Illinois drivers license suspension, revocation or cancellation can occur as a result of various driving and non-driving violations. Suspended drivers licenses in IL are temporarily withdrawn from the driver by the Secretary of State until all requirements for drivers license reinstatement are met. This may include paying all overdue fines, enrollment in traffic school or attending a case hearing.
In Illinois, your driver's license can be suspended or revoked by the IL Secretary of State (SOS) for several reasons, including not paying your traffic tickets, having too many traffic violations, failing to pay child support, and more.
On the other hand, revoked drivers licenses are considered terminated and motorists may need to complete a different drivers license restoration procedure. A suspended or revoked driver’s license may be issued due to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unpaid child support, unpaid traffic tickets and more.
Reinstating an Illinois Suspended License
Drivers license reinstatement in Illinois for suspended drivers licenses is only possible upon meeting the requirements set by the Office of the Secretary of State and paying the related fees. Depending on the reason for suspension, drivers may need to wait for the suspension period to end in order to regain their driving privileges.
- An Illinois licensed driver has a revoked license and moves to another state and attempts to obtain a driver’s license there. The licensing authorities of that state will not issue a license due to the revocation hold; A non-resident who never possessed a valid license is applying for a new one and has a hold from an Illinois DUI conviction.
- Motorists will also have a 90-day grace period to take driver’s tests or vehicle emission tests. “If they have to do the EPA test, go to the agency, then come to us and get the sticker.
- Illinois residents are getting an extra month to renew expired driver's licenses, ID cards, and vehicle registrations as many driver services centers are dealing with huge wait times forcing.
Most IL drivers license restorations require drivers to close all existing revocations or suspensions on their driving record and either attend a formal (or informal) hearing or complete a traffic school course. In cases of revoked drivers licenses due to multiple DUI violations, drivers may be obliged to undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation.
How to Reinstate an Illinois Suspended Drivers License
The requirements for Illinois drivers license reinstatement of revoked or suspended drivers licenses are based on the type of violation and the individual’s driving record. First offenders generally have their credentials suspended for a certain amount of time, while offenders with multiple violations on their record have their license revoked until they meet all criteria for drivers license restoration in IL or indefinitely.
A suspended drivers license in Illinois can be reinstated after the statutory summary period has ended, unless otherwise instructed by the court. Certain requirements necessary for reinstating suspended drivers licenses in IL include:
- A driving record cleared of all other revocations and suspensions.
- Attending a formal or informal hearing, depending on the reason for suspension (if applicable).
- Submitting payment for the reinstatement fee to the appropriate government agency (based on case).
Drivers with revoked drivers licenses must meet stricter criteria for reinstatement, including possible enrollment in a state-approved traffic school or a DUI program. To reinstate revoked drivers licenses in Illinois, motorists must complete the following steps:
- Clear out their driving record of other suspensions/revocations.
- Attend a formal hearing with a Secretary of State hearing officer.
- Pay the hearing and reinstatement fees.
- Undergo a drug/alcohol evaluation (if applicable) and complete a DUI program if needed.
- Provide proof of financial responsibility (if applicable).
- Pass a drivers license exam (if applicable).
Suspension Periods in Illinois
The duration of an IL drivers license suspension is based on the type and number of violations committed. Accordingly, licensees may either have a suspended drivers license for a limited period of time or until they have met all drivers license restoration requirements, or a revoked drivers license, terminated permanently.
Drivers can see the suspension period on their suspension notice or by viewing their Illinois driving record. Alternatively, they can also contact a Secretary of State office to inquire about the duration of their suspended license.
Note that suspensions and revocations for traffic violations will remain visible on a driving record for a minimum of seven years from the date of reinstatement, while drug/alcohol related suspensions may remain on the record for a lifetime. Listed below are some examples of Illinois drivers license suspension periods:
- 6-24 months for drivers younger than 21 who refuse to undergo chemical testing.
- 3-12 months for drivers younger than 21 whose chemical testing results have shown blood alcohol levels of over 0.00
- A minimum of one year for DUI convictions for a first offense, five years for a second offense, 10 years of a third offense and a lifetime revocation for a fourth and all subsequent offenses.
- 12-36 months of suspension for refusal to undergo a chemical test.
- 6-12 months of suspension if the results from a chemical testing show 0.08 or more.
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Illinois Point System
An IL drivers license suspension or revocation will be issued to motorists who amass too many points on their driving record due to moving violations. Per state law, the conviction of a traffic offense will result in assigning negative points on your report.
The number of points received will be based on the type and severity of traffic misdemeanor. Motorists who commit three or more offenses within 12 months, thereby increasing the number of demerit points on their record, will lose their privilege to drive.
A suspended or revoked driving license in Illinois is also issued to drivers younger than 21 with two or more violations within any 24-month period. The following point system outlines some of the traffic offenses and the corresponding driving points:
- Negligent driving – 10 points.
- Failure to obey lawful order – 10 points.
- Driving too fast for conditions – 10 points.
- Failure to yield right-of-way – 20 points.
- Operating below the minimum speed limit – 5 points.
Traffic School in Illinois
Illinois residents with suspended drivers licenses may be required to attend state-approved traffic school safety courses. These safety programs help licensees restore their driving privileges or apply for a probationary license and in some cases may even contribute to removing points off their driving record. In Illinois, drivers have the option to enroll in the Remedial Driver Education Course (for drivers younger than 25 years of age) or the Probationary License Program.
Attendees who have successfully completed the Remedial Driver Education Course and met the drivers license restoration requirements set by the Secretary of State will be eligible for an Illinois drivers license reinstatement. Drivers who complete the Probationary License Program will be eligible for a hardship license with limited driving privileges.
Types of Illinois Drivers License Suspensions
Illinois suspended drivers licenses can be a result of various driving and non-driving-related violations. The most serious offenses and convictions can lead to permanent drivers license revocation, with no possibility of restoration. Thus, based on the kind of violation committed, drivers license suspensions in IL can be of the following types:
- A DUI suspension.
- A Failure to Appear suspension.
- A parking suspension.
- An Automated Traffic Violations suspension.
- A suspension for failure to pay child support.
- A suspension for tollway evasion or violation.
Illinois DUI Suspensions
The Illinois DMV and the court will take immediate actions against drivers after a DUI-related offense. An automatic Illinois driving license suspension will be issued to drivers who fail or refuse to submit to the chemical testing following a DUI arrest.
Note that criminal penalties will apply in addition to the suspension of your driving privileges. DUI penalties will differ based on the circumstances of the arrest and conviction.
Drivers Older Than 21
An Illinois suspended drivers license will be issued to motorists arrested for a DUI violation with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. The driving license suspension will also follow if drivers refuse to have a chemical test performed.
If you have a valid driver’s license at the time of arrest, you will be presented with a suspension notice, allowing you to drive for 45 days. The suspension will be effective on the 46th day from the issue date of the notice.
First offenders who fail the chemical testing will face a six-month suspension, though they can apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. In such a case, they will be also required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in their motor vehicle.
A second and any further violations within five years will result in a one-year license suspension. The IL driving license suspension periods are longer for chemical test refusal. Motorists will have their driving privileges suspended for 12 months for a first misdemeanor, and three years for any subsequent offense.
Note: The criminal penalties for DUI misdemeanors are typically appointed based on the driver’s age, the BAC level at the time of arrest and previous DUI offenses.
Drivers Younger Than 21
A drivers license suspension in Illinois is issued to motorists younger than 21 years of age caught with any trace of alcohol or drugs in their system. First traffic offenders will be issued a three-month suspension, while second violations lead to a one-year suspension.
Minors will have an IL suspended driving license for a test refusal as well. Tu 95 game. To reinstate your driving privileges in IL following a suspension, you may be required to complete a driver remedial education course.
Furthermore, you may need to pass a complete driving license examination, and thus be re-issued a new credential. The Illinois driving license reinstatement process will require minors to arrange payment for all applicable fees.
Car Insurance Suspensions
In general, licensees will face a driving license suspension or revocation if they fail to provide proof of auto insurance. Illinois drivers are also required to obtain the mandatory liability coverage, and thus stay in accordance with state laws and road regulations.
Failure to present the necessary proof when pulled over by a law enforcement agent will result in a suspension of your license plates, though you may also face an IL driving license suspension as well. The minimum insurance amounts required in IL are as follows:
- $20,000 for property damage.
- $25,000 for a single death or injury.
- $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people.
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
An IL driving license suspension will be placed against your license in case you have not satisfied the conditions for an issued traffic citation. However, a suspended drivers license in Illinois will not be issued to motorists for failure to pay a court-imposed fine.
Drivers who did not provide the required payment at the specified time will face a temporary stop placed against their license instead. This penalty will prevent you from applying for a new IL credential or renewing your existing one until you meet the imposed requirements. The stop will be cleared once drivers pay the allotted fees and present a confirmation receipt to the Secretary of State’s office.
Illinois Hardship Drivers License
Prior to reinstating their driving license in IL, DUI offenders may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) during the suspension period. This type of license will allow licensees to drive on a limited basis according to their permit.
The Secretary State’s office will, however, issue the credential only to drivers who meet the set requirements. For instance, motorists younger than 16 year of age with a revoked drivers license are not eligible for this permit.
Applying for an Illinois Hardship License
To obtain the IL provisional driving license (restricted credential), applicants must follow specific instructions imposed by the Secretary of State. First, you may need to prove that a hardship exists. Then, you will be required to present a professional alcohol/drug evaluation along with proof of remedial treatment.
DUI offenders must also appear before a hearing agent in the Secretary of State to have their driving record reviewed. Additionally, motorists will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device for the duration of the provisional drivers license if they have two or more DUI offenses. Finally, a $50 nonrefundable fee will be required to complete the application procedure.
Drivers License Reinstatement Fees
The amount of fees for a drivers license reinstatement in Illinois will depend on the type of drivers license suspension and must be paid before a new drivers license is issued by the IL Secretary of State. The reinstating drivers license fees for some of the most common suspensions are listed below:
- A traffic-related discretionary suspension – $70.
- A court-ordered suspension for failure to appear in court – $70.
- A field-sobriety suspension – $250 for first offense and $500 for multiple offenses.
- A family responsibility suspension – $70.
- A suspension for mandatory insurance conviction – $100.illinois
- A revoked drivers license – $500.
- A zero-tolerance suspension (DUI for individuals younger than 21) – $70.
- DUI – $250 for first offense and $500 for multiple offenses.
- Parking, automated traffic or tollway suspension – $70.
The most convenient way for drivers to pay their fees is online, by entering their driver’s license number, full name and date of birth. The system will display the fees owed and applicants can pay by a credit card.
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COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. If possible, residents should use the SOS' online services to complete any relevant transactions. Follow the SOS' recent updates for the latest information.
How to Renew Your Driver's License in Illinois
To renew an IL driver's license, you can either:
- Log on to the Illinois Secretary of State(SOS) website and pay the renewal fee according to your age group.
- Mail in your driver's license renewal notice.
- Call the SOS and follow your notice instruction to renew by phone.
- Visit an Illinois SOS office with your renewal notice and proof of identification.
- For more details on these driver's license renewal option, please see below.
Illinois REAL ID Driver's License
The Illinois SOS has begun issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in addition to non-compliant driver’s licenses. As of October 1, 2021, the REAL ID will function as federal identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—your standard license will not after this date. You can choose to receive either a REAL ID or non-compliant ID upon renewal—details are outlined below.
When to Renew Your Illinois Driver's License
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The Illinois Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) will send you a renewal notice 60 to 90 days before your driver's license expires.
Depending on your age, your IL driver's license will be valid for different lengths of time:
- 21 to 80 years old: 4 years (expires on your birthday).
- 81 to 86 years old: 2 years.
- 87 years old and older: must renew every year.
Valid Driver's License
You can renew your valid IL driver's license at different times depending on how long your current card is valid for:
- Driver licenses valid for 2 years or 4 years: Up to 1 year before the expiration date.
- Driver's license valid 1 year: Up to 6 months before the expiration date.
If you're under 21 years old, you must renew your IL driver's license 3 months after your 21st birthday.
NOTE: If your license is going to expire tomorrow, the IL SOS recommends you visit your nearest IL DMV office to ensure you have a valid IL driver license prior to it expiring.
Expired Driver's License
Do NOT drive if your IL driver license or motorcycle license has expired.
If your IL driver's license has been expired for 1 year or less, you are still eligible for renewal.
If you let your Illinois driver license stay expired for more than 1 year, you cannot renew your IL driver license online and you may be subject to additional testing requirements.
For more information on this process, please read our pages about Applying for a New IL License (Drivers 18+) or Applying for a New Teen License in Illinois.
Suspended & Revoked Driver's Licenses
If you have a suspended IL driver license, the IL SOS will take away your driving privilege temporarily or until you meet specific reinstatement requirements. You cannot renew your suspended driver's license in Illinois until it has been reinstated.
If your IL driver's license is revoked, you lose the privilege to drive and will not be able to reapply for your IL driver license until you appear before a Secretary of State hearing office
Since you cannot renew your suspended IL driver license, you may choose to apply for an IL state ID card as a form of valid identification. Visit our pages about IL Identification Cards and Suspended Licenses for more information.
Lost or Stolen Driver's License
If your Illinois driver license is lost or stolen, read our Replacing a Lost License in Illinois page to find out how to apply for a duplicate driver's license in Illinois.
You may need it for identification purposes when submitting your IL driver license renewal application.
If your lost IL driver's license is due for renewal, you can renew it instead of replacing it.
Illinois Driver License Renewal Requirements
Check your Illinois driver's license renewal notice to find out if you must renew your IL driver license online, bymail, byphone, or inperson at your local Illinois DMV office.
Q: Which license can I travel with after 2020?
A: One of the biggest ways the REAL ID act will affect most Americans is in domestic travel. After October 2020, you will NOT be able to use a standard (non-compliant) license as your proof of ID an airport. Only the REAL ID will be accepted. If you prefer a non-compliant license, you'll need to bring additional proof of identification (like your passport).
Your renewal notice will give you the information you need to renew your IL driver's license, including:
- Renewal options (online, by mail, by phone, or in person).*
- Your 14-digit renewal authorization number.
- Testing requirements (if applicable):
- If you're required to retake the Illinois drive exam during the IL renewal process, you'll also be asked to provefinancialresponsibility with a minimum of liabilityinsurance. For more information about the IL road test, see the IL Driver Handbook.
- Fees (see the “Fees to Renew Your IL Driver License' section below).
The IL SOS office will mail your renewed IL driver's license to your address on file within 15 business days. If you don't receive it, contact the IL SOS to check the status of your license renewal.
*NOTE: If you are upgrading from a non-compliant license to a federally compliant REAL ID license, you MUST visit the SOS in person for renewal and resubmit all required identity documents. The SOS offers a guide to acceptable proofs.
Social Security Number Verification
Your information with the Social Security Administration (SSA) must be up to date before the Illinois SOS will issue your renewed IL driver's license.
The Illinois SOS must be able to verify your Social Security number (SSN), name, and date of birth with the SSA in order to process your request.
Address & Name Changes
You must notify the Illinois SOS office within 10 days of your name change OR change of address if you hold a valid IL driver license.
You need to first change your name and/or address on file with the IL SOS before you renew your IL driver's license online.
For more information about changes to your IL driver's license, please read our pages about changing your address or changing your name in Illinois.
Renewing Your IL Driver's License
Depending on your circumstances, you can renew your driver's license in Illinois:
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- By mail.
- By phone.
- In person.
If you are upgrading from a non-compliant license to a federally compliant REAL ID license, you MUST visit the SOS in person for renewal and resubmit all required identity documents. The SOS offers a guide to acceptable proofs.
If you're eligible to renew your Illinois driver license online, visit the Illinois SOS driver license renewal page.
You can only renewyour IL driver's license online if the Illinois SOS considers you a safe driver. Your IL driving record must be clean for at least 4 years, and you must also meet other requirements, including the following:
- You must be over 22 years old and under 74 years old.
- Your driving privileges must not be suspended, cancelled, or revoked in any state.
- Your IL driver's license must NOT have expired more than 1 year ago.
For a complete list of eligibility requirements for the Illinois Safe Driver renewal program, please visit the IL Secretary of State website.
To renew your IL driver's license with the Illinois SOS by mail, you'll need:
- A completed IL driver's license renewal notice.
- If you recently moved, be sure to include your change of address information.
- Payment for the renewal fee. See the “Fees to Renew Your IL Driver's License' section below.
Send the above documents to the address specified on your renewal notice.
The IL DMV will process and mail your renewed IL driver license within 15 business days.
NOTE: If you changed your address, you may need to provide 1 document to prove your residency during your next visit at your local IL DMV office.
If the IL SOS office sends you a renewal notice stating you're eligible for their “Safe Driver Renewal,' you can renew anytime by calling (866) 545-9607.
For information on specific fees and acceptable payment methods, please view the section “Fees to Renew Your IL Driver's License' below.
You can renew your IL driver's license up to 1 year before it expires if you have a license that was valid 2 years or 4 years.
To renew your IL driver license inperson at your local IL DMV office, you will need:
- Your valid Illinois driver's license.
- Your ILrenewalnotice.
- Required proof of identity, if you're upgrading to a REAL ID.
- Payment for the renewal fee. See the “Fees to Renew Your IL Driver's License' section below.
- To take a:
- Vision test.
- Driving test, if you are over 75 years old.
- Written and/or road test, if you have a traffic incident on your Illinois driving record.
NOTE: You will be required to take a written exam in Illinois every 8 years, unless you have not received a traffic ticket.
If you need to change your name or address, you will also need to prove your identity with:
- 1 document from Group A, such as your:
- Current IL driver's license.
- Current out-of-state driver's license.
- Major credit/debit card.
- 1 document from Group D if your address has changed.
The SOS provides a complete list of acceptable identification documents.
The IL SOS will update your IL driver's license with a new photo and issue your renewed IL driver license before you leave the facility.
Military Renewal Deferment in Illinois
Notice for Military Members Stationed in Germany
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If you are currently stationed in Germany, please be aware that some states require you to have a valid U.S. driver's license in addition to your USAREUR license. Read our article for more information.
If you're stationed outside of Illinois on active military duty, OR you are a civilian member of the DoD or U.S. Armed Forces, you may drive with an expired driver license for up to 120 days after returning to the state. The same rule applies for your dependents and spouse.
You must carry a Military Deferral Certificate with your expired IL driver's license. To request one at no charge, you'll need:
- A copy of:
- Your current Illinois driver's license.
- The front and back of your military ID card.
- A statement noting your out-of-state mailing address.
Send the above to:
Secretary of State
License and Medical Review Unit
2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62723
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To get specific information about the status of your specific license renewal situation, call (217) 782-2720.
Fees to Renew Your IL Driver's License
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The following fees apply when renewing your driver's license in Illinois:
- 18 to 20 years old: $5.
- 21 to 68 years old: $30.
- 69 to 80 years old: $5.
- 81 to 86 years old: $2.
- 87 years old and older: Free.
- Class M (motorcycle license): $5.
- Upgrade to Class M (motorcycle license): $10.
NOTE: If you renew your Illinois driver license online, you must pay an additional $1.75 fee.