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Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Illinois

Updated on
May 7, 2020
Article written by
Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

In this article, we address the issue of driving on a suspended or revoked license in Illinois. We’ll answer:

  • What does it mean if my driver’s license is suspended or revoked in Illinois?
  • Why would my driver’s license be suspended or revoked in Illinois?
  • What happens if you’re caught driving with a suspended or revoked license in Illinois?
  • Getting your driver’s license reinstated in Illinois

What Does It Mean If My Driver’s License Is Suspended or Revoked in Illinois?

If your driver’s license is either revoked or suspended in Illinois, you have lost your driving privileges. Your license is not valid, and you may not drive. Suspended licenses can be reinstated after a set time. Revoked licenses are invalid forever, though it is possible for driving privileges to be reinstated in special circumstances.

Why Would My Driver’s License Be Suspended or Revoked in Illinois?

There are several scenarios that may have caused your Illinois driver’s license to be revoked or suspended. These include:

  • Being convicted of three or more traffic offenses within the last 12 months
  • Repeatedly being involved in car accidents
  • Causing and/or leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury or death
  • Fleeing a police officer
  • Being convicted of certain offenses, including drug offenses and certain sex crimes, while in control of a vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol


You can also lose your driving privileges for simpler reasons, such as failing to pay a certain number of parking tickets. Your license may also be suspended for reasons not related to driving at all, such as failing to pay child support.

What happens if I’m caught driving with a suspended or revoked license in Illinois?

Driving with a suspended or revoked license in Illinois is a criminal offense and sometimes a felony. In nearly every case, an offender’s suspension or revocation is further extended. Other factors determine additional penalties.

First offense — A conviction for a first-time offense of driving with a revoked or suspended driver’s license in Illinois is classified as a class A misdemeanor. Consequences include fines of up to $2,500 and a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days (and, though rare, up to one year).

Second offense — A conviction for a second offense of driving with a revoked or suspended driver’s license in Illinois can be classified as either a class A misdemeanor or a class 4 felony. Fines can be as much as $25,000 with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days. It’s incredibly difficult, even with legal assistance, to have your driving privileges reinstated after a second offense.

Getting Your Driver’s License Reinstated in Illinois

The first step to getting your driver’s license reinstated in Illinois is to fully understand the reason(s) behind losing your driving privileges. Contact the Secretary of State if necessary.

If your license is suspended, you will be informed of the reinstatement date. There is nothing you can do to shorten the length of your suspension. If your license is revoked, assume it will be invalid forever, though there are certain circumstances where you can regain your driving privileges. When the time comes to reinstate your license, you will have to pay a fee based on the reason for your suspension or revocation. There may be other conditions or fees, as determined by the court, that must be met before your driving privileges are reinstated in Illinois.

Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Illinois
Author

Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

Kevin O’Flaherty is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Chicago-Kent College of Law. He has experience in litigation, estate planning, bankruptcy, real estate, and comprehensive business representation.

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