So, you’ve been convicted of DUI in the state of Illinois, and your license has been revoked. It may seem like the possibility of driving again is long gone, but all is not lost. There are steps that can be taken to get one’s license back after a revocation. It may not be easy, but it can be done. We’ve never seen someone do everything right and still be denied driving relief.
The steps to take:
- Determine your eligibility: In Illinois, there are many reasons for license revocation, such as DUI convictions, driving without insurance, or serious traffic offenses. Review the specific requirements based on the reason for revocation. For this blog, we will focus primarily on the DUI offender. The following link will help to clarify some of the eligibility requirements: Hearing Information (ilsos.gov)
- Serve the revocation period: Depending on the reason for revocation, you must serve the required revocation period. This could range from a few months to several years. For the DUI offender, the minimum revocation period is one year. However, revocation periods can vary, and the lifetime offender’s revocation period can be as high as ten years.
- Complete any necessary treatments or programs: For DUI offenders, it is critical to successfully complete a treatment program. Treatment requirements are based on the number of factors including the number of prior convictions, the BAC (blood alcohol content) at the time of arrest, mitigating factors (such as accidents, multiple substances involved, etc.) and the extent of the offender’s substance abuse problem. Without fulfilling the treatment recommendation, it is impossible to complete a hearing.
- Obtain a Uniform Report, as well as all other necessary treatment documents: The next step is to obtain a DUI evaluation (Uniform Report) from a licensed facility. This report will contain information about your treatment recommendation or program completion. The petitioner also has to present several other treatment-related documents at the time of hearing, such as treatment plans, discharge summary, a continuing care status report and more. Many people fall short at this step, as they often mistakenly believe they only need to present a Uniform Report at their hearing. It is extremely important to find a counselor who understands the Secretary of State license reinstatement process and can create a high-quality hearing packet.
- Attend a hearing, if required: DUI offenders will need to attend a hearing with the Secretary of State’s office to demonstrate eligibility for license reinstatement. Some offenders with one DUI may be able to have an informal hearing, meaning they can walk into an SOS-approved facility without scheduling an appointment and have a hearing that day. All other offenders must apply for a formal hearing and wait to receive confirmation of their appointment (as scheduled by the Secretary of State). Formal Hearing Request (ilsos.gov) It can generally take up to 45 days or more to receive a hearing date. Follow the instructions provided for scheduling and attending the hearing. Hearings (ilsos.gov)
- Testify at the hearing: Whether the hearing is informal or formal, the petitioner will meet with a hearing officer to testify. The petitioner will be asked many questions to gauge not only their risk of re-offending but also the gains they have made in treatment and how stable their current lifestyle is. Some petitioners seek out legal counsel for the hearing. Although it is not necessary it is always best if you can afford it.
- Wait for a decision: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for a decision from the Secretary of State’s office. This process may take several weeks or longer, depending on the workload and complexity of your case. Petitioners can generally expect a two to three month wait for a decision. Results can be full reinstatement, driving relief, or a denial. If the request for reinstatement is denied, the petitioner must return to a treatment provider, who will address the department’s concerns.
- Pay reinstatement fees: You do not have to pay these fees until you are granted full reinstatement. If you receive permits there are fees and conditions by which the petitioner must abide. Reinstating your license in Illinois requires payment of fees. The exact amount will depend on the type of revocation and any additional requirements. Check the Secretary of State’s website or contact their office to determine the current fees.
- Obtain SR-22 insurance: SR-22 high risk insurance is required for 36 months. However, you can begin carrying SR-22 before receiving a decision.
- Comply with any additional requirements: The Secretary of State’s office may require additional steps or tests to be completed before granting license reinstatement. Follow any instructions provided and fulfill any outstanding requirements. Most petitioners who are granted driving relief initially receive permits, and often a BAIID (breathalyzer) device. After a period of driving on the BAIID without incident, petitioners can apply for full reinstatement. For more information on BAIID: BAIID (ilsos.gov)
For more questions visit: How Do I? (ilsos.gov)
Navigating the waters of the license reinstatement process can be confusing and stressful. Having an expert guide makes it much easier. Contact us today at Hopewell Clinical to get started. There’s no need to wait any longer than you already have to start driving again.