A DUI comes with a host of potential penalties, including jail time, fines, mandatory ignition interlock devices, alcohol counseling, car forfeiture and license revocation. Some of those penalties just require you to pay a set amount or spend time getting help, but when it comes to your car, Illinois doesn’t make it easy for an offender to just get back behind the wheel in the wake of a DUI arrest. If your license is revoked, you are going to have to go through a lengthy process to regain a valid license, and it won’t be cheap. Today, we explain the process of getting your license reinstated in Illinois after a revocation for drunk driving in Illinois.
License Revoked: Now What?
The average driver convicted of DUI in Illinois will have their license revoked for one year, but your driving privileges don’t just “turn back on” after 365 days. You’re going to have to complete a number of tasks before Illinois will let you legally get back behind the wheel.
The process begins with the driver requesting an informal hearing with a Secretary of State hearing officer. First time DUI offenders can do this by visiting a hearing officer in their area, but offenders with multiple DUIs have to attend a formal hearing with an officer in either Chicago, Springfield, Mt. Vernon or Joliet. Multiple offenders will also need to pay a $50 non-refundable formal hearing filing fee. The hearing officer ensures you’ve had a clean driving record while your license was revoked. If you have had driving violations without a valid license, the revocation may be extended or reinstatement may be denied. You will also have to make a case to the hearing officer that public safety will not be endangered if your driving privileges are reinstated.
Next, the applying driver will undergo an alcohol/drug evaluation. If the evaluator feels that the driver has a problem the driver will need to submit proof of treatment based on the evaluator’s recommendation. Even if a problem is not indicated, the driver will still need to complete a remedial education program. Even if you were already required to complete treatment as part of your sentencing, you’ll still need to complete the remedial education program as required by the state.
You’ll next need to show proof of financial responsibility, meaning you’ll need to prove that you have obtained car insurance. Since you have a DUI, you’ll likely need to obtain high-risk car insurance, often referred to as an SR-22 policy.
After you’ve proved financial responsibility, you’ll have open up your wallet. The next step involves paying a $500 reinstatement fee. Once that fee is taken care of, you’ll have to retake all three aspects of the driver’s test; the written, visual and driving portions of the test. Assuming you pass all the tests, you’ll have to pay a $30 license application fee. Your license becomes valid once it is entered on your driver’s record at the Secretary of State’s office.
In the end, it’s clear that getting your license reinstated is no simple task after a DUI, which is why it’s so important to hire a lawyer to help beat the charges or gain a more favorable result. Not only can an attorney save you the hassle of re-applying, but it can often be the cheaper route if they can successfully challenge the charge!