Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement Lawyers
Get Behind the
Wheel Again!

Contact Alan R. Kurash to get your Illinois
driver’s license reinstated now 630.908.7680

DUI License
Revocation

Contact Alan R. Kurash to get your Illinois
driver’s license reinstated now 630.908.7680

Out of State
License Reinstated!

Contact Alan R. Kurash to get your Illinois
driver’s license reinstated now 630.908.7680

Restore Your
Driving Privileges

Contact Alan R. Kurash to get your Illinois
driver’s license reinstated now 630.908.7680

I got my driver’s
license back!

Contact Alan R. Kurash to get your Illinois
driver’s license reinstated now 630.908.7680

License Reinstatement FAQ

Questions You Should Ask Prior To Hiring an Attorney to Represent You in a Secretary Of State Hearing:

    1. How long have you been licensed to practice law?
    2. What specific expertise do you have in representing Petitioners at Administrative Hearings?
    3. Do you practice exclusively (or mostly) in this area or is this just one of many areas in which you practice? (Watch out for the “Dabblers”) If you are serious about the return of driving privileges, you should have an attorney who is highly skilled in this area of practice to enhance your likelihood of success?
    4. What percentage of your law practice is devoted to representing individuals who are seeking to restore their driving privileges?
    5. How did you gain “expertise” in the area of driver’s license Hearings?
    6. Have you ever been employed by the Secretary of State’s Office either as a Prosecutor or Hearing Officer in the Administrative Hearing Division?
    7. How many Administrative Hearings have you completed?
    8. What is your percentage of success at these Hearings?
    9. What is your percentage of success at first Hearings?
    10. If I hire your office, what specifically will you do in preparation of my Petition?
    11. If I retain you, will I always be working with a licensed attorney?
    12. How much time will we spend together and how many estimated appointments will we have in preparation of my case?
    13. If I get denied driving relief at my first Hearing, will I have to pay an additional fee for subsequent Hearings?
    14. What services does your fee include towards my representation?
    15. Do you review my treatment records/evaluations/character references prior to attending the Hearing?

Do I need a lawyer? I heard the rules do not require you to have one.

The rules applicable to Secretary of State Hearings do not require you to be represented by an attorney. This being said, unless you have great expertise and experience in the Secretary of State’s rules and procedures,  moving forward on your own or with a lawyer who does not concentrate in this area of law will likely result in the DENIAL of driving privileges.

The Administrative Hearing Process is Complicated. Clients frequently consult with us after being denied driving privileges when they have attended a prior Hearing on their own or with an attorney who does not specialize in this area of law. They often express surprise by how difficult and intense the process was and now wish they had hired an experienced lawyer to represent them.

Alan R. Kurash and Associates provides you with over two (2) decades of experience to assist and prepare you for your Hearing to help ensure that you will be Able to Drive Again.

Is there a “Statute of Limitation” whereby after a certain period of time Illinois simply clears the revocation especially if I no longer reside there?

NO. Once you are revoked, the only way you can clear the “Illinois Stop” and receive driving privileges in the state you now reside, is to successfully complete an Administrative Hearing. This can be either an In-State Hearing or via the Out of State Petition. There is NO period of time within which you can wait, where after the revocation will be cleared on its own.

If I previously completed an alcohol evaluation and all treatment/counseling recommended, can’t I just send it to the Secretary of State in Illinois and get my driving privilege back so I can get my license in the state I now reside?
NO. There is an Out of State Petition which must be properly prepared and completed. This Petition has very specific rules which must be followed. Furthermore, the Burden of Proof is upon you, the Petitioner, to prove your case before the Secretary of State will clear the stop on your record.

How long will it take to clear the Illinois Stop?
In most situations, our clients are able to submit their Out of State Petition within two (2) months of retaining our office, which usually results in the clearance of the Illinois stop. This allows them to obtain valid driving privileges in the state they now reside.

Can you help me get clearance of my Illinois revocation so I can get driving privileges in the state I now reside?
YES. Our office will review all of the facts and circumstances of your case and recommend a process with which we will complete together, so that you can achieve a successful outcome to the Out of State Petition. This process thereby allows you to obtain a driver’s license in the state you now reside.

Can you help me get clearance of my Illinois revocation so I can get driving privileges in the state I now reside?
YES. Our office will review all of the facts and circumstances of your case and recommend a process with which we will complete together, so that you can achieve a successful outcome to the Out of State Petition. This process thereby allows you to obtain a driver’s license in the state you now reside.

What is the difference between a Suspension and a Revocation?
A Suspension is a temporary loss of driving privileges for a specified period of time. You receive a “Notice of Suspension” in the mail from the Secretary of State which delineates the period of time your driving privileges have been suspended for. At the end of the suspension. a person will be automatically reinstated upon payment of the required reinstatement fee assuming no other “stops” are on your driving record. You should pay your reinstatement fee as early as allowed by the Secretary of State to ensure there will be no delay to your receipt of driving privileges.

A Revocation is the indefinite loss of driving privileges. There is no automatic reinstatement following a revocation even if the reinstatement fee is paid. A person who is revoked receives “Notice of Revocation” in the mail from the Secretary of State which assigns a start date of revocation and a projected eligibility date (This being the date you are first allowed to “ask” for full reinstatement of your driving privileges). In all instances upon being revoked a person cannot legally drive again until they attend a Administrative Hearing at the Secretary of State Office and are granted driving relief. Your period of Revocation will be determined by the offenses on your record.

A first DUI conviction results in a one (1) year revocation; a second conviction within twenty (20) years results in a five (5) year revocation and a third DUI conviction no matter what the time frame involved results in a ten (10) year revocation.

If a person receives a fourth DUI conviction and this arrest occurs on or after January 1st, 1999 the individual will become permanently revoked and is unable to request any form of driving relief in Illinois (and very likely all other states too).

Again it should be reiterated the length of revocation merely represents the minimum period of time for which you will be revoked. Unless you attend an Administrative Hearing, which results in a successful conclusion, you will remain revoked no matter what time frame elapses. (Example — an individual has one (1) DUI conviction and is revoked for one year. During this time frame, he or she leaves the country and does not return for ten (10) years. The individual is still revoked and must attend an Administrative Hearing resulting in the granting of driving relief before they will be able to drive again). Any passage of time subsequent to your projected eligibility date without a successful Administrative Hearing results in a continuing period of revocation even beyond the original projected eligibility date.

You also need to be aware of the effect a current statutory summary suspension may have on your ability to request and attend an Administrative Hearing for driving privileges. You are not allowed to have a Secretary of State Administrative Hearing if you have a summary suspension pending. This is of great significance because if you have had a DUI disposition on your record within five (5) years of your most recent DUI, you will suffer enhanced periods of statutory summary suspension. (One (1) year for breath test over .08 and three (3) years for refusal). Essentially, this means that even if you are otherwise eligible for a Hearing based on your revocation and driving record (abstract), you will not be able to schedule a Hearing if there is a summary suspension pending. (Example: even though you may only be revoked for one year if you have a three year summary suspension due to a refusal, you are ineligible to schedule a Hearing until the three (3) year summary suspension is over). Some individuals, unfortunately, end up driving either by choice or perceived necessity (to keep a job). If you are stopped and cited for any moving violation which results in a conviction during your period of statutory summary suspension, your period of suspension can double thereby making you ineligible for a Hearing for a longer duration of time. Additionally, any individual who has two or more revocations for a DUI must wait one (1) year from the start date of their most recent revocation before being eligible to attend a Hearing.

As you can see there are many rules applicable to the Hearing process which if not understood can lead to the denial of driving relief and/or the inability to attend an Administrative Hearing. Our office can provide experience and expertise to guide you through this process so you can achieve SUCCESS!!!

What is Burden Of Proof?
Petitioners who attend a Hearing before their Projected Eligibility Date and therefore are not eligible for full reinstatement of driving privileges at the time of their Hearing must prove that there is no reasonable alternative means of transportation available, and that they will not endanger the public safety or welfare, and that an under hardship will result if they are not issued a restricted driving permit (RDP). The Secretary of State does not weigh the nature or extent of a Petitioner’s hardship against the risk he/she poses to the public safety and welfare. Rather, the Petitioner must first carry his/her burden of proving that he/she will not endanger the public safety and welfare in order for the Secretary of State to then consider whether the Petitioner has an Undue Hardship.

Remember that it is your burden of proof. This is unlike criminal court whereat the prosecutor had the burden of proving you guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. At the Administrative Hearing the burden shifts to You to prove by clear and convincing evidence the following:

The nature and extent of a Petitioner’s alcohol/drug problem.
Whether Petitioner’s alcohol/drug problem has been resolved and;
Whether the Petitioners will be a safe and responsible driver.
You can determine whether you are eligible for full reinstatement by checking your “projected eligibility” date. This date is located in the upper right hand corner of your most recently received “Notice of Revocation”.

What is the difference between a Formal Hearing versus Informal Hearing?
There are two types of In State Hearings available through the Secretary of State’s Office for those seeking driving relief. It is imperative that an attorney first determine whether a Formal Hearing is necessary or whether the client will be eligible for an Informal Hearing which is often perceived as a less invasive procedure.

Your attendance at an Informal Hearing versus a Formal Hearing will be determined conclusively by your Illinois driving record and PDPS-the nationwide data base. Anyone who has two (2) or more “actions” on their driving abstract will be required to attend a Formal Hearing. An action is either a conviction for Driving Under the Influence or a Statutory Summary (also known as Implied Consent Suspension) arising out of separate incidents. If you are convicted of a DUI and also had a Statutory Summary or Implied Consent Suspension arising out of that same incident, although these are technically two actions, they merge and only count as one because they arise from the same event/arrest. Additionally, if your Illinois driving abstract reveals that you are eligible for an Informal Hearing, but your PDPS (nationwide database) reveals you have an Out of State Conviction or suspension for DUI, which is not revealed on your Illinois driving abstract, you will be required to attend a Formal Hearing.

Formal Hearings are currently held in four (4) locations throughout the state of Illinois—Chicago, Joliet, Springfield and Mount Vernon. To schedule a Formal Hearing you must make a written request to the Secretary of State, where after the Secretary will schedule a firm date and time for your Hearing and provide you with written notice of the same. There is a fifty ($50) dollar fee which must be submitted along with your Request for Hearing. You will typically be assigned a Hearing date about six (6) weeks after your request for Hearing was submitted. When you attend a Formal Hearing either on your own (not recommended) or with a qualified attorney who practices in this area of concentration, there will be representatives of the Secretary of State present. The Hearing Officer’s job is to listen to the testimony and render a recommendation of grant or denial of driving relief. The Prosecutor’s job is to cross examine you in a detailed fashion seeking out any inconsistencies or weaknesses in your testimony or other written evidence you have introduced. Formal Hearings are tape recorded and you have the right to request a copy of the tape within 35 days of the entry of your “Order”. At the conclusion of the Hearing, you do not get an immediate decision from the Hearing Officer, rather the case is taken under advisement and the final Order is generally mailed 4-8 weeks later. The decision from the Secretary of State will either result in the grant or denial of driving relief. If you are denied, you can attend another Formal Hearing no less than 90 days following the date of the previous Hearing or you may Appeal the Formal Hearing decision to the Circuit Court. Please note that there are technical rules which must be complied with including specific time frames to properly appeal your Hearing decision. Be aware that if you are granted, you will not receive your Restricted Driving Permit in the mail with your Hearing decision. This decision will contain a list of additional requirements which must be complied with to satisfy the Secretary of State. Upon completion of these requirements, you will then receive your Restricted Driving Permit in the mail.

Informal Hearings are held at any of the Secretary of State driver’s license facilities whereat an Informal Hearing Officer is present. Informal Hearings are held on a first come – first serve basis. There is no written request necessary and there is no fee required. At the Informal Hearing, you will appear before the Hearing Officer who will question you at length about the circumstances which led to your arrests, your past and present drinking/drug history and other information deemed relevant to the Secretary of State. There is no recording device at an Informal Hearing and decisions from these Hearings are usually received by the Petitioner within 4-6 weeks following the date of the Hearing. There exists no right to appeal the decision if it results in a denial and your only remedy will be to attend yet another Informal Hearing, or in some instances the Secretary might mandate that any future Hearing takes place at the Formal Hearing Level. This recommendation usually occurs when the facts and circumstances of your petition are complicated or there are substantial inconsistencies or credibility issues that would be more appropriately dealt with at the Formal Hearing level. Additionally, we have seen circumstances whereby individuals attend multiple Informal Hearings resulting in denial of driving relief and their denial letters contain specific language that any future Hearing must be a Formal Hearing.

What Is a Restricted Driving Permit?
A restricted driving permit is that document which grants and specifies limited privileges to drivers of motor vehicles who have their driving privileges suspended, revoked or cancelled. The restricted driving permit is valid only when signed and in the immediate possession of the driver to whom it was issued. Restricted driving permits limit the operation of a motor vehicle to certain days, hours, mile radius and purpose. If you are driving outside of any of these parameters, you are in violation of the restricted permit and you are considered at that point to be driving while suspended or revoked, and if stopped can be issued a citation for such. If you are convicted of any “moving violations” while on the RDP, the Secretary of State, upon notice from the court will send a Notice of Cancellation of your permit whereupon you will need to re-initiate the Hearing process in hopes of regaining privileges.

When you receive your Notice of Revocation or Suspension in the mail, the document will indicate your projected eligibility date (if revoked) or end date of suspension (if suspended). If you attend a Hearing whether formal or informal prior to these dates, you must demonstrate “undue hardship”. A Petitioner must prove by clear and convincing evidence that an undue hardship is currently being suffered as a result of the inability to legally operate a motor vehicle. Mere inconvenience to the Petitioner and or family/friends is not undue hardship. The Petitioner should produce clear and convincing evidence as to the unavailability of reasonable alternative means of transportation, such as but not limited to; walking, mass transit, car pools, or being driven. Petitioners should be prepared to indicate how he/she is currently getting to his/her destination and whether driving is required in the course of employment. The distance between the Petitioner’s residence and his/her destination and whether on the job driving is required are all important considerations. It should be noted that the Secretary of State’s viewpoint of “undue hardship” is very restrictive and what we as ” lay persons” might consider a “undue hardship” is frequently deemed a mere inconvenience by the Secretary of State thereby resulting in a denial of driving relief. You must understand that a mere inconvenience is not Undue Hardship. If you are eligible for full reinstatement of your driving privileges, there is no need to prove undue hardship even if attempting to get a restricted driving permit. This is because you are not seeking a hardship license but rather you are seeking a probationary license (permit) and there is no requirement under these circumstances to prove “undue hardship”.

Typically a Restricted Driving Permit (if granted) is issued for a twelve (12) month period of time. The Secretary of State has a 75% Rule which essentially means a Petitioner, who is driving on a restricted driving permit will not be considered for reinstatement of driving privileges, even if otherwise eligible for reinstatement, unless he/she has successfully driven on the RDP for 75% of its length of time issued or has driven continuously on the current permit and a previously issued permit for a total of at least nine (9) months at the time the Petitioner becomes eligible for reinstatement. A Petitioner cannot seek full reinstatement of driving privileges no matter how long they have operated on a RDP unless their projected eligibility for full reinstatement has arrived. Under rare circumstances, a Petitioner may appeal to the Director of the Department for a waiver of the 75% rule when exigent circumstances would warrant consideration. An example of an exigent circumstance would be a situation where the Petitioner would be prevented from being able to meet this requirement ­such as moving out of state.

What is a Secretary of State Administrative Hearing?
In any discussion regarding Secretary of State Administrative Hearings it is helpful to first discuss what they are NOT!

Not held at the traditional state, county or federal court facilities.
Not court at all (at least not in a traditional sense).
No Criminal Code of Procedure applicable.
No Civil Code of Procedure applicable.
No elected or appointed judge sitting in determination.
Indeed, the Hearing Officer who renders a decision on your file is not necessarily a licensed attorney.

So What Are They?

Essentially, they are Administrative Law Hearings governed by the rules contained in Title 92 Chapter II Part 1001 of the Illinois Administrative Code. These Hearings are fact finding tribunals whose purpose is to determine whether a suspended or revoked driver should be granted driving relief either in the form of full reinstatement or a restricted driving permit. The overwhelming objective of the Secretary of State is to protect the safety of the general public. The Burden of Proof is on the Petitioner to provide clear and convincing evidence both written and oral in order to meet their burden of proof. The technical rules of evidence do not apply in these hearings and any questions that have any relevance to the Petitioner or the Secretary are generally allowed.

The Secretary of States’ Statement of Principle and Purpose is as follows;

In cases in which a person’s drivers license and driving privileges are suspended or revoked, the Secretary has been given the following statutory mandate: “In no event shall the Secretary issue such license unless and until such person has had a Hearing pursuant to the Code and the appropriate Administrative rules and the Secretary is satisfied, after a review or investigation of such person that to grant the privilege of driving a motor vehicle on the highways will not endanger the public safety or welfare.”

A person seeking driving privileges after a suspension or revocation must apply for an Administrative Hearing before the Office of the Secretary of State. Generally speaking, unless you are properly prepared and have become knowledgeable in all of the applicable rules, statutes and burdens of proof, the likelihood of a favorable decision is not good. The administrative rules and statutes applicable to these Hearings can be quite confusing to the lay person and the Hearing process becomes increasingly more difficult and complex when these rules are enforced by a knowledgeable Prosecutor and Hearing Officer, whose mission is to protect the public safety. We all have had Life Experiences, whereas we attempt to do something in which we have no experience or expertise, only to fail miserably at the task.

I believe that the Secretary of States “Tough Minded” approach to the Administrative Hearing process is correct. The streets, roads and highways of our State need to be kept safe for all of us. With proper education, guidance and training by our office, you can level the playing field and meet your burden of proof so as to receive a successful result being Driving Privileges.

Alan R. Kurash is known throughout the state as a leading attorney in driver’s license law and representing individuals in Administrative Hearings. Mr. Kurash is a former Prosecuting Attorney for the Secretary of State and has lectured at Illinois State Bar Association Seminars on the representation of drivers at Secretary of State Administrative Hearings. At these events, he received the highest rating from the Layers/Attendees of any speaker/lecturer in attendance. As a private attorney, Mr. Kurash has provided successful representation to thousands of clients in Driver’s License Hearings before the Secretary of State, including many people who believed or were told they would never drive again.

I Receive A Notice of Revocation. What Does “Projected Eligibility” Date Mean?
Once you are revoked, the only way you will ever receive driving privileges is to go through the Secretary of State Hearing process successfully. Your projected eligibility date is merely the date on which you are first allowed to seek the return of “full reinstatement of your driving privileges.” In most situations, you are eligible to ask for restricted driving privileges, even before your projected eligibility date. Indeed, we recommend that you seek driving privileges as soon as possible, as the sooner you prove to the Secretary of State that you can and will be a safe and responsible driver on a restricted permit, the sooner you will be able to regain your full driving privileges. When you are seeking privileges prior to your projected eligibility date, you must prove as a necessary element of your case “Undue Hardship”. Our office can guide and prepare you for the complicated Hearing process so that you can achieve driving relief as soon as possible typically at the first Hearing.

What are Alcohol/Drug Evaluations and the Levels of Classification?
Any Petitioner who seeks driving relief from an alcohol or drug related suspension or revocation must have completed an alcohol/drug evaluation typically known as a “Uniform Report”. This evaluation cannot be more than six (6) months old of the day of your hearing. Based on the findings of this Evaluation, a Level of Classification will be rendered as follows:

Level 1 (Minimal Risk)

This classification applies to someone who has only one DUI arrest and has no prior convictions or supervisions for DUI, no prior reckless driving convictions reduced from DUI and no prior statutory summary suspensions. Your BAC score must have been .14 or less to be classified Level 1. You cannot be a Level 1 if you refused the breath test or took a breath test which revealed a BAC score of .15 or higher. Additionally, you cannot be Level 1, if you present any symptoms of abuse or dependence regardless of whether you took or refused the breath test. If you are classified as Level 1 you must complete ten (10) hours of Driver Risk Education (DRE).

Level II Moderate

This classification applies to someone who has only one (1) DUI arrest (as above) and who either refused the breath test or achieved a BAC score of .15 – .19. Again, there cannot be present any symptoms of abuse or dependence. If you are classified as a Level II Moderate, you must complete the ten (10) hours (DRE) as outlined above and in addition twelve (12) hours of Early Intervention Alcohol Counseling.

Level II Significant

This classification applies to someone who is not identified as dependent on alcohol or drugs and who, in addition to their most recent DUI disposition, has a prior supervision or conviction for DUI or a prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI or one (1) prior statutory summary suspension. Additionally, anyone who has a BAC of .20 or higher on his current arrest for DUI, regardless of whether there was a prior DUI, must be classified at least as a Level II Significant. If you are classified as Level II Significant, you must complete “ten (10) hours of DRE” and additionally, must undergo at least twenty (20) hours of primary alcohol counseling and fulfill an aftercare (continuing care) program thereafter. A typical aftercare (continuing care) program would consist of follow up appointments one (1) time a month, for six (6) months, or two (2) times per month for three (3) months, the purpose is to reinforce the gains achieved from the completion of primary care/counseling.

Level III High Risk (Non Dependent)

This classification applies to anyone who has received within a ten (10) year period of time from the most recent arrest (3rd or greater), any combination of two (2) prior convictions, summary suspensions or prior reckless driving convictions reduced from DUI. Individuals who fall into this category although presenting with symptoms of abuse do not have three (3) or more symptoms of dependency as determined by the evaluator or counselor. If you are classified as Level III Non Dependent you do not need to complete ten (10) hours of Driver’s Risk Education (DRE) however, you must complete seventy five (75) hours of primary alcohol/drug counseling or treatment and complete an aftercare (continuing care) program. The length and frequency of which will be determined by the treatment provider. Additionally, the Level III Non Dependent, individual must demonstrate twelve (12) months of either abstinence or non-problematic use and present at least three (3) letters from family and friends attesting to such non-problematic usage prior to engaging in a hearing. The Level III Non Dependent individual is NOT required to be actively involved in a support program (Traditional or Non Traditional) as this is required only for the Level III Dependent individual.

Level III High Risk (Dependent)

This classification applies to anyone who exhibits three (3) or more symptoms of dependence (regardless of the number of DUI arrests). If you are classified as Level III Dependent, you will not need to complete ten (10) hours of Driver’s Risk Education (DRE), however you must complete either seventy five (75) hours of intensive out- patient counseling/treatment or alternatively an inpatient treatment program. Additionally you must demonstrate “Abstinence” from all alcohol and drugs for at least 12 months prior to your Hearing. (Note: There is an exception to the 12 month abstinence rule which is for those who have more than six (6) months abstinence but less then twelve (12) and who are working an exemplary support program. Although these individuals can be considered for driving relief—It has been this attorney’s understanding that very few individuals are granted relief under this exception to the rule, as the duty imposed upon the Secretary of State to protect the general public typically prevail. Additionally, you must demonstrate active involvement in a support program such as AA. The Secretary of State considers AA to be a traditional support program due to the programs wide spread notoriety and overall level of success in helping individuals remain sober. The Secretary of State will consider non-traditional support programs such as church, family and friends, or other structured “AA type” programs in their various versions. The Secretary of State must be satisfied the program is sufficient to provide appropriate support to help you remain abstinent. Remember that it is your burden of proof. Whether you rely on a traditional or non-traditional support program, you must submit at least three (3) letters from individuals who are involved in your respective support program, who must all explain in detail how the program is working to keep you abstinent/sober. The Secretary will be very critical of non-traditional programs and will look for any deficiencies which might indicate a less than desired quality of support. It is certainly preferable that any non-traditional support program involve regular and frequent discussions about the non-usage of alcohol/drugs as applicable to everyday life challenges.

Lastly, you will need to submit at least three (3) letters from family or friends attesting to your sobriety date and changes made in your lifestyle which supports your ongoing sobriety.

What is SR-22 Insurance?
Revocations

In addition to accident suspensions, unsatisfied judgments and mandatory insurance offenses, the Safety and Financial Responsibility Section is also responsible for accepting and monitoring financial responsibility filings (SR-22) on revocations. Under the provisions of the Illinois Vehicle Code, any individual revoked in Illinois is required to file SR-22 insurance before driving privileges may be reinstated, or a restricted driving permit issued. The insurance must be maintained for a period of three (3) years. If the motorist fails to renew or cancels the SR-22 policy, the Secretary of State will enter a suspension (Type action 05) on his/her driving record. This suspension cannot be removed until the insurance filing has been reinstated (Authority Section ILCS 5/7-305).

Financial Responsibility Insurance

The SR-22 Certificate

Financial Responsibility Insurance is required in Illinois for individuals involved in an uninsured accident and suspended administratively through the Safety Responsibility Law; individuals with a record of unsatisfied judgment resulting from an uninsured crash; individuals with revocations on his/her driving record; and individuals with mandatory insurance violations (supervision or three or more convictions). The insurance must be submitted on a Financial Responsibility Certificate (SR-22) from the home office of the insurance company. The issuing insurance company must be authorized to write financial responsibility insurance in Illinois and have a list of authorized agents on file with S&FR.

The SR-22 certificate must be issued in one of the following types:

Operator’s Certificate This policy covers the motorist in the operation of any non-owned vehicle.

Owner’s Certificate This policy covers vehicles owned by the driver. The type of vehicle must be listed on the SR-22 or may be issued for “All owned vehicles”.

Operators-Owner’s Certificate This certificate covers all vehicles owned or non-owned by the driver.

The SR-22 must meet Illinois’ minimum liability requirement of $55,000. The total amount of coverage must be broken down into a minimum of $20,000 coverage for one person killed or injured, $40,000 coverage for two or more persons and $15,000 for property damage.

Cancellation of Insurance

Once the insurance is accepted, it must be maintained for a period of 12 to 36 months based on the offense. If the SR-22 expires or is cancelled, the insurance company is required by law to notify the S & FR Section with a SR-26 Cancellation Notice. Upon receipt, S & FR will then load a Financial Responsibility Insurance Cancellation suspension on the driving record. This suspension cannot be removed until the insurance filing has been reinstated.

Out-of-State Residents

Out-of-state residents may submit evidence of insurance coverage in lieu of an Illinois SR-22 certificate (625 ILCS 5/7-316.1). The SR-22 is waived once the individual moves out of state and submits the proper paper work to our office. The requirement would be reinstated if the individual moved back in Illinois during a three-year period.

The SR-22 Waiver Law provides that any nonresident or former Illinois residents who have met all requirements for restoration of driving privileges under the Safety and Financial Responsibility Law except filing proof of financial responsibility, shall be released from the Illinois proof of financial responsibility requirement if he or she resides outside of Illinois and has applied for a license in another state.

Our office requires proof of non-residency in the form of an Out-of-State Waiver Affidavit. If the individual returns to Illinois within three years and cannot show proof of insurance for the required filing time during the period of non-residency, the FR requirement will be reinstated.

Financial Responsibility Insurance (SR-22) is the only mechanism in place in Illinois to monitor the insurance of problem drivers, and allows us to suspend upon cancellation or expiration. Through the SR-22 and SR-26 process mandatory insurance is enforced in the most efficient way. Through the S & FR law, our office is protecting Illinois citizens from uninsured motorists.

What are the RDP Classifications?
There are currently six (6) different categories for which a Petitioner can request restricted driving privileges.

Employment. A Petitioner seeking an employment related RDP must be currently employed, or present a verifiable offer of employment, and the employment must be verified upon forms prescribed by the Department. If the Petitioner is self-employed, evidence of such can include, but is not limited to, stationery, business card, official receipt, check, state or federal tax returns or letters from business associates.
Medical or Treatment. A Petitioner seeking an RDP for medical or treatment purposes must provide verifiable documentation from the licensed physical or mental health care provider involved that the Petitioner or a member of his/her immediate family must receive or is receiving medical services on a regularly scheduled basis.
Community Service. A Petitioner seeking an RDP for court ordered community service must provide court documents detailing the terms of the service, including but not limited to the place or places the service is performed, the hours during which the service is to be performed and the nature of the service.
Educational. A Petitioner seeking an educational RDP must be currently enrolled, or intend to enroll for the next available session, in an accredited educational institution for the purpose of taking an accredited educational course or courses. Prior to the issuance of any educational RDP, the Petitioner must submit verification of enrollment from the institution. The verification shall be on a form provided by the Secretary of State.
Support/Recovery. A Petitioner seeking a support/recovery program RDP must provide written documentation from members of the group or program, that he/she has been attending meetings on a regular basis.
Family Education and/or Day Care. This permit allows a Petitioner to take their children to and from school and/or daycare. It also allows a Petitioner to take a child to and from activities related to school which are scheduled immediately before and after regular school hours.
Remember that if you are in hard time (i.e. your projected eligibility date has not yet arrived), you will have to prove “Undue Hardship” to be considered for restricted driving privileges. Your projected eligibility date is stated in the upper right hand corner of your most recently received Notice of Revocation.

What Is A BAIID Machine and Will I Have To Install One?
The BAIID machine (Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device) is a device which requires a breath sample prior to starting your vehicle and later at random intervals while driving. Whether or not you will need a BAIID device installed in your vehicle depends on your driving record and personal history. Our office has the expertise to assist you in determining whether you will need to seek installation of the BAIID device.

  • How long have you been licensed to practice law?
  • What specific expertise do you have in representing Petitioners at Administrative Hearings?
  • Do you practice exclusively (or mostly) in this area or is this just one of many areas in which you practice? (Watch out for the “Dabblers”) If you are serious about the return of driving privileges, you should have an attorney who is highly skilled in this area of practice to enhance your likelihood of success?
  • What percentage of your law practice is devoted to representing individuals who are seeking to restore their driving privileges?
  • How did you gain “expertise” in the area of driver’s license Hearings?
  • Have you ever been employed by the Secretary of State’s Office either as a Prosecutor or Hearing Officer in the Administrative Hearing Division?
  • How many Administrative Hearings have you completed?
  • What is your percentage of success at these Hearings?
  • What is your percentage of success at first Hearings?
  • If I hire your office, what specifically will you do in preparation of my Petition?
  • If I retain you, will I always be working with a licensed attorney?
  • How much time will we spend together and how many estimated appointments will we have in preparation of my case?
  • If I get denied driving relief at my first Hearing, will I have to pay an additional fee for subsequent Hearings?
  • What services does your fee include towards my representation?
  • Do you review my treatment records/evaluations/character references prior to attending the Hearing?
  • Do I need a lawyer? I heard the rules do not require you to have one.

    The rules applicable to Secretary of State Hearings do not require you to be represented by an attorney. This being said, unless you have great expertise and experience in the Secretary of State’s rules and procedures,  moving forward on your own or with a lawyer who does not concentrate in this area of law will likely result in the DENIAL of driving privileges.

    The Administrative Hearing Process is Complicated. Clients frequently consult with us after being denied driving privileges when they have attended a prior Hearing on their own or with an attorney who does not specialize in this area of law. They often express surprise by how difficult and intense the process was and now wish they had hired an experienced lawyer to represent them.

    Alan R. Kurash and Associates provides you with over two (2) decades of experience to assist and prepare you for your Hearing to help ensure that you will be Able to Drive Again.

    Is there a “Statute of Limitation” whereby after a certain period of time Illinois simply clears the revocation especially if I no longer reside there?

    NO. Once you are revoked, the only way you can clear the “Illinois Stop” and receive driving privileges in the state you now reside, is to successfully complete an Administrative Hearing. This can be either an In-State Hearing or via the Out of State Petition. There is NO period of time within which you can wait, where after the revocation will be cleared on its own.

    If I previously completed an alcohol evaluation and all treatment/counseling recommended, can’t I just send it to the Secretary of State in Illinois and get my driving privilege back so I can get my license in the state I now reside?
    NO. There is an Out of State Petition which must be properly prepared and completed. This Petition has very specific rules which must be followed. Furthermore, the Burden of Proof is upon you, the Petitioner, to prove your case before the Secretary of State will clear the stop on your record.

    How long will it take to clear the Illinois Stop?
    In most situations, our clients are able to submit their Out of State Petition within two (2) months of retaining our office, which usually results in the clearance of the Illinois stop. This allows them to obtain valid driving privileges in the state they now reside.

    Can you help me get clearance of my Illinois revocation so I can get driving privileges in the state I now reside?
    YES. Our office will review all of the facts and circumstances of your case and recommend a process with which we will complete together, so that you can achieve a successful outcome to the Out of State Petition. This process thereby allows you to obtain a driver’s license in the state you now reside.

    Can you help me get clearance of my Illinois revocation so I can get driving privileges in the state I now reside?
    YES. Our office will review all of the facts and circumstances of your case and recommend a process with which we will complete together, so that you can achieve a successful outcome to the Out of State Petition. This process thereby allows you to obtain a driver’s license in the state you now reside.

    What is the difference between a Suspension and a Revocation?
    A Suspension is a temporary loss of driving privileges for a specified period of time. You receive a “Notice of Suspension” in the mail from the Secretary of State which delineates the period of time your driving privileges have been suspended for. At the end of the suspension. a person will be automatically reinstated upon payment of the required reinstatement fee assuming no other “stops” are on your driving record. You should pay your reinstatement fee as early as allowed by the Secretary of State to ensure there will be no delay to your receipt of driving privileges.

    A Revocation is the indefinite loss of driving privileges. There is no automatic reinstatement following a revocation even if the reinstatement fee is paid. A person who is revoked receives “Notice of Revocation” in the mail from the Secretary of State which assigns a start date of revocation and a projected eligibility date (This being the date you are first allowed to “ask” for full reinstatement of your driving privileges). In all instances upon being revoked a person cannot legally drive again until they attend a Administrative Hearing at the Secretary of State Office and are granted driving relief. Your period of Revocation will be determined by the offenses on your record.

    A first DUI conviction results in a one (1) year revocation; a second conviction within twenty (20) years results in a five (5) year revocation and a third DUI conviction no matter what the time frame involved results in a ten (10) year revocation.

    If a person receives a fourth DUI conviction and this arrest occurs on or after January 1st, 1999 the individual will become permanently revoked and is unable to request any form of driving relief in Illinois (and very likely all other states too).

    Again it should be reiterated the length of revocation merely represents the minimum period of time for which you will be revoked. Unless you attend an Administrative Hearing, which results in a successful conclusion, you will remain revoked no matter what time frame elapses. (Example — an individual has one (1) DUI conviction and is revoked for one year. During this time frame, he or she leaves the country and does not return for ten (10) years. The individual is still revoked and must attend an Administrative Hearing resulting in the granting of driving relief before they will be able to drive again). Any passage of time subsequent to your projected eligibility date without a successful Administrative Hearing results in a continuing period of revocation even beyond the original projected eligibility date.

    You also need to be aware of the effect a current statutory summary suspension may have on your ability to request and attend an Administrative Hearing for driving privileges. You are not allowed to have a Secretary of State Administrative Hearing if you have a summary suspension pending. This is of great significance because if you have had a DUI disposition on your record within five (5) years of your most recent DUI, you will suffer enhanced periods of statutory summary suspension. (One (1) year for breath test over .08 and three (3) years for refusal). Essentially, this means that even if you are otherwise eligible for a Hearing based on your revocation and driving record (abstract), you will not be able to schedule a Hearing if there is a summary suspension pending. (Example: even though you may only be revoked for one year if you have a three year summary suspension due to a refusal, you are ineligible to schedule a Hearing until the three (3) year summary suspension is over). Some individuals, unfortunately, end up driving either by choice or perceived necessity (to keep a job). If you are stopped and cited for any moving violation which results in a conviction during your period of statutory summary suspension, your period of suspension can double thereby making you ineligible for a Hearing for a longer duration of time. Additionally, any individual who has two or more revocations for a DUI must wait one (1) year from the start date of their most recent revocation before being eligible to attend a Hearing.

    As you can see there are many rules applicable to the Hearing process which if not understood can lead to the denial of driving relief and/or the inability to attend an Administrative Hearing. Our office can provide experience and expertise to guide you through this process so you can achieve SUCCESS!!!

    What is Burden Of Proof?
    Petitioners who attend a Hearing before their Projected Eligibility Date and therefore are not eligible for full reinstatement of driving privileges at the time of their Hearing must prove that there is no reasonable alternative means of transportation available, and that they will not endanger the public safety or welfare, and that an under hardship will result if they are not issued a restricted driving permit (RDP). The Secretary of State does not weigh the nature or extent of a Petitioner’s hardship against the risk he/she poses to the public safety and welfare. Rather, the Petitioner must first carry his/her burden of proving that he/she will not endanger the public safety and welfare in order for the Secretary of State to then consider whether the Petitioner has an Undue Hardship.

    Remember that it is your burden of proof. This is unlike criminal court whereat the prosecutor had the burden of proving you guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. At the Administrative Hearing the burden shifts to You to prove by clear and convincing evidence the following:

    The nature and extent of a Petitioner’s alcohol/drug problem.
    Whether Petitioner’s alcohol/drug problem has been resolved and;
    Whether the Petitioners will be a safe and responsible driver.
    You can determine whether you are eligible for full reinstatement by checking your “projected eligibility” date. This date is located in the upper right hand corner of your most recently received “Notice of Revocation”.

    What is the difference between a Formal Hearing versus Informal Hearing?
    There are two types of In State Hearings available through the Secretary of State’s Office for those seeking driving relief. It is imperative that an attorney first determine whether a Formal Hearing is necessary or whether the client will be eligible for an Informal Hearing which is often perceived as a less invasive procedure.

    Your attendance at an Informal Hearing versus a Formal Hearing will be determined conclusively by your Illinois driving record and PDPS-the nationwide data base. Anyone who has two (2) or more “actions” on their driving abstract will be required to attend a Formal Hearing. An action is either a conviction for Driving Under the Influence or a Statutory Summary (also known as Implied Consent Suspension) arising out of separate incidents. If you are convicted of a DUI and also had a Statutory Summary or Implied Consent Suspension arising out of that same incident, although these are technically two actions, they merge and only count as one because they arise from the same event/arrest. Additionally, if your Illinois driving abstract reveals that you are eligible for an Informal Hearing, but your PDPS (nationwide database) reveals you have an Out of State Conviction or suspension for DUI, which is not revealed on your Illinois driving abstract, you will be required to attend a Formal Hearing.

    Formal Hearings are currently held in four (4) locations throughout the state of Illinois—Chicago, Joliet, Springfield and Mount Vernon. To schedule a Formal Hearing you must make a written request to the Secretary of State, where after the Secretary will schedule a firm date and time for your Hearing and provide you with written notice of the same. There is a fifty ($50) dollar fee which must be submitted along with your Request for Hearing. You will typically be assigned a Hearing date about six (6) weeks after your request for Hearing was submitted. When you attend a Formal Hearing either on your own (not recommended) or with a qualified attorney who practices in this area of concentration, there will be representatives of the Secretary of State present. The Hearing Officer’s job is to listen to the testimony and render a recommendation of grant or denial of driving relief. The Prosecutor’s job is to cross examine you in a detailed fashion seeking out any inconsistencies or weaknesses in your testimony or other written evidence you have introduced. Formal Hearings are tape recorded and you have the right to request a copy of the tape within 35 days of the entry of your “Order”. At the conclusion of the Hearing, you do not get an immediate decision from the Hearing Officer, rather the case is taken under advisement and the final Order is generally mailed 4-8 weeks later. The decision from the Secretary of State will either result in the grant or denial of driving relief. If you are denied, you can attend another Formal Hearing no less than 90 days following the date of the previous Hearing or you may Appeal the Formal Hearing decision to the Circuit Court. Please note that there are technical rules which must be complied with including specific time frames to properly appeal your Hearing decision. Be aware that if you are granted, you will not receive your Restricted Driving Permit in the mail with your Hearing decision. This decision will contain a list of additional requirements which must be complied with to satisfy the Secretary of State. Upon completion of these requirements, you will then receive your Restricted Driving Permit in the mail.

    Informal Hearings are held at any of the Secretary of State driver’s license facilities whereat an Informal Hearing Officer is present. Informal Hearings are held on a first come – first serve basis. There is no written request necessary and there is no fee required. At the Informal Hearing, you will appear before the Hearing Officer who will question you at length about the circumstances which led to your arrests, your past and present drinking/drug history and other information deemed relevant to the Secretary of State. There is no recording device at an Informal Hearing and decisions from these Hearings are usually received by the Petitioner within 4-6 weeks following the date of the Hearing. There exists no right to appeal the decision if it results in a denial and your only remedy will be to attend yet another Informal Hearing, or in some instances the Secretary might mandate that any future Hearing takes place at the Formal Hearing Level. This recommendation usually occurs when the facts and circumstances of your petition are complicated or there are substantial inconsistencies or credibility issues that would be more appropriately dealt with at the Formal Hearing level. Additionally, we have seen circumstances whereby individuals attend multiple Informal Hearings resulting in denial of driving relief and their denial letters contain specific language that any future Hearing must be a Formal Hearing.

    What Is a Restricted Driving Permit?
    A restricted driving permit is that document which grants and specifies limited privileges to drivers of motor vehicles who have their driving privileges suspended, revoked or cancelled. The restricted driving permit is valid only when signed and in the immediate possession of the driver to whom it was issued. Restricted driving permits limit the operation of a motor vehicle to certain days, hours, mile radius and purpose. If you are driving outside of any of these parameters, you are in violation of the restricted permit and you are considered at that point to be driving while suspended or revoked, and if stopped can be issued a citation for such. If you are convicted of any “moving violations” while on the RDP, the Secretary of State, upon notice from the court will send a Notice of Cancellation of your permit whereupon you will need to re-initiate the Hearing process in hopes of regaining privileges.

    When you receive your Notice of Revocation or Suspension in the mail, the document will indicate your projected eligibility date (if revoked) or end date of suspension (if suspended). If you attend a Hearing whether formal or informal prior to these dates, you must demonstrate “undue hardship”. A Petitioner must prove by clear and convincing evidence that an undue hardship is currently being suffered as a result of the inability to legally operate a motor vehicle. Mere inconvenience to the Petitioner and or family/friends is not undue hardship. The Petitioner should produce clear and convincing evidence as to the unavailability of reasonable alternative means of transportation, such as but not limited to; walking, mass transit, car pools, or being driven. Petitioners should be prepared to indicate how he/she is currently getting to his/her destination and whether driving is required in the course of employment. The distance between the Petitioner’s residence and his/her destination and whether on the job driving is required are all important considerations. It should be noted that the Secretary of State’s viewpoint of “undue hardship” is very restrictive and what we as ” lay persons” might consider a “undue hardship” is frequently deemed a mere inconvenience by the Secretary of State thereby resulting in a denial of driving relief. You must understand that a mere inconvenience is not Undue Hardship. If you are eligible for full reinstatement of your driving privileges, there is no need to prove undue hardship even if attempting to get a restricted driving permit. This is because you are not seeking a hardship license but rather you are seeking a probationary license (permit) and there is no requirement under these circumstances to prove “undue hardship”.

    Typically a Restricted Driving Permit (if granted) is issued for a twelve (12) month period of time. The Secretary of State has a 75% Rule which essentially means a Petitioner, who is driving on a restricted driving permit will not be considered for reinstatement of driving privileges, even if otherwise eligible for reinstatement, unless he/she has successfully driven on the RDP for 75% of its length of time issued or has driven continuously on the current permit and a previously issued permit for a total of at least nine (9) months at the time the Petitioner becomes eligible for reinstatement. A Petitioner cannot seek full reinstatement of driving privileges no matter how long they have operated on a RDP unless their projected eligibility for full reinstatement has arrived. Under rare circumstances, a Petitioner may appeal to the Director of the Department for a waiver of the 75% rule when exigent circumstances would warrant consideration. An example of an exigent circumstance would be a situation where the Petitioner would be prevented from being able to meet this requirement ­such as moving out of state.

    What is a Secretary of State Administrative Hearing?
    In any discussion regarding Secretary of State Administrative Hearings it is helpful to first discuss what they are NOT!

    Not held at the traditional state, county or federal court facilities.
    Not court at all (at least not in a traditional sense).
    No Criminal Code of Procedure applicable.
    No Civil Code of Procedure applicable.
    No elected or appointed judge sitting in determination.
    Indeed, the Hearing Officer who renders a decision on your file is not necessarily a licensed attorney.

    So What Are They?

    Essentially, they are Administrative Law Hearings governed by the rules contained in Title 92 Chapter II Part 1001 of the Illinois Administrative Code. These Hearings are fact finding tribunals whose purpose is to determine whether a suspended or revoked driver should be granted driving relief either in the form of full reinstatement or a restricted driving permit. The overwhelming objective of the Secretary of State is to protect the safety of the general public. The Burden of Proof is on the Petitioner to provide clear and convincing evidence both written and oral in order to meet their burden of proof. The technical rules of evidence do not apply in these hearings and any questions that have any relevance to the Petitioner or the Secretary are generally allowed.

    The Secretary of States’ Statement of Principle and Purpose is as follows;

    In cases in which a person’s drivers license and driving privileges are suspended or revoked, the Secretary has been given the following statutory mandate: “In no event shall the Secretary issue such license unless and until such person has had a Hearing pursuant to the Code and the appropriate Administrative rules and the Secretary is satisfied, after a review or investigation of such person that to grant the privilege of driving a motor vehicle on the highways will not endanger the public safety or welfare.”

    A person seeking driving privileges after a suspension or revocation must apply for an Administrative Hearing before the Office of the Secretary of State. Generally speaking, unless you are properly prepared and have become knowledgeable in all of the applicable rules, statutes and burdens of proof, the likelihood of a favorable decision is not good. The administrative rules and statutes applicable to these Hearings can be quite confusing to the lay person and the Hearing process becomes increasingly more difficult and complex when these rules are enforced by a knowledgeable Prosecutor and Hearing Officer, whose mission is to protect the public safety. We all have had Life Experiences, whereas we attempt to do something in which we have no experience or expertise, only to fail miserably at the task.

    I believe that the Secretary of States “Tough Minded” approach to the Administrative Hearing process is correct. The streets, roads and highways of our State need to be kept safe for all of us. With proper education, guidance and training by our office, you can level the playing field and meet your burden of proof so as to receive a successful result being Driving Privileges.

    Alan R. Kurash is known throughout the state as a leading attorney in driver’s license law and representing individuals in Administrative Hearings. Mr. Kurash is a former Prosecuting Attorney for the Secretary of State and has lectured at Illinois State Bar Association Seminars on the representation of drivers at Secretary of State Administrative Hearings. At these events, he received the highest rating from the Layers/Attendees of any speaker/lecturer in attendance. As a private attorney, Mr. Kurash has provided successful representation to thousands of clients in Driver’s License Hearings before the Secretary of State, including many people who believed or were told they would never drive again.

    I Receive A Notice of Revocation. What Does “Projected Eligibility” Date Mean?
    Once you are revoked, the only way you will ever receive driving privileges is to go through the Secretary of State Hearing process successfully. Your projected eligibility date is merely the date on which you are first allowed to seek the return of “full reinstatement of your driving privileges.” In most situations, you are eligible to ask for restricted driving privileges, even before your projected eligibility date. Indeed, we recommend that you seek driving privileges as soon as possible, as the sooner you prove to the Secretary of State that you can and will be a safe and responsible driver on a restricted permit, the sooner you will be able to regain your full driving privileges. When you are seeking privileges prior to your projected eligibility date, you must prove as a necessary element of your case “Undue Hardship”. Our office can guide and prepare you for the complicated Hearing process so that you can achieve driving relief as soon as possible typically at the first Hearing.

    What are Alcohol/Drug Evaluations and the Levels of Classification?
    Any Petitioner who seeks driving relief from an alcohol or drug related suspension or revocation must have completed an alcohol/drug evaluation typically known as a “Uniform Report”. This evaluation cannot be more than six (6) months old of the day of your hearing. Based on the findings of this Evaluation, a Level of Classification will be rendered as follows:

    Level 1 (Minimal Risk)

    This classification applies to someone who has only one DUI arrest and has no prior convictions or supervisions for DUI, no prior reckless driving convictions reduced from DUI and no prior statutory summary suspensions. Your BAC score must have been .14 or less to be classified Level 1. You cannot be a Level 1 if you refused the breath test or took a breath test which revealed a BAC score of .15 or higher. Additionally, you cannot be Level 1, if you present any symptoms of abuse or dependence regardless of whether you took or refused the breath test. If you are classified as Level 1 you must complete ten (10) hours of Driver Risk Education (DRE).

    Level II Moderate

    This classification applies to someone who has only one (1) DUI arrest (as above) and who either refused the breath test or achieved a BAC score of .15 – .19. Again, there cannot be present any symptoms of abuse or dependence. If you are classified as a Level II Moderate, you must complete the ten (10) hours (DRE) as outlined above and in addition twelve (12) hours of Early Intervention Alcohol Counseling.

    Level II Significant

    This classification applies to someone who is not identified as dependent on alcohol or drugs and who, in addition to their most recent DUI disposition, has a prior supervision or conviction for DUI or a prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI or one (1) prior statutory summary suspension. Additionally, anyone who has a BAC of .20 or higher on his current arrest for DUI, regardless of whether there was a prior DUI, must be classified at least as a Level II Significant. If you are classified as Level II Significant, you must complete “ten (10) hours of DRE” and additionally, must undergo at least twenty (20) hours of primary alcohol counseling and fulfill an aftercare (continuing care) program thereafter. A typical aftercare (continuing care) program would consist of follow up appointments one (1) time a month, for six (6) months, or two (2) times per month for three (3) months, the purpose is to reinforce the gains achieved from the completion of primary care/counseling.

    Level III High Risk (Non Dependent)

    This classification applies to anyone who has received within a ten (10) year period of time from the most recent arrest (3rd or greater), any combination of two (2) prior convictions, summary suspensions or prior reckless driving convictions reduced from DUI. Individuals who fall into this category although presenting with symptoms of abuse do not have three (3) or more symptoms of dependency as determined by the evaluator or counselor. If you are classified as Level III Non Dependent you do not need to complete ten (10) hours of Driver’s Risk Education (DRE) however, you must complete seventy five (75) hours of primary alcohol/drug counseling or treatment and complete an aftercare (continuing care) program. The length and frequency of which will be determined by the treatment provider. Additionally, the Level III Non Dependent, individual must demonstrate twelve (12) months of either abstinence or non-problematic use and present at least three (3) letters from family and friends attesting to such non-problematic usage prior to engaging in a hearing. The Level III Non Dependent individual is NOT required to be actively involved in a support program (Traditional or Non Traditional) as this is required only for the Level III Dependent individual.

    Level III High Risk (Dependent)

    This classification applies to anyone who exhibits three (3) or more symptoms of dependence (regardless of the number of DUI arrests). If you are classified as Level III Dependent, you will not need to complete ten (10) hours of Driver’s Risk Education (DRE), however you must complete either seventy five (75) hours of intensive out- patient counseling/treatment or alternatively an inpatient treatment program. Additionally you must demonstrate “Abstinence” from all alcohol and drugs for at least 12 months prior to your Hearing. (Note: There is an exception to the 12 month abstinence rule which is for those who have more than six (6) months abstinence but less then twelve (12) and who are working an exemplary support program. Although these individuals can be considered for driving relief—It has been this attorney’s understanding that very few individuals are granted relief under this exception to the rule, as the duty imposed upon the Secretary of State to protect the general public typically prevail. Additionally, you must demonstrate active involvement in a support program such as AA. The Secretary of State considers AA to be a traditional support program due to the programs wide spread notoriety and overall level of success in helping individuals remain sober. The Secretary of State will consider non-traditional support programs such as church, family and friends, or other structured “AA type” programs in their various versions. The Secretary of State must be satisfied the program is sufficient to provide appropriate support to help you remain abstinent. Remember that it is your burden of proof. Whether you rely on a traditional or non-traditional support program, you must submit at least three (3) letters from individuals who are involved in your respective support program, who must all explain in detail how the program is working to keep you abstinent/sober. The Secretary will be very critical of non-traditional programs and will look for any deficiencies which might indicate a less than desired quality of support. It is certainly preferable that any non-traditional support program involve regular and frequent discussions about the non-usage of alcohol/drugs as applicable to everyday life challenges.

    Lastly, you will need to submit at least three (3) letters from family or friends attesting to your sobriety date and changes made in your lifestyle which supports your ongoing sobriety.

    What is SR-22 Insurance?
    Revocations

    In addition to accident suspensions, unsatisfied judgments and mandatory insurance offenses, the Safety and Financial Responsibility Section is also responsible for accepting and monitoring financial responsibility filings (SR-22) on revocations. Under the provisions of the Illinois Vehicle Code, any individual revoked in Illinois is required to file SR-22 insurance before driving privileges may be reinstated, or a restricted driving permit issued. The insurance must be maintained for a period of three (3) years. If the motorist fails to renew or cancels the SR-22 policy, the Secretary of State will enter a suspension (Type action 05) on his/her driving record. This suspension cannot be removed until the insurance filing has been reinstated (Authority Section ILCS 5/7-305).

    Financial Responsibility Insurance

    The SR-22 Certificate

    Financial Responsibility Insurance is required in Illinois for individuals involved in an uninsured accident and suspended administratively through the Safety Responsibility Law; individuals with a record of unsatisfied judgment resulting from an uninsured crash; individuals with revocations on his/her driving record; and individuals with mandatory insurance violations (supervision or three or more convictions). The insurance must be submitted on a Financial Responsibility Certificate (SR-22) from the home office of the insurance company. The issuing insurance company must be authorized to write financial responsibility insurance in Illinois and have a list of authorized agents on file with S&FR.

    The SR-22 certificate must be issued in one of the following types:

    Operator’s Certificate This policy covers the motorist in the operation of any non-owned vehicle.

    Owner’s Certificate This policy covers vehicles owned by the driver. The type of vehicle must be listed on the SR-22 or may be issued for “All owned vehicles”.

    Operators-Owner’s Certificate This certificate covers all vehicles owned or non-owned by the driver.

    The SR-22 must meet Illinois’ minimum liability requirement of $55,000. The total amount of coverage must be broken down into a minimum of $20,000 coverage for one person killed or injured, $40,000 coverage for two or more persons and $15,000 for property damage.

    Cancellation of Insurance

    Once the insurance is accepted, it must be maintained for a period of 12 to 36 months based on the offense. If the SR-22 expires or is cancelled, the insurance company is required by law to notify the S & FR Section with a SR-26 Cancellation Notice. Upon receipt, S & FR will then load a Financial Responsibility Insurance Cancellation suspension on the driving record. This suspension cannot be removed until the insurance filing has been reinstated.

    Out-of-State Residents

    Out-of-state residents may submit evidence of insurance coverage in lieu of an Illinois SR-22 certificate (625 ILCS 5/7-316.1). The SR-22 is waived once the individual moves out of state and submits the proper paper work to our office. The requirement would be reinstated if the individual moved back in Illinois during a three-year period.

    The SR-22 Waiver Law provides that any nonresident or former Illinois residents who have met all requirements for restoration of driving privileges under the Safety and Financial Responsibility Law except filing proof of financial responsibility, shall be released from the Illinois proof of financial responsibility requirement if he or she resides outside of Illinois and has applied for a license in another state.

    Our office requires proof of non-residency in the form of an Out-of-State Waiver Affidavit. If the individual returns to Illinois within three years and cannot show proof of insurance for the required filing time during the period of non-residency, the FR requirement will be reinstated.

    Financial Responsibility Insurance (SR-22) is the only mechanism in place in Illinois to monitor the insurance of problem drivers, and allows us to suspend upon cancellation or expiration. Through the SR-22 and SR-26 process mandatory insurance is enforced in the most efficient way. Through the S & FR law, our office is protecting Illinois citizens from uninsured motorists.

    What are the RDP Classifications?
    There are currently six (6) different categories for which a Petitioner can request restricted driving privileges.

    Employment. A Petitioner seeking an employment related RDP must be currently employed, or present a verifiable offer of employment, and the employment must be verified upon forms prescribed by the Department. If the Petitioner is self-employed, evidence of such can include, but is not limited to, stationery, business card, official receipt, check, state or federal tax returns or letters from business associates.
    Medical or Treatment. A Petitioner seeking an RDP for medical or treatment purposes must provide verifiable documentation from the licensed physical or mental health care provider involved that the Petitioner or a member of his/her immediate family must receive or is receiving medical services on a regularly scheduled basis.
    Community Service. A Petitioner seeking an RDP for court ordered community service must provide court documents detailing the terms of the service, including but not limited to the place or places the service is performed, the hours during which the service is to be performed and the nature of the service.
    Educational. A Petitioner seeking an educational RDP must be currently enrolled, or intend to enroll for the next available session, in an accredited educational institution for the purpose of taking an accredited educational course or courses. Prior to the issuance of any educational RDP, the Petitioner must submit verification of enrollment from the institution. The verification shall be on a form provided by the Secretary of State.
    Support/Recovery. A Petitioner seeking a support/recovery program RDP must provide written documentation from members of the group or program, that he/she has been attending meetings on a regular basis.
    Family Education and/or Day Care. This permit allows a Petitioner to take their children to and from school and/or daycare. It also allows a Petitioner to take a child to and from activities related to school which are scheduled immediately before and after regular school hours.
    Remember that if you are in hard time (i.e. your projected eligibility date has not yet arrived), you will have to prove “Undue Hardship” to be considered for restricted driving privileges. Your projected eligibility date is stated in the upper right hand corner of your most recently received Notice of Revocation.

    What Is A BAIID Machine and Will I Have To Install One?
    The BAIID machine (Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device) is a device which requires a breath sample prior to starting your vehicle and later at random intervals while driving. Whether or not you will need a BAIID device installed in your vehicle depends on your driving record and personal history. Our office has the expertise to assist you in determining whether you will need to seek installation of the BAIID device.
    How hard it is to get my driver’s license back if I get a DUI conviction?

    The Secretary of State has a lot of strict rules in place and there are a great deal of applications that get denied. An experienced license reinstatement attorney can truly help you to get your driving privileges back after your license has been revoked. You will not receive your driving privileges back until the Secretary of State is assured that you will not be a risk to the public safety. This will need to be proved by you at a hearing.

    Should I seek legal help for my hearing?

    It would be a great benefit to you to seek legal representation for your hearing, but you are not required to have one for the hearing process. An experienced driver’s license reinstatement attorney can help you by reviewing your arrest history, driving record, alcohol/drug use history and would review all of this pertinent information before your hearing.

    The Kurash Law Firm would be able to help to prepare you for your hearing and ensure that you have all of the necessary documents that the Secretary of State will require. If we see any problems or issues, we will work to make sure they are resolved before your hearing.

    Why could I be denied driving relief by the Secretary of State?

    There are many complex rules that the Secretary of State has in place that must be followed in order to restore your driving privileges. If any of these rules are not followed, you may have your application denied. At your hearing, you will be put under oath and will be cross-examined by an attorney representative from the Secretary of State’s office. You will also be questioned by a hearing officer. If you testimony is not acceptable or if there are any inconsistencies with the information that you provide, you could be denied driving relief.

    If I have already been denied at a hearing, could an attorney provide me with help?

    The Kurash Law Firm could definitely help you if you have been denied at a hearing. We would take a look at your hearing records and find out what the problems were that needed to be addressed. We would take all of the necessary steps to set up a new hearing and would represent you at it.