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Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) in Illinois

Updated on September 13, 2021 → Under

Most of us depend on our vehicles for transportation. Thus, a revoked or suspended driver’s license—whether it's for a DUI conviction or accumulating too many traffic tickets—is a significant problem. And for most people, not having a driver’s license means being unable to transport children to and from school, flunking out of a university, or losing a job.

However, this doesn’t mean you should get a bus pass. You may qualify for a hardship license or restricted driving permit. A restricted driving permit allows you to drive your vehicle to and from certain places while on otherwise limited driving privileges. If your driver’s license has been suspended, the experienced license reinstatement lawyers at Dohman Law Group can help you prove undue hardship and get your driver's license back. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our Cook County criminal defense law firm today at (847) 616-9993.

What is a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) in Illinois?

A restricted driving permit (RDP) or hardship license is an alternative to the loss of driving privileges. Drivers with a hardship license or RDP can drive a car within certain guidelines, while drivers with a suspended driver's license can’t operate a motor vehicle at all. Often, drivers who have an RDP are limited on when and where they can drive or may be required to have a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP), such as installing a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) on their car.

If you break any of the guidelines set by the state of Illinois, you may face severe criminal penalties, including driver license suspension, incurring heavy fines, potential jail time, and/or more time with an ignition interlock device.

Learn More: First-Time DUI in Illinois

Underage drivers are also eligible for undue hardship licenses to drive to and from work, home, or school. These permits are offered on a case-by-case basis. In Illinois, a DUI offender must prove that they aren't a danger to public safety before they're granted a hardship license. Also, they must prove that undue hardship exists. The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) may require a driver to undergo alcohol assessment, attend alcohol classes, attend traffic school, or any other educational institution as a condition for RDP.

hardship license in Illinois

A hardship license allows you to drive between your home and your work for job-related duties. An RDP also allows you to drive to a school attended by you or anyone in your home. The SOS may grant you a restricted permit, which permits you to drive your motor vehicle to attend school activities. A hardship license allows you to drive to a daycare facility attended by an individual who lives in your household, including elderly persons, children, or disabled persons who can’t drive.

Further, an RDP allows you to drive your car to community service and court-ordered activities. Finally, with an RDP, you can drive to medical appointments or a medical facility, to receive necessary medical treatment for yourself or a loved one who lives with you. A restricted license also allows you to travel to counseling appointments, alcohol treatment programs, and court appearances.

Related Content: How to Beat a DUI in Illinoi

However, some states put more time restrictions on hardship licenses. For instance, you may be subject to driving limitations that allow you to drive only between certain times of the day or during daylight hours. These restrictions are specified by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or court.

Who's Eligible for a Hardship License?

A driver's eligibility for an RDP depends on the driver's complete driving record, the reason for their driver's license suspension, and the license type. For example, some states don't allow hardship licenses for persons who had their license suspended for driving offenses, such as reckless homicide, vehicular homicide, reckless driving, or hit-and-run traffic violations. Other states grant an RDP for a first-time license suspension but not a subsequent license suspension. Further, it's imperative to note that a restricted license doesn't reinstate commercial driving privileges.

Often, you're eligible for a hardship license once you complete a “hard-suspension” period. This period typically lasts for 30 days and during this period of time, you can't drive at all. It's crucial to note that hard-suspension periods are common for driving under the influence of alcohol-related license suspensions and revocations.

How Do You Get a Restricted License in Rolling Meadows?

When applying for a hardship license, you must prove undue hardship to qualify for this permit. Some reasons for getting an RDP include:

  • Driving to and from your workplace,
  • Driving to and from doctor appointments,
  • Driving to and from school, and
  • Medical and disability reasons for yourself, elderly persons, disabled persons, children, or another person in your household.

Even if you meet these requirements, still, you may face some driving limitations. For instance, you can't get an RDP if your school or workplace is around the block. Also, it's crucial to note that meeting these guidelines doesn't mean you're eligible for a hardship license.

Also, how old you're may impact the final decision. Often, the Illinois Secretary of State might grant you a permit that features a monitoring device, including a BAIID.

Consult an Attorney: Experienced Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer

Before applying for driving relief, you must:

  • Provide proof of alcohol or drug abuse treatment or medical evaluation.
  • Show proof of insurance.
  • Provide proof of installation of a BAIID.
  • Attend a hearing before a public hearing officer.
  • Show that extreme hardship exists.
  • Pay a filing fee of $50.

Further, you have to attend an administrative hearing to prove that you qualify for the restricted license. However, it's imperative to note that you can only request a formal hearing by mail. If you don't qualify for a formal hearing, you may be eligible for an informal hearing. The informal hearing is available on a walk-in basis during normal business hours.

Restricted Driving Permit (RDP)

During a license reinstatement process, there are three potential outcomes. You may receive a full license reinstatement, a hardship license, or a license reinstatement denial.

How Can You Get Your License Back in Illinois?

There's no one set of guidelines for a driver to get their driver's license reinstated. The license reinstatement process largely depends on the reason your driver's license was revoked or suspended, and other factors, including your driving history. Further, you must pay a license reinstatement fee and meet any specific guidelines set by the court.

However, it's essential to know that getting back a revoked driver's license is trickier because there are more steps to follow. For instance, to get your license back after a drunk driving conviction, you must:

  • Have maintained a clean driving record.
  • Undergo an alcohol evaluation and if a drug or alcohol abuse problem is noted, you must submit proof of drug or alcohol treatment.
  • Complete a drug or alcohol remedial education program.
  • File proof of financial responsibility.
  • Pay an application fee and a license reinstatement fee of $500. But if you request a formal hearing for your driver's license reinstatement, you must pay a $50 non-refundable filing fee.
  • Pass a vision exam, driving exam, and written exam.

FAQ: Can you go to jail for your first DUI?

If your driver's license has been suspended or revoked and you wish to apply for a hardship license, contact our experienced DUI lawyer to schedule a no-cost initial consultation. Our skilled driver defense team has helped thousands of DUI offenders to gather convincing evidence and prove a claim of hardship and we can help you get a restricted permit or even get your license reinstated. For a no-cost initial consultation, contact our DUI criminal defense law firm today at ###-###-### or chat with us online to learn how we can help.

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