Major New Changes to License Reinstatement Laws Enacted

Governor Rauner has signed into legislation two new laws which make major changes to the rules for license reinstatement for anyone who has been revoked for a second or subsequent offense, as well as lifting the lifetime ban for anyone who was revoked for fourth DUI conviction.  The laws will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

So let me walk you through the changes:

  • If you have been revoked for either a second offense DUI (including supervisions) or have been convicted of DUI two or three times (not including supervisions), you will be required to have a Restricted Driving Permit for five years before being able to obtain full license reinstatement.
  • In order to obtain reinstatement, you must serve five continuous years on a Restricted Driving Permit with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).
  • If you have four or more DUI convictions and live in Illinois (and no more than one of them was for driving under the influence of drugs or an intoxicating compound), you will be able to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit five years after your most recent revocation began or your prison sentence ended (whichever is latest).  You will have to have a formal hearing before the Secretary of State and prove that you have been abstinent for three years and have completed alcohol treatment.  Assuming that you are classified as Alcohol Dependant, proof of involvement in a support group will be required as well.  You will have to drive with a BAIID.  Any driving of a vehicle not equipped with a BAIID or a subsequent DUI will revoke your permit.
  • If you have four or more DUI convictions and do not live in Illinois, you can make an application to terminate the revocation ten years after the most recent license revocation.  However, if you move back to Illinois, your license will be revoked again.  Your application for reinstatement will still have to contain all the documents required otherwise (an alcohol evaluation, proof of treatment, abstinence and support group).

There is pending related legislation, passed by both the Illinois House and Senate, which, if the Governor signs them, will eliminate the need to wait to apply for a permit until a statutory summary suspension ends, or the need to prove an undue hardship until a “reinstatement eligibility” date has been reached.