The Illinois Secretary of State is required to revoke the driver’s license of anyone who is guilty of committing the offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) while operating a motor vehicle in this state. Moreover, even if you do not live in Illinois or have an Illinois driver’s license, the Secretary of State will revoke your driving privileges after a DUI conviction, meaning you may not drive in Illinois even if you have a valid driver’s license issued by another state. 625 ILCS 5/6-205
Furthermore, your driver’s license and driving privileges will be revoked if the Secretary of State receives a report of a conviction stemming from a DUI offense committed in another state, if at the time of the offense, you were a resident of Illinois or held an Illinois driver’s license. Most states have agreed, via the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, to report convictions to Illinois, and even states that are not Compact Members may report those convictions voluntarily.
Illinois has an interest in making certain that those who live in, drive in or hold a license issued by, Illinois do not endanger the health and safety of its citizens by driving drunk. To revoke their right to drive in Illinois makes sense.
But even someone who now lives in another state and whose privileges Illinois revoked under any of the above circumstances-DUI in Illinois or DUI in another State while having an Illinois license or being an Illinois resident-and who has no interest in ever driving in Illinois or having an Illinois driver’s license may still be required to clear the Illinois revocation, or “lift the hold”.
The reasons for this are two-fold. First, the Compact stipulates that one state may not issue a driver’s license to someone who is revoked in another state until at least one year has passed since the revocation occurred. 625 ILCS 5/1-117 But there are also U.S. Department of Transportation requirements that prohibit one state from issuing or renewing a driver’s license to its own residents if the applicant has a hold from another state due to a DUI offense.
It does not matter how long ago the revocation on your Illinois driver’s license occurred. Nor is it relevant that you did everything your new state required of you, or that you completed all the requirements of the court that processed the DUI that led to your Illinois revocation There are no double jeopardy or statute of limitations defenses.
You cannot always rely upon your DMV driving records to determine your status. Illinois may find other DUI offenses that were expunged from your record. You are still required to deal with them.
In order to clear the hold, Illinois requires the follow: 1) That you are eligible for reinstatement. Even though you only wish to obtain a clearance letter, as far as Illinois is concerned, this is the same thing as reinstatement; 2) have an administrative hearing and 3) pay a reinstatement fee.
You may have an in-person hearing, or if you live more than 30 miles beyond the Illinois border, you may submit a packet (a paper hearing). The out of state packet consists of your completing an affidavit, proof of your out of state residency and possibly submission of a drug and alcohol evaluation and completion of any alcohol classes, letters of good character and proof you are attending AA. Each case is different; what applies to one person does not necessarily apply to another An attorney experienced in the out of state process is invaluable.