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Removing An Out-of-State Hold On A Driver’s License

Published on May 1st, 2024

Since Illinois traffic laws apply to both in-state residents as well as out-of-state residents, the Secretary of State can issue a hold on any driver’s license following an accident involving alcohol or drugs. This hold prevents drivers from renewing their licenses regardless of the state he or she currently resides in. The only way for an individual to legally reclaim their driving privileges is to request to have the hold removed.

Why Does Illinois Have a Hold on My Driver’s License?

There are multiple ways you can have a hold placed on your driver’s license and these circumstances apply whether you are a resident of Illinois or simply visiting. Some of the most common situations include:

  • If you have been convicted of Driving Under the Influence, or DUI;
  • If you have failed to appear in court for traffic summons;
  • If you have failed to pay court-ordered child support;

Regardless of the reason a hold has been placed on your driver’s license, you will not be able to renew or apply for a new license until the hold has been removed. This hold also appears in the federal government’s National Driver Register and will prevent you from obtaining driving privileges, even in the event that you move to another state.

How Can I Have a DMV Hold Removed?

Discovering a hold has been placed on your driver’s license can cause a lot of frustration. Your inability to drive legally may even create unforeseen hardships you wouldn’t have experienced had you maintained driving privileges. There are only two options available to have a hold removed from your driver’s license. 

Filing an Out-of-State Packet

The first option is to complete an out-of-state packet and submit it to the Secretary of State. This extensive application is 14 pages long and must be submitted through the mail accompanied by a filing fee. You will want to include as much documentation as you can gather to support your request. Some documents you may want to provide include:

  • Fully Completed Questionnaire Package (out-of-state packet)
  • Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
  • Documents Stating You Completed a Treatment Program
  • State Driving Abstract
  • Three or More Character References
  • Proof of State Residency
  • Detailed Documentation of Any Prior DUI Arrests & DUI convictions. This also includes dates and location of any arrests.
  • Documentation of Any Past Drug and/or Alcohol Evaluations
  • Detailed Description of All Types of Treatment Received

This option is favored by individuals who do not wish to, or are unable to, attend an in-person hearing. Filing an out-of-state packet can save time, travel expenses, and eliminate the need for you to take time off of work or rearrange your schedule. 

Scheduling an In-Person Hearing For License Reinstatement

The second option is to schedule an in-person hearing for your driver’s license reinstatement. Although this route is the more expensive of the two options, requesting an in-person hearing is typically more successful in removing the hold from your driver’s license. This is especially true if you do not hold an Illinois Driver’s License or live out of state.

According to the Illinois Secretary of State, hearings will either need to be requested formally or informally, depending on the circumstances that led to your license revocation. 

  • Informal Hearing: An informal hearing is required if the hold placed on your license was due to an offense, or multiple offenses, where a fatality was not involved or for sanctions related to minor moving violations. If your driving privileges were revoked due to a single DUI, you must also attend an informal hearing. 
  • Formal Hearing: If a hold was placed on your license due to any of the following reasons, you must request a formal hearing rather than an informal hearing:
  • An offense, or numerous offenses, involving a fatality
  • Multiple DUI dispositions

Similar to the out-of-state packet, a formal hearing request must be made in writing and submitted to the Secretary of State via mail. You must include a non-refundable $50

filing fee with your application or a hearing will not be scheduled. The Secretary of State’s evaluators will analyze the evidence you present during this hearing and decide whether they should reinstate your out of state or Illinois license.

If you’re approved, you’ll need to pay a $50 reinstatement fee to the Secretary of State. 

We Fight For Your Driving Privileges 

At Johnson & Goldrich, we understand the burden individuals without driving privileges face every day they are unable to carry out simple activities such as going to the grocery store or commuting to work. 

Our experienced firm has appeared at over ten thousand hearings with the Illinois Secretary of State. We have maintained a solid track record of successful outcomes for the clients who are trying to obtain a driver’s license again or remove a mark from their driving record. 

If you have recently discovered that your license is suspended or are unable to renew due to a hold placed by the State of Illinois, reach out to our office to schedule an appointment today.

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