While a driver’s license suspension and revocation of your driver’s license both mean the loss of your driving privileges, they aren’t the same thing. Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/1-204 defines the driver’s license suspension as
[t]he temporary withdrawal by formal action of the Secretary of a person’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways, for a period specifically designated by the Secretary.”
What is a Driver’s License Suspension?
A driver’s license suspension is only temporary, and the Secretary of State will reinstate your driving privileges after the period your license is suspended ends without you having to do anything other than paying the required license reinstatement fee.
If your driver’s license is suspended, the suspension will remain in effect until both the time period of the summary suspension lapses and you pay the required license reinstatement fee. Illinois Courts have held that the summary suspension will remain in effect up until the required fee is paid, even if the time period of the summary driver’s license suspension has already lapsed. See generally People v. Martinez, 184 Ill. 2d 547, 552, 705 N.E.2d 65, 67 (1998).
This means, that if you are stopped while driving between the end of your summary driver’s license suspension period and your payment of the license reinstatement fee you could potentially be charged with driving on a suspended license even though the period of your summary suspension is over.
What is a Driver’s License Revocation?
Revocation in Illinois, on the other hand, is defined as
The termination by formal action of the Secretary of a person’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways, which termination shall not be subject to renewal or restoration except that an application for a new license may be presented and acted upon by the Secretary after the expiration of at least one year after the date of revocation.”
If your driver’s license is revoked, you permanently lose your driving privileges and you must formally request that Secretary of State restore your driving privileges once your period of revocation is over. This process is not automatic nor is it guaranteed to be successful.
There is no automatic restoration of driving privileges after the expiration of the one year period provided for in section 6–208. A person who has had his driver’s license revoked must reapply, qualify for, and have issued to him, a new operator’s license before he is properly licensed to drive.”
Once your revocation period ends, you must file a formal hearing request with the Secretary of State and pay the filing fee. After submitting a request, the Secretary of State will provide you a formal hearing date. On that day, you will have to appear before a hearing officer who decides if your driving privileges will be restored.
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What you need to do to prepare for this hearing and the evidence you will need to provide during the hearing will be different depending on why your driving privileges were revoked. A formal hearing is a serious matter and if you are at the end of your revocation period and hoping to regain your driving privileges you should contact Schierer & Ritchie LLC. to help you to prepare for the formal hearing process and to give you the best possible chance of regaining your driving privileges.