SOS 101

Many people use the phrases “suspension” and “revocation” interchangeably when speaking about one’s loss of driving privileges. However, they are two very different situations, with two very different approaches to driving privilege restoration. Driver’s license suspension is a temporary withdrawal of driving privileges for a specific period of time, after which the license can be reinstated. This can happen due to reasons such as accumulating too many points on your driving record, failing to pay fines or appear in court, or driving under the influence.

However, driver’s license revocation is a more serious action where your driving privileges are terminated indefinitely. In Illinois, specific instances that could lead to license revocation include a single DUI conviction, multiple DUI arrests, an out-of-state DUI arrest, reckless driving resulting in injury or death, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death, and certain criminal offenses related to driving. It is worth noting that this is not a comprehensive list, but rather a snapshot of revocable offenses. There are many other factors that can lead to license revocation.

Once revoked, a hearing with the Secretary of State will be required. There are two types of hearings. Informal hearings are held without appointment on a walk-in basis. These hearings are held with a single hearing officer, and all of the information gathered during the hearing is later reviewed by other hearing officers not in attendance. Informal hearings are held at many locations across the state.

Visit to find the hearing location closest to you.

Formal hearings require an appointment. A petitioner must submit a formal hearing request, along with a $50 filing fee. It generally takes up to 90 days to receive a hearing date. A formal hearing is held with multiple hearing officers. Legal representation is permitted in both formal and informal hearings. Formal hearings are held at four locations across the state of Illinois: Springfield, Chicago, Joliet, and Mt. Vernon.

For more information on the Illinois SOS hearing process, visit

Treatment paperwork is a critical part of the hearing process. It is a common misconception that the only documentation needed for a hearing is a completed Uniform Report (DUI evaluation). This is simply not the case. A complete hearing packet, prepared by a licensed substance abuse counselor, will speak to the quality of treatment and the changes that have happened in a person’s life as a result. Several documents go into telling this story, and it is very important to find a competent, qualified counselor to complete this for you. At Hopewell Clinical, our counselors have become experts in the field, with decades of experience navigating the Secretary of State hearing process. Call us today at 217-221-0170 to speak with a counselor and take the first step toward driving again.

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