Illinois Auto Driving Laws
License Revocation, Suspension, Cancellation and Denial
Under Illinois driving law, driving privileges can be temporarily withdrawn
(suspended) for a specified time period, permanently terminated (revoked) or
In addition, for certain causes, the privilege to apply for a driver's
license or instruction permit can be denied to an individual under the age of 18
for either a six-month period or until his or her 18th birthday.
"Revocation" means that your driving privileges have been taken away
indefinitely by the Secretary of State's office. To regain your driving
privileges, you may be eligible to reapply for your license after a minimum of
one year, unless otherwise noted.
Revocation of your license is a very serious matter. Your driver's license
will be revoked if you are convicted of the following offenses of Illinois
- RECKLESS HOMICIDE: You drove recklessly, resulting in the death of another
person. (minimum two-year revocation under Illinois driving law)
- DUI: You drove under the influence of alcohol, other drugs and/or
- A FELONY OFFENSE: A vehicle was used while you committed a serious crime.
- LEAVING THE SCENE: You left the scene of a crash that killed or injured
someone. (minimum three-year revocation under Illinois driving law)
- PERJURY: You gave false information to the Secretary of State.
- RECKLESS DRIVING: You were convicted of three reckless driving offenses of
Illinois driving law in 12 months.
- DRAG RACING: You illegally raced with another vehicle.
- RECKLESS CONDUCT: Your reckless behavior involving a vehicle resulted in
injury or danger to another person.
- AUTO THEFT: You stole a motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts.
- AGGRAVATED FLEEING THE POLICE: You drove away from the police when you were
directed to stop.
In accordance with Illinois driving law, the Secretary of State's office has
the authority to revoke the driver's license of a repeat traffic offender.
During the course of any revocation, your vehicle registration may be suspended.
Notice is given accordingly.
"Suspension" means that you have temporarily lost your driving privileges.
When the suspension is for a specific length of time, you may regain your
driving privileges after your suspension has ended. In other cases, your
driver's license will not be returned until you meet a requirement of Illinois
Your driver's license will be suspended if you are convicted of three
violations of Illinois driving law committed within any 12 months.
If you are under 21 years old at the time of arrest, two violations of
Illinois traffic laws within any 24-month period will result in a
If you are under age 18, you will be required to successfully complete a
driver remedial education course to make your driving privileges valid
In addition, you may be required to submit to a complete driver's license
examination to be re-issued a driver's license. The length of the suspension
will vary according to the seriousness of the Illinois driving law offenses.
If your driver's license is suspended for conviction of three traffic
violations of Illinois driving law within a 12-month period, you may be eligible
for a probationary license or occupational driving permit.
If you receive a suspension for conviction of two traffic violations of
Illinois driving law in a 24-month period while under the age of 21, you may be
eligible to receive a restricted driving permit. The Secretary of State's office
will notify you if you are eligible.
In accordance with Illinois driving law, your driver's license may also be
suspended under the following conditions:
- TRAFFIC CRASHES: You were convicted for refusal or neglect to report a
- UNINSURED CRASHES: You were uninsured at the time of a crash in which you
were determined to be at fault and for which you owe damages.
- DRUG/ALCOHOL TEST FAILURE: A test following your DUI arrest revealed a blood
alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more or any trace of cannabis,
controlled drug substances or intoxicating compounds.
- DRUG/ALCOHOL TEST REFUSAL: You refused testing for drugs or alcohol after
being arrested for DUI in Illinois or another state.
- ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL: You are convicted of illegally
transporting alcohol twice in 12 months.
- DRUG OR SEX OFFENSE: You committed a drug or sex crime while operating or in
direct physical control of an automobile.
- SCHOOL BUS VIOLATIONS: You failed to stop as required by law for a school
bus that was picking up or dropping off children.
- PARKING VIOLATIONS: You failed to satisfy a warrant for 10 or more unpaid
parking violations in any municipality.
- ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL: You were convicted of illegally
transporting alcohol and you were under age 21.
- FRAUDULENT LICENSE/APPLICATION: You possessed, displayed or attempted to use
a fraudulent license and/or submitted a fraudulent application.
- FAILURE TO APPEAR VIOLATIONS: You failed to appear for any traffic citation.
- EMISSIONS VIOLATIONS: The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency reported
to this office that you failed to respond to auto emissions testing. (Limited
areas of testing.)
- FAILURE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT: You failed to pay court-ordered child support.
"Cancellation" means the annulment or termination by formal action of the
Secretary of a person's driver's license or permit because of some error or
defect in the license or because the licensee is no longer entitled to such
Reapplication for a driver's license can be made only after the terms of the
cancellation have been met. Under Illinois driving law, your driver's license
may be cancelled for the following reason(s):
- Medical Condition - being medically or visually unfit to safely operate a
motor vehicle; failure to submit a medical or vision report when required;
failure to self-admit to a medical condition that may interfere with the safe
operation of a motor vehicle.
- Reexamination Requirement - failing to appear for a required reexamination;
failing a portion of the test required on a mandatory reexamination.
- Fraudulent application - committed a fraudulent offense in the making of an
- Ineligible - not entitled to the license or permit.
"Denial" means that you are temporarily denied the privilege of applying for
a driver's license and, in certain instances, an instruction permit.
Under Illinois driving law, a denial can only be entered to the driving
record of an individual under the age of 18 for conviction of one of the
- A conviction for violation of any Illinois traffic laws that results in a
mandatory revocation of driving privileges. A denial for this type of offense
precludes application for either a driver's license or an instruction permit
until the person's 18th birthday.
- A conviction for driving without a valid driver's license or permit (no
valid license). Such a denial forbids application for a driver's license until
the person's 18th birthday, while application for an instruction permit is still
allowed. If the person already has a driver's license, then the driving
privilege granted by that license is reduced to being the privilege granted by
an instruction permit.
- A conviction for a serious moving violation of Illinois traffic laws. The
length of this type of denial is either six months or until the person's 18th
birthday, whichever is shorter. This denial only forbids application for a
driver's license. Instruction permit applications are still allowed. If the
person already has a driver's license, then the driving privilege granted by
that license is reduced to being the privilege granted by an instruction permit.
Serious moving violations are:
- motor vehicle crash with damage to a vehicle
- failure to stop after crash involving property damage
- illegal transportation of alcohol
- operating a motor vehicle without a valid license or permit
- (including being in violation of curfew hours)
- failure to stop and exchange information or give aid after a crash involving
personal injury or death
- speeding 30 mph or more above limit
- reckless driving
- passing in a no-passing zone
- illegal backing on a controlled access highway
- driving on left side of roadway in a no-passing zone
- failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian at an intersection
- failure to yield to a pedestrian on a sidewalk
- failure to stop for an approaching railroad train or ignoring activated
- any similar out-of-state violation comparable to the offenses of Illinois
driving law above
For More Information
Illinois Department of Transportation