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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation Ending the Use of Posting a Driver's License as Bail for Certain Traffic Offenses

Posted on in BGL Law

traffic offenseOn August 9, 2014, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new bill into law that stops the practice of requiring a motorist who is pulled over and cited for a traffic offense from handing over their driver's license. Illinois drivers will no longer be required to post their licenses as bail for certain traffic offenses.

Instead, when a motorist receives a traffic citation, a driver's signature that guarantees a future court appearance or payment of fine is sufficient. If the cited motorist does not comply with the citation, either by appearing in court or by paying the fine, then the Secretary of State is still authorized to suspend the motorist's driver's license.

The new law, which is known as the “Sign and Drive” law, goes into effect January 1, 2015. Senator Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and State Representative John D'Amico, D-Chicago, were two of the bill's sponsors. The full text of the bill may be found here.

Bill Referred to as “Common Sense”

Governor Quinn has characterized the new law as “common sense legislation” that allows law enforcement personnel to keep on working while allowing drivers to hang onto their licenses after the stop is over. Without a driver's license, an individual is unable to carry on many of the daily activities that require a driver's license or at least that require a form of valid identification.

Senator Noland, one of the bill's sponsors, explains that the bill will allow Illinois drivers to keep their driver's licenses, which is often utilized as identification when procuring services in the finance industry, as well as for education, travel, and more. First, Illinois drivers will be able to save time away from work, family or personal matters by paying a fine through the mail or appearing in court, but still retain their driver's licenses. Second, according to Senator Noland, the law will make it less expensive to process the higher number of cases that are arriving in traffic courts.

The new law has been cited as another example of Governor Quinn's efforts over the past several years to make Illinois roadways “safer and more convenient” and to continue the Governor's “commitment to making Illinois government more accountable, transparent and effective.” Last year, Governor Quinn enacted legislation prohibiting hand-held devices from being used while driving, as well as increasing penalties for accidents caused by the use of electronic devices. What is more, just this year, the Governor's office has prohibited the use of ticket quotas by police officers and the use of ticket quotas as benchmark to evaluate a police officer's job performance.

Skilled Illinois Criminal Law Attorneys

If you have any questions regarding this new law or questions regarding other Illinois traffic laws, our experienced attorneys can help. Our skilled McHenry County criminal defense attorneys are experienced in various traffic and criminal law matters throughout Woodstock, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Cary, Carpentersville, Elgin, and northern Illinois.

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