Your driver’s license suspension has ended and you are ready to driver yourself around again.
Not so fast: you may not realize that you don’t automatically get your driver’s license back in Illinois. You must take legal action to get it reinstated so you won’t have to risk getting arrested for driving without a valid license. To do this properly, you need a lawyer with experience in driver’s license reinstatements.
The process in Chicago
Every case is different, but here is a general overview of how to get your driver’s license reinstated in Cook County:
1. Hold a consultation with a hearing officer with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office
2. If the officer finds that you are eligible, he or she will approve you for a reinstatement hearing. If your license was suspended due to a single DUI, a minor moving violation or an offense that did not involve a fatality, you may be eligible for an informal hearing. Otherwise, you must submit to a formal hearing, which costs a $50 filing fee.
3. During you hearing, your attorney will make the case to the hearing officer that you should get your license back. The officer will either grant you full or restricted reinstatement or deny your request. If approved, you must provide proof of auto insurance, and you may have to pay to install an ignition interlock device into your car.
As we suggest above, you have the right to be represented by a lawyer at your hearing. Having an experienced attorney speaking on your behalf makes it much more likely that you will regain the legal privilege of driving.