Traffic Accident

Illinois Driving With Suspended License Laws

Many traffic offenses lead to a suspended driver license. Under Illinois laws, driving with a suspended license has additional penalties including fines and longer suspension.

Driver licenses are typically suspended for traffic violations: speeding, drunk driving, refusing a breathalyzer test, causing a crash, invalid car insurance, etc. However, you can also have your license suspended for other reasons such as┬ápossession of a fraudulent driver’s license or even not paying child support.

In this article we’ll take a look at common penalties involved with DWLI – Driving While License Invalid, i.e. driving with suspended or revoked driver licenses, and tell you how to reinstate your license.

Penalties for driving with suspended license

Driving while your license is suspended or revoked is considered a Class A misdemeanor, resulting in a fine of up to $2,500. Mandatory 10-day imprisonment is also issued to violators, or 30 days of community service. Driver license suspension period will be extended by double the original suspension time, or by one year.

Second conviction:

  • Class 4 felony
  • Minimum 30 days in prison or 300 hours of community service
  • Additional license suspension or revocation period: double the original, or one year

In case your driver license was revoked or suspended for reckless homicide, DUI, refusing a chemical test or leaving accident scene involving injury or death, your charges will be upgraded to Class 2 felony.

Third conviction:

  • Class 4 felony
  • Minimum 30 days in prison or 300 hours of community service
  • Additional license suspension or revocation period: double the original, or one year

In case your driver license was revoked or suspended for reckless homicide, DUI, refusing a chemical test or leaving accident scene involving injury or death, your charges will be upgraded to Class 1 felony.

4th – 9th conviction:

  • Class 4 felony
  • Minimum 180 days in prison
  • Additional license suspension or revocation period: double the original, or one year

In case your driver license was revoked or suspended for reckless homicide, DUI, refusing a chemical test or leaving accident scene involving injury or death, your charges will be upgraded to Class 1 felony.

10th – 14th conviction:

  • Class 3 felony
  • Driver is not eligible for probation or conditional discharge
  • Additional license suspension or revocation period: double the original, or one year

15th and subsequent convictions:

  • Class 2 felony
  • Driver is not eligible for probation or conditional discharge
  • Additional license suspension or revocation period: double the original, or one year

Driving with revoked or suspended license convictions, even the first, may result in your vehicle seizure or forfeiture. Second and each subsequent violation is a felony, and you must always consult a lawyer to come up with a good defense and plead your case in court. Felonies remain on your permanent record and can even make finding employment more difficult.

Penalties above of course do not include any other potential traffic regulations you may have violated while driving with invalid license. Speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, highway racing, causing accidents or injuries or many other traffic offenses which all have additional consequences.

Other fines

You are not permitted to drive while having a suspended license. Therefore when caught by police your vehicle may be impounded. You will have to pay daily storage fees until you pay all towing fees owed, which can cost hundreds.

In addition you are looking at hundreds of dollars or more in other criminal fines, reinstatement fees, and additional surcharges.

Reinstating driver license

Before your license can be reinstated, you will need to wait your suspension period to pass, complete any other requirements ordered, and pay all fees. Fees and other requirements vary depending on each case and charges brought.

While your license is still suspended you can also request an occupational or restricted license. This license enables you to drive from and to work while you wait out your suspension. It is recommended to contact an attorney as there are many cases where you can or can’t obtain a restricted driver license.

See also: Revoked Driver License, Suspended Driver License, Cancelled Driver License, Denied Driver License, or visit our Driver License Laws archive for more information.

References and sources:

  1. Illinois Vehicle Code
  2. Illinois DUI Fact Book – .pdf file, see page 26
This article about Illinois Driving With Suspended License Laws was last updated in 2018. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!