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What is the Difference Between a Formal and Informal Driver’s License Reinstatement Hearing?

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barrington license reinstatement lawyerIn Illinois, losing your driving privileges can result from a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest, accumulating too many points on your driving record, and several other offenses. Losing your ability to drive can be stressful for both you and your family. Reinstating your driver’s license after it has been suspended or revoked can be a lengthy process in some situations, but the ability to drive is often necessary to utilize in your daily life. The main step in reinstating your driver’s license after a revocation is to attend either a formal or informal hearing with the Secretary of State’s office.

Informal License Hearings

In many cases, you will only have to appear at an informal hearing to reinstate your driver’s license. Those who have had their driving privileges revoked because of a single DUI that did not involve a fatality or for lesser moving violations can utilize an informal hearing. All other offenders will have to request and attend a formal hearing.

Informal hearings are conducted at various Driver Services locations throughout the state and are conducted on a walk-in basis, meaning there are no appointments necessary. During the hearing, you will show the state that you would not be a danger to others if you were permitted to drive again. After the hearing, all of your information is submitted to the main office in Springfield, IL and a letter containing the state’s decision will be mailed to your home. Typically, an informal license hearing results in a restricted driving permit (RDP) or full reinstatement of your driving privileges. 

Formal License Hearings

A formal license hearing is required for offenders who commit a DUI resulting in a fatality or who have had prior DUI convictions. To begin a formal license hearing, you must request the hearing in writing. Unlike informal hearings, formal hearings are only available at four locations throughout Illinois -- in Springfield, Chicago, Joliet, and Mt. Vernon. Formal hearings function similarly to criminal trials. At the hearing, you will present evidence and testimony as to why you should be permitted to drive again.

Your attorney may also present evidence and call witnesses to demonstrate your ability to drive safely. After you have completed your hearing, the hearing officer will submit his or her recommendation as to whether or not driving privileges should be restored. You will also then receive the official disposition by the Secretary of State’s office.

Contact a Barrington, IL Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorney Today

If you have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked for any reason, you should know that there are ways to have your driving privileges reinstated. Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC - Driver's License Reinstatement Lawyers are here to help you get back both suspended and revoked licenses. Our knowledgeable team of Cook County driver’s license reinstatement lawyers will examine all of the facts of your case to create and present a strong argument as to why you should be permitted back behind the wheel. To schedule a free consultation today, call our office at 779-800-2250.






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