Over 100 Years of Combined Experience in Criminal Law

Types of Hearings People Could Have to Get Their Driver's Licenses Back

When a person has a driver's license revocation enter in the State of Illinois, there are only a few ways for that person to get it back. Which way will depend on the person, his or her driving history, and other aspects unique to the State of Illinois. It is important to note at the outset that not everyone will be eligible for full reinstatement right away. In fact, most people will be eligible for a Restricted Driving Permit before becoming eligible for full reinstatement.

If a person lives outside of the State of Illinois or is an Illinois resident who moved outside of the state, then that person can apply for reinstatement using an out-of-state petition form. This is true unless the person lives within thirty (30) miles of the Illinois border. However, when a person is a resident in Illinois, then that person must have an in-person hearing before a hearing officer with the Illinois Secretary of State's Office.

As with anything in Illinois, there are variables and exceptions, but, as a general rule, a person who has more than one offense for Driving while Under the Influence (or "DUI") would need to have what is called a "Formal Hearing." Those people with a single DUI offense would need to have what is called an "Informal Hearing." Believe it or not, but the largest difference between them is the hearing location and the people who are present, while the documents one must submit and the things about which he or she will have testify will be the same at either a Formal or Informal Hearing.

Formal hearings are held at only four (4) locations throughout Illinois, and they are Chicago, Joliet, Mount Vernon, and Springfield. Informal hearings are held at Drivers Services Facilities—commonly referred to as "DMV's"—at several facilities throughout the state. At a Formal hearing, there will be a Formal Hearing Officer, who is an administrative law hearing officer, who will sit above us the way a judge does in a courtroom, along with a Secretary of State Representative, who will sit across from the person who is revoked. At an Informal hearing, an Informal Hearing Officer will sit across from the person who is revoked, and will essentially serve both functions as a hearing officer and Secretary of State Representative. At either hearing, a person can expect to be questioned, and questioned a lot. This is the function of the Secretary of State Representative, and it is alike to a prosecutor in a courtroom. Although the official function is not to be a prosecutor, the cross examination a person must endure from the Representative often feels like it.

At either a Formal or an Informal Hearing, the petitioner (the person who is revoked) will have to and be expected to testify. The documents that must be admitted at a hearing will be identical, as will the questions that a person is asked. For this reason, being fully prepared for a hearing, regardless of its location or name, is absolutely essential if a person ever expects to get his or her driver's license back. We pride ourselves on making sure that our clients are 100% ready to go for their hearings. We help our clients every day to get back on the road, and are available to help anyone whose privilege to drive in Illinois has been revoked.

Copyright © 2017 by Brendan Bukalski

The information provided in this article is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as legal advice or interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship . As a general rule, all specific legal problems should be handled by an individual's attorney. All rights reserved. Any copying, duplication, or commercial use of the information contained in this column is strictly prohibited without prior permission.