How to Get License Reinstated in Illinois after a DUI

Written by James Hirby | Fact checked by The Law Dictionary staff |  

Read in: Spanish

Every person that related his or her individual experience with Illinois DUI driving law stated that only after completing, fulfilling, each of the actions the judge required of the convicted person ( the “person”), only then was it worth going to the Illinois DMV to seek reinstatement of a revoked license.  Essential a direct quote from a long standing Illinois attorney well experienced in DUI license issues is that the Illinois Secretary of State's application of license revocation rules are the same for everyone equally, for a restricted driving permit, be it a work permit or as a hardship license, as they are for a full license under the law. The Secretary of State will not go easy on any rule or on any of the requirements set by the courts, regardless of the tale one tells for the relief one requests and the severity of one’s hardship.  Dealing with the time is all part of having done the crime.  This particular attorney also stated that getting back one’s license, in full or as a restricted license, is not automatic just because one has completed all penalties and requirements.  An individual must petition the Secretary of State because, as this attorney, and other Illinois attorneys state that an individual is very unlikely to get reinstatement of a license or a restricted driving permit just by providing a minimum of documents and content to the Secretary of State.  One’s promising to never repeat drinking and driving again, and one’s claiming to have "learned the lesson" from the punishment and guilt of the crime, or describing in writing of the hardships that not having one’s license has caused a person and that person’s family. As these attorneys continue, if it was just as simple as that, there would be a lot less revoked drivers in the State of Illinois, trying to avoid the risk of being thrown into jail from the DUI, and even getting prison time because they have not figured out what the Secretary of State requires for a reinstatement, exactly.  These experts continue on, describing the rigor that the Secretary of State requires.  The person seeking reinstatement must file a petition and await a hearing date letter within two weeks.  The hearing is usually six weeks in the future.  A hearing officer, not a court clerk, hears your case, files a report, and an answer typically gets to the petitioner between four to eight weeks, but could be 90 days.  If denied, the reasons why are written, and must be fixed.  The next hearing, upon re-petition, is no earlier than 90 days.  Here is an interesting aspect.  If a lawyer does not accompany the petitioner at a hearing, the hearing officer AND the Secretary of State will each ask the petitioner at least 80 questions and as many as 100 questions.  The petitioner must be ready to answer these detailed questions about his or her past, including specific information about any other DUI arrests and about one’s current and past alcohol and drug use. … and this is truly only the beginning.  The full text of one attorney’s detailing the procedure was over 2000 words.

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