Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License in Illinois

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 Is It a Crime to Drive With a Suspended License in the State of Illinois?

If an individual drives with a suspended, revoked, or canceled license in the State of Illinois, it is a criminal offense. It is not a minor or simple traffic violation.

Typically, driving with a suspended license is classified as a misdemeanor offense. However, if there are any aggravating circumstances, an individual may face a felony charge.

How Can a License Be Suspended or Revoked in Illinois?

Being able to drive is a privilege. In the State of Illinois, an individual’s driver’s license may be suspended or revoked for numerous reasons, including:

Additionally, a driver’s license may be revoked for a non-traffic-related reason, for example, failing to pay child support or missing a court appearance.

How Do I Know if My Illinois License Is Suspended or Revoked?

There are a couple of different ways that an individual can check the status of their driver’s license in Illinois. One way is to visit

An individual will need their driver’s license and the date it was issued. There is also a fee to obtain records online.

Another option is calling the Illinois Secretary of State Driver Services Department’s automated attendant at 217-782-3720 and choosing option number one.

What Are the Consequences of Driving With a Suspended License?

There are potential legal consequences for driving with a suspended license. The potential revoked license Illinois penalties may include a jail sentence of up to one year and criminal fines of up to $2,500.

If there are aggravating circumstances, for example, driving under the influence or having repeat offenses, it may result in a felony charge. In the State of Illinois, a felony conviction may result in a prison sentence of up to seven years and criminal fines of up to $25,000.

There may also be other consequences, such as an extended suspension of driving privileges. In some cases, a court may require an offender’s car to be towed, impounded, or confiscated to be retrieved or surrendered at the owner’s expense.

Driving with a suspended driver’s license is a more serious criminal offense than driving without a license, which is also a misdemeanor.

How Do I Reinstate My Revoked or Suspended Driver’s License in Illinois?

There are many courts and prosecutors that will allow individuals to take steps to have their driving privileges reinstated. This applies especially in cases where an individual has already fulfilled their terms of suspension.

What Are the General Procedures for Reinstating a Suspended or Revoked License?

The exact procedures that an individual must follow to reinstate their suspended or revoked driver’s license will vary depending on the jurisdiction as well as the reason for the suspension or revocation.

In general, the steps that are involved in the process of reinstating a driver’s license include:

  • Determine the reason for the suspension or revocation: Before reinstating an individual’s license, they need to understand why it was suspended or revoked;
    • Common reasons for suspension or revocation include:
      • DUI convictions;
      • An accumulation of points on their driving record;
      • Failing to pay traffic fines or child support;
      • Driving without insurance;
  • Complete any required actions or programs: Depending on the reason for the suspension or revocation, an individual may need to:
    • Attend a defensive driving course;
    • Complete an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program;
    • Pay outstanding fines or fees;
  • Obtain an SR-22 form: In some cases, an individual may be required to obtain an SR-22 form from their automobile insurance company before their license can be reinstated;
    • An SR-22 is a form that verifies that an individual has the necessary amount of insurance coverage;
  • Pay reinstatement fees: An individual will typically need to pay a reinstatement fee to reinstate their license. The fee amount will vary depending on the jurisdiction as well as the reason for the license suspension or revocation;
  • Request a hearing: If an individual believes that their license was suspended or revoked unfairly, they may be able to request a hearing to challenge the decision;
    • It is important for an individual to consult with an attorney if they are considering this option; and
  • Wait for the license to be reinstated: After an individual has completed all required actions and paid any necessary fees, they will need to wait for their license to be reinstated. The time this takes will vary depending on the jurisdiction and the reason for the suspension or revocation.

The procedures that are required for reinstating a suspended or revoked driver’s license may be complex and may require the assistance of an attorney. It is important for an individual to follow all of the procedures carefully and avoid driving until they have received an official notification that their driver’s license has been reinstated.

What Limitations Exist on a State Automotive Agency’s Discretion Over License Reinstatement?

State automotive agencies have a good amount of discretion when determining whether or not to reinstate a suspended or revoked driver’s license. However, there are limitations on that discretion. Examples of limitations that may apply include, but are not limited to:

  • Statutory and regulatory requirements: State agencies are required to follow the laws and regulations that govern driver’s license reinstatement;
    • State agencies cannot reinstate a driver’s license in a way that is not consistent with these requirements;
  • Procedural due process: A driver who has had their license suspended or revoked is entitled to procedural due process. This means that the individual has a right to notice and an opportunity to be heard;
    • State agencies are required to notify drivers of the license suspension or revocation as well as to allow them to challenge the decision before the agency can reinstate a license;
  • Judicial review: A driver who believes that a state agency has acted unfairly during the license reinstatement process can seek judicial review of the agency’s decision;
    • A court can review the decision of the agency and determine whether or not it was made in accordance with the laws and the facts of the case;
  • Public safety concerns: State agencies have a duty to protect public safety. A state agency cannot reinstate a license if it would put the public at risk;
    • For example, a license may not be reinstated if the driver has a history of dangerous driving or has not completed the required rehabilitation programs; and
  • Contractual obligations: In certain cases, a driver may have a contractual obligation with their insurance company or other entity that requires them to maintain a valid driver’s license;
    • State agencies may be unable to reinstate a license if doing so would breach these contractual obligations.

These limitations that are placed on the discretion of state agencies are designed to help protect public safety. They are also designed to ensure that the reinstatement process is fair and consistent with the law.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If your Illinois driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, it is important to consult with an Illinois traffic violation lawyer. As noted above, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license is a serious criminal offense and can have a major impact on other areas of your life.

Your lawyer can advise you of the process for reinstatement, what you may be required to do in order to have your license reinstated, and explain your options under the local laws of your area in greater detail. Having a lawyer handle your case will give you the best possible chance at having your license reinstated.

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