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Your out of state license is on hold because the national registry (PDPS) flagged an Illinois Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

You are probably reading this because the state in which you now reside either will not renew an existing license or will not issue an original one because the national registry has “flagged” an Illinois DUI. Your state’s DMV has informed you that before it can issue you a license, you must remove the Illinois hold. In order to accomplish this, you must have a hearing (either through a mailed-in packet or in-person) with the Secretary of State (which is Illinois’ DMV).

Each state is now required, before issuing a new driver’s license, or renewing an existing one, to check the national registry of driving records to determine if the driver has received DUI arrests in any other states. This new requirement, driven by Federal law, can affect both Illinois and out-of-state residents.

The system is known as Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS), as it is designed to “point” other states to problem drivers. Because of PDPS, the days of jumping from state to state in order to avoid DUI revocations is over, and many drivers are finding their pasts catching up to them.

While on rare occasions the national registry misses DUI offenses, for the most part, it picks them up, even very old ones. This occurs even in those instances where a judge or lawyer many years ago assured you that the case would be dismissed, expunged, not go on your record, disappear or not otherwise “count”.

Even if the DUI itself was dropped, or was never charged, the arrest will show up if you were offered the breath test but refused to take it, or took the breath test and registered above the legal limit for that state.

Some states purge (remove) DUI arrests from their own records. (Illinois does not). However, despite being removed from the official driving record, the DUI is nonetheless likely to appear on the national registry.

You may believe Illinois should simply make the hold vanish, since you satisfied all of your court requirements and since the state where you want a license is willing to give you one but for the Illinois hold. However, you either were convicted of a DUI in Illinois or were convicted in another state of DUI while holding an Illinois license.

Either one of these occurrences is grounds for the mandatory revocation of your Illinois driver’s license and driving privileges. By law, Illinois cannot remove that revocation (and lift its hold) until you have successfully gone through its hearing process.
Concepts such as double jeopardy, ex post facto and statute of limitations are irrelevant to the situation. The only question is whether you are able to show Illinois that you can be a safe and responsible driver.

For in-state residents, the impact of PDPS is fairly straightforward: all DUI arrests, no matter where they occurred and even though they may not appear on the official Illinois driving record, are in play.

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