free consultation!