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Formal vs. Informal Illinois Secretary of State Hearings

 Posted on October 08, 2018 in License Reinstatement

Aurora DUI license reinstatement lawyerThere are several DUI-related reasons why you could lose your driver’s license in Illinois - you could have been pulled over for a suspected DUI and refused chemical testing for your BAC, you may have failed a chemical test (meaning your BAC was .08 or greater), or you could have been convicted of a DUI. 

Regardless of why you lost your driving privileges, before your license can be reinstated, you must attend a license reinstatement hearing at the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, where your case will be examined by a hearing officer. There are two types of hearings that the Office conducts: formal and informal. The type of hearing that you must attend is entirely dependent on the nature of the suspension or revocation. Each type of hearing has different requirements, which is why it is important to be prepared and know which type of hearing you will be required to attend.

Informal Hearings

Like their name suggests, informal hearings are not as intense as formal hearings. You can attend an informal hearing to have your license reinstated if:

  • Your offense did not involve a fatality.
  • You only have one DUI charge.
  • The offense was for a lesser moving violation.

Your hearing will take place at a Driver Services facility, and it will be conducted by an informal hearing officer. Informal hearings are conducted on a walk-in basis, so you do not need to make an appointment. Once you attend the hearing, your hearing officer will submit all of your information to the office in Springfield, and you will receive a decision in the mail. An informal hearing can result in a denial, a restricted driving permit (RDP), or full reinstatement of your driving privileges.

Formal Hearings

Typically, more serious charges will require a formal hearing to reinstate your driving privileges. You will be required to attend a formal hearing if:

  • Your offense involved a fatality.
  • You have more than one DUI charge.

A formal hearing officer will conduct your hearing, and you will have a chance to present testimonies and documentary evidence as to why you deserve to have your driving privileges reinstated. At the conclusion of the hearing, you will receive the hearing officer’s recommendation, along with the decision made by the Secretary of State’s office. Unlike informal hearings, you must submit a written request to receive a hearing, along with a $50 nonrefundable filing fee. If you mail your request without the fee, it will be returned to you, and a hearing will not be scheduled. Formal hearings are only conducted in facilities in four cities: Joliet, Chicago, Mt. Vernon, and Springfield.

A Will County Driver’s License Reinstatement Lawyer Can Help

Driving is a very important part of most Americans’ lives. Losing your ability to drive forces you to rely on family, friends, or public transportation to get from place to place, and this can make your life much harder than it needs to be. If you have lost your driving privileges due to a DUI license suspension or revocation, you need the help of a Naperville driver’s license reinstatement attorney. The Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC can help you get back into the driver’s seat. Do not go to your hearing alone - call our office at 630-448-2001 to schedule a free consultation. Se Habla Español.





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Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC

1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

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