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How can I drive again after my license is revoked?

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Posted on March 13, 2020

Driving is almost essential to American life. Though many big cities have public transit like subways or buses, often it isn’t sufficient to get around the entire metro and doesn’t always extend into smaller towns. In Illinois, biking and walking isn’t always a safe choice because of the low temperatures and high winds. Not having a license can severely limit your freedom to get around.

If you have lost your license, you are probably wondering how you can apply to get it back. The majority of revoked licenses are due to DUI and DWI. Your name is now on a public record of revoked licenses.

Applying for license reinstatement

  1. Clean up your driving record and make sure you don’t have any outstanding tickets or violations.
  2. Have an evaluation of your drug and alcohol use.
  3. Go through a drug and alcohol education program or treatment, as recommended by your evaluation.
  4. First offense: Have an informal hearing with a Secretary of State hearing officer.
  5. Multiple offenses: Send a request and fee payment for a formal hearing.
  6. Undergo evaluation by the hearing officer.
  7. Pay the $500 reinstatement fee and file proof of responsibility.
  8. Pay a fee for and pass the driver’s license exam, including the written, driving and vision portions.

Considering a hardship permit

If you can prove that your violation was the result of a personal or family struggle, but you still need to drive, you may be able to apply for a hardship or restricted driving permit. This will help you get back on the roads with limitations. Your hearing will determine if you are eligible for a hardship license and place restrictions on you. This permit will allow you to get to the necessary places, like work or your kid’s school.

Working with an experienced attorney helps with the license reinstatement and permit process. They can help you properly fill out paperwork and present your case to your hearing officer. Completing the process and arguing your case on your own leaves a large margin for error that will minimize when you work with a professional.

The process of getting your driving privileges back can be long and expensive. However, when it’s successful, it can give you your freedom along with your license.