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License Reinstatement for Out-of-State Residents

Jennifer Wirth Attorney at Law
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If you cannot obtain a drivers license in your state of residency due to an Illinois DUI drivers license revocation, this article offers guidance on the various options to clear an Illinois license hold as an out-of-state resident.

Our office receives many calls from people across the nation who are unable to obtain a license in another state because they are being held by DUI revocation in Illinois. There are several options to try to clear the hold in this situation, depending on your circumstances.

The Illinois Secretary of State offers a written out-of-state hearing packet for persons who reside in another state and would like to try to clear their Illinois DUI revocation through mail to apply for a license in their home state.

The packet is only available to out-of-state residents and it takes longer to receive a decision. Unlike in-state formal hearings that are decided within 90 days, an out-of-state packet decision can be delayed for up to 180 days. For this reason, many of our clients elect to return to Illinois for an in-person hearing to minimize the delay in receiving their decision.

If you cannot return to Illinois for an in-person hearing, eligible revoked drivers may submit an out-of-state packet. We strongly recommend hiring an experienced DUI license reinstatement attorney prior to submission of your out-of-state packet. Although the questions in the out-of-state packet may look straightforward, the questions are often more complex than they appear. An Illinois DUI attorney can help guide you on whether you are submitting the proper documentation and if you have completed the packet with all of the required information to comply with Secretary of State standards.

The portions of the out-of-state packet that must be completed can vary depending on whether a petitioner has ever resided in Illinois, the time period since their Illinois revocation took effect and whether they have ever submitted an out-of-state packet in the past that was denied.

Out-of-State Application for Persons Who Never Resided in Illinois

If a person has never resided in Illinois and has never been denied at a prior hearing, certain out-of-state petitioners may apply for reinstatement by showing the following under 92 ILCS 1001.430(d)(2)(k)(1):

1) He/she is not currently a resident of the State of Illinois;

2) At the time of arrest or arrests in Illinois for the violations that led to the revocation of their Illinois driving privileges, the petitioner was not licensed to drive in Illinois, was a resident of a state or jurisdiction other than Illinois, and continues to reside in that state, or any other state or jurisdiction (other than Illinois);

3) The Petitioner is not currently seeking to reside in or be licensed to drive in the State of Illinois;

4) The State of residence and/or licensure of the petitioner at the time of the Illinois arrests did not take action, or took action against the driving privileges of the Petitioner based upon the Illinois arrest and the action has terminated;

5) But for the revocation in Illinois, the petitioner is not prohibited from obtaining driving privileges in any state or jurisdiction other than Illinois. The Secretary of State reserves the discretion to check the petitioner’s driving privileges in other states, as reported by the PDPS (“Problem Driver Point System”); and

6) The Petitioner has paid all necessary fees due to the State of Illinois

If a person who never resided in Illinois meets the criteria for a condensed application, they typically are only required to complete the document and filing fee requirements on the first two instructional pages of the packet, along with the Affidavit set forth in the first Section of the packet in pages three through five. The Secretary of State will request more information from the petitioner upon receipt, if necessary.

As stated earlier, this condensed application for persons who never resided in Illinois is only available if they meet the six requirements outlined above and have never been denied at a prior hearing, including denials from previous out-of-state packets. Prior to submitting any out-of-state packet as a person who never resided in Illinois, an applicant should consult with an Illinois license reinstatement attorney to determine if they meet the criteria and seek legal counsel for help in submission of the packet.

Out-of-State Petitioners – Applying After Fifteen Years Have Elapsed Since Revocation

If an out-of-state resident is revoked in Illinois and it has been at least fifteen years since the most recent drivers license revocation was entered on their Illinois record, they may submit a condensed out-of-state application under certain circumstances. A person is not eligible to submit a condensed application if they have been denied at a prior Secretary of State hearing, including a denial after submission of an out-of-state packet. 92 ILCS 1001.430(m)

If a petitioner meets the criteria outlined in 92 ILCS 1001.430(m) to submit a condensed packet after fifteen years have elapsed since their revocation, they would generally complete the document and filing fee requirements on the first two instructional pages of the packet, along with the Affidavit set forth in the first Section of the packet in pages three through five. However, the Secretary of State may require additional information, including, but not limited to, a Drug/Alcohol Investigative Report or Evaluation, if there is evidence that the petitioner has a current drug or alcohol problem.

Prior to submission of an out-of-state packet after fifteen years has elapsed from a drivers license revocation for DUI, an applicant is strongly encouraged to consult with a DUI license reinstatement attorney. The Secretary of State retains all copies of documents submitted to their office and your packet, as well as any documents included in your packet at the time of submission, may be used against you at future hearings if you are unsuccessful at your attempt to clear your license through an out-of-state packet. It is always best to have legal counsel review any documents that you intend to submit to the Illinois Secretary of State for compliance and accuracy.

Out-of-State Petitioners – Prior Denials or DUI Revocation Less Than Fifteen Years Ago

If a person is revoked for DUI in Illinois and their last DUI revocation occurred less than fifteen years ago, or they have been denied at a prior hearing, they will be required to submit a fully completed out-of-state hearing packet or attend an in-person drivers license reinstatement hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

When applying for full reinstatement as an out-of-state resident, the Illinois Secretary of State will require proof of out-of-state residency, typically in the form of a valid identification card from another state. They will also require that the applicant submit to an Investigative Report or Drug/Alcohol Evaluation and complete any recommended treatment. The State may also require abstinence letters, as well as documentation of any support program, depending on their classification in the Evaluation.

Prior to attending a hearing to clear an Illinois DUI hold on your license, a petitioner should consult with an experienced license reinstatement attorney to figure out their best options and to determine if they have the documentation to move forward. A drivers license attorney that focuses on DUI-related matters will be able to help prepare the packet to ensure it is complete and accurate, as well as submit it to the State on your behalf. While considering your packet, the State may write letters requesting additional information to adjudicate your packet. An attorney can assist with these inquiries to ensure that you have the best possible change of success in reinstating your driving privileges after a DUI revocation in Illinois.

If you would like a free consultation on Illinois drivers license reinstatement after a DUI revocation, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 312.461.0400.

The information in this article is not legal advice and does not create an Attorney/Client relationship. We strongly encourage our readers to consult with an experienced attorney prior to making any legal decisions.

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