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Difference Between Formal, Informal License Reinstatement Hearings

Posted on in Driver's License

Difference Between Formal, Informal License Reinstatement Hearings

Reinstating your Illinois driver’s license after it has been suspended or revoked requires attending a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. The type of hearing you receive depends on the infraction that caused you to lose your license:

The purpose of any hearing is for you to explain to the hearing officer why your driving privileges should be reinstated in full or on a restricted basis. However, a formal hearing is a more arduous process.

Informal Hearings

The advantages of an informal hearing to reinstate your driver’s license are apparent from the beginning of the process. The Secretary of State’s office accepts informal hearings on a walk-in basis at any facility that has a hearing officer. When you arrive at the facility, you will:

  • Fill out the reinstatement paperwork;
  • Wait to be called into the hearing room; and
  • Answer a series of questions from the hearing officer.

The hearing officer submits your reinstatement request for final administrative review, which can take four to eight weeks. If the Secretary of State’s office denies your request, you can have another informal hearing and try to present a better case for reinstatement.

Formal Hearings

In order to schedule a formal license reinstatement hearing, you must submit a Formal Hearing Request form, along with a nonrefundable $50 filing fee. If approved, the hearing is available at only four locations in the state, including Chicago and Joliet. The hearing format is similar to a trial, in which:

  • You can provide evidence and witness testimony; and
  • The hearing officer is allowed to contest the evidence and cross-examine you and your witnesses.

Because of the severity of your prior offense, the hearing officer will ask pointed questions in order to determine the risks involved if you are allowed to drive again. The hearing officer makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State’s office, which decides on your reinstatement request. If your request is denied, you must wait 90 days before you can submit a petition for a new hearing.

Reinstating Your License

The keys to successfully arguing for your driver’s license to be reinstated are presenting compelling evidence and providing testimony that is consistent with that evidence. A McHenry County criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can prepare you for the questions you will be asked at your hearing. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/administrative_hearings/hearings.html#formal

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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