Most people depend on their motor vehicles for transportation. Thus, a suspended or revoked driver’s license—whether it be for a drunk driving conviction or accumulating too many traffic violation points—is a serious problem. And for many people, not having a driver’s license may mean losing a job, being unable to transport children to and from school, or flunking out of a university.
However, this doesn’t mean you should sign up for a bus pass. You may qualify for a restricted driving permit or hardship license. A restricted permit allows you to drive to and from certain places while on an otherwise suspended driver’s license. If your driver’s license has been suspended, the experienced driver’s license lawyers at Ktenas Law can help you prove undue hardship and qualify for driving relief. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our criminal defense law firm today at (708) 465-1040.
Table of Contents
What is a Restricted Driving Permit in Illinois?
A restricted driving permit is an option for some drivers as an alternative to loss of driving privileges. Drivers with a restricted permit can drive a motor vehicle within certain guidelines, while drivers with a suspended license can’t drive at all. Often, drivers who have a restricted driving permit are limited on where and when they can drive or may be required to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed to operate their car.
If you break any of the guidelines set by your state, you may face some criminal penalties, including incurring hefty fines, driver license suspension, additional time with an ignition interlock device, and/or potential jail time.
Underage drivers and teenage drivers may also receive hardship licenses to drive to and from work, home, or school. These permits are reviewed and offered on a case-by-case basis. In Illinois, you must prove that you are not a danger to public safety before you’re granted a restricted permit. Also, you must prove undue hardship exists. The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) may require a driver to attend traffic school or any other driver education programs as a condition for RDP.
Your hardship license will allow you to drive between your home and:
- Your workplace, including driving your car for job-related duties. Sometimes, you may also be permitted to drive a non-BAIID-equipped employer-provided motor vehicle for job-related duties.
- A school attended by you or anyone in your household. The Illinois Secretary of State may grant you a hardship license, which allows you to drive your vehicle to attend school activities.
- A daycare facility attended by a person who lives in your household, including children and elderly persons or disabled persons who can’t drive.
- Your alcohol rehabilitation program/drug support/ drug recovery program, such as AA or other rehabilitation programs recommended by a licensed service provider.
- Court-ordered activities and community service.
- A medical facility, for medical appointments, to receive necessary medical care for yourself or a family member who lives with you.
Also, a restricted license allows you to travel to alcohol treatment programs, counseling appointments, and court appearances.
However, some states put additional time limitations on hardship licenses. For example, a motorist may be subject to driving restrictions that allow him or her to drive only during daylight hours or between certain times of the day, which are specified by the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Types of Restricted Driving Permits (RDP)
Once your driver’s license is suspended because of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the first type of driving relief you’ll receive is probably a restricted driving permit (RDP). The SOS can issue an RDP, allowing you to drive to and from work and drive on the job once you’re at your place of employment.
Also, the SOS can issue an RDP so that you can attend alcohol classes and regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments for you and your family members. If you’re a student, you may request an educational driving permit, which allows you to drive to school and between classes.
Also, the Illinois Secretary of State can issue daycare permits, which allow you to take and pick up your children from child care.
You can’t request full reinstatement until you have used the restricted permit for at least 9 months. After having your permit for 9 months you must attend another formal hearing to request your full license reinstatement unless you’re subject to a five-year license revocation period.
Who’s Eligible for a Restricted Driving Permit?
Typically, a driver’s eligibility for a restricted permit depends on the reason for the driver’s license suspension, the motorist’s complete driving record, and the license type. For instance, some states don’t allow restricted licenses for drivers who had their driver’s license suspended for serious driving offenses, such as vehicular homicide, reckless homicide, hit-and-run, or reckless driving. Other states grant a restricted license for a first license suspension but not a subsequent suspension. Further, it’s essential to note that a hardship license doesn’t restore commercial driving privileges.
Often, a driver is eligible for a restricted license only after completing a “hard-suspension” period. The hard suspension period often lasts for 30 days and during this period of time a person can’t drive at all. It’s imperative to note that hard-suspension periods are common for DUI-related suspensions and revocations.
How Do You Get a Restricted Driving Permit in Illinois?
When applying for an RDP, you must prove that you need this permit. Some reasons for getting the restricted permit are:
- Driving to and from work,
- Driving to and from medical appointments,
- Driving for purposes of school, and
- Disability and medical reasons for yourself, disabled persons, elderly persons, children, or another person in your care.
Even if you meet these guidelines, you may still face some driving restrictions. For example, you can’t get a restricted permit if your job or school is around the block. Also, it’s vital to note that meeting these requirements doesn’t mean you qualify for an RDP.
Also, your age may affect the final decision. Sometimes, The SOS may grant you a permit that features a monitoring device, such as a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID).
Before applying for a restricted driving permit, you must:
- Provide proof of medical evaluation and alcohol or drug abuse treatment,
- Provide proof of insurance,
- Provide proof of installation of a monitoring device,
- Attend a hearing before a public officer,
- Prove you aren’t a danger to public safety,
- Prove that extreme hardship actually exists, and
- Pay a $50 filing fee.
Further, you must attend an administrative hearing to prove your eligibility for the restricted permit. However, it’s vital to note that you can only request a formal hearing via mail. And if you request a formal hearing, you must submit a formal hearing request. If you’re ineligible for a formal hearing, you can request an informal hearing if you qualify. The informal hearing is available during normal business hours on a walk-in basis.
During the license reinstatement hearing, there are three probable outcomes. You may receive a restricted driving permit, a full license reinstatement, or reinstatement denial.
How Long Can I Stay on a Restricted Licence in Illinois?
Often, you’ll be issued a restricted license that’s valid for 12 months. After driving on that restricted driving permit for 8 months, you must apply for a new 12-month restricted permit. If you’re eligible for full license reinstatement, you can apply for Illinois driver’s license reinstatement after driving on the restricted permit for 9 months. Sometimes, you may be required to drive on a restricted permit for up to five years, and in rare cases, you may be required to drive on a restricted license for the rest of your driving lifetime.
How Can I Get My Driver’s License Reinstated in Illinois?
There’s no one set of rules for a driver to get their driver’s license back. The process for reinstating your driver’s license depends on the reason your license was suspended/revoked, as well as other factors, such as your driving history. Typically, you must pay a driver’s license reinstatement fee and meet any specific requirements made by the court.
However, it’s imperative to know that reinstating a revoked license is trickier because there are more steps to follow. For example, to get your driver’s license back after an alcohol conviction, you must:
- Have kept a clean driving record.
- Have alcohol evaluation and if an alcohol abuse problem is noted, you must submit proof of alcohol and drug treatment.
- Complete an alcohol or drug remedial education program.
- File proof of economic responsibility.
- Pay the $500 reinstatement fee and application fee. However, if you request a formal hearing for license reinstatement, you may need to pay a $50 non-refundable filing fee.
- Pass a driving exam, written exam, and vision exam.
Your driver’s license reinstatement will only become valid once it’s entered on your driving record in the Secretary of State’s office.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Illinois Driver’s License Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!
If you’ve lost your driving privileges and you wish to apply for a restricted driving permit, contact a traffic lawyer in Chicago today at (708) 465-1040 to schedule a free case evaluation. Our defense team has helped thousands of driving privileges pursuant to prove driving-related hardship and we can help you get an RDP or even get your driver’s license reinstated. For a free initial consultation, contact us today or chat with us online to learn how we can help.