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Illinois Driver's License Reinstatement Attorney

Springfield Attorney Helping Drivers Charged With Motor Vehicle Violations

It can be stressful to be charged with DUI or to face a hearing for a traffic law violation in Illinois. Many people rely on their cars to get to and from work or school. The Illinois Secretary of State is authorized to suspend or revoke a driver’s license for several different reasons, including not paying a traffic ticket, accumulating too many traffic violations, and not paying child support. You can also face a revocation or suspension for a DUI conviction. A license suspension has a set end date, at which point you get your driving privileges back. By contrast, with a revocation of your license, you lose your driving privileges for an indefinite period. Springfield driver’s license reinstatement attorney Theodore J. (Ted) Harvatin has a well-earned reputation for providing outstanding legal representation in matters related to traffic law, driver's license hearings, and DUI charges throughout Central Illinois.

Driver's License Reinstatement

The revocation of your license is a possible penalty following a DUI conviction. In Illinois, there are stringent procedures that you must follow if you want a partial or full return of your driving privileges. In order to have your driving privileges reinstated after they were revoked due to a DUI conviction, you will need to have a clean driving record, go through an alcohol and drug evaluation, and complete an alcohol and drug remedial education program. Even if an evaluation does not result in a recommendation that you go through treatment, you will still be required to complete remedial education. You will also need to go through a hearing. The hearing is informal for a first offense. You will need to show proof of financial responsibility, pass a license exam, and pay fees. However, people with multiple offenses need to attend a formal rather than an informal hearing.

During the hearing, you will need to show that public safety would not be endangered by your having your privileges restored. A driver’s license reinstatement attorney in the Springfield area can assist you with this process. Your remedial efforts, as well as the severity of the offense and your overall driving record, will be considered.

A restricted driving permit is a partial restoration of your driving privileges. People convicted of reckless homicide or an aggravated DUI that proximately caused someone's death cannot obtain a restricted driving permit for 24 months after being released from incarceration. Drivers under 21 who have a DUI conviction are not eligible for a restricted driving permit for a year after the effective revocation date. If you want to qualify for a restricted driving permit, you will need to show that you are facing an undue hardship and that you are eligible for it.

Out-of-State Clearance of Revocation

Sometimes people live outside Illinois and do not need an Illinois driver's license, but they have an unresolved revocation of their license due to a DUI conviction. This can hinder their ability to obtain a driver's license in the new state. If you are in this situation or another situation in which you need your Illinois revocation cleared, you may want to file for an out-of-state clearance of revocation. To obtain this clearance, you will need to submit an out-of-state petition. A formal hearing will be held.

It is wise to retain an experienced Springfield driver’s license reinstatement lawyer to help you obtain the clearance. You cannot apply for an out-of-state reinstatement of your Illinois driving privileges if the record shows that you are not eligible for reinstatement in Illinois, or you are under a lifetime revocation.

You may ask for a termination of revocation if you have already served 10 years under the last or most recent revocation, you completed an out-of-state application to apply for termination of the revocation, you filed an out-of-state financial responsibility insurance waiver and can pay the reinstatement fee, and you completed all alcohol requirements. If you move back to Illinois, however, the lifetime revocation would again be imposed, and you would need to apply for a lifetime restricted driving permit.


Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs is also known as DUI. It is punished harshly in Illinois and carries serious consequences that may include incarceration, fines, and the suspension or revocation of your driver's license. In Illinois, you can be convicted of DUI if you drive or are in actual physical control of a vehicle when you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more. You can also be convicted if you drive under the influence to a degree that renders you incapable of safely driving, or if you have any amount of a controlled substance in your bodily fluids. Administrative penalties related to your license will usually be imposed, but if you are convicted of DUI, you will also face criminal penalties, and these may affect your license as well.

Someone who is not convicted of DUI will lose their driver's license if they refuse to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test. They can lose it for three years for refusing a second time.

If you are convicted of DUI in Illinois, you may be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine for a first offense. However, you may be able to apply to install an ignition interlock device so that you can drive to work and other necessary locations. Our firm has substantial experience defending drivers charged with DUI, and we have successfully challenged breath tests as well as other evidence.

Traffic Tickets

In addition to serving as a Springfield driver’s license reinstatement attorney, Ted Harvatin helps drivers try to keep traffic violations off their driving records. There are three categories of traffic violations: felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. You should not take a traffic ticket lightly, even if it is for a lower-level offense. You may need to miss work, lose your driving privileges, and incur fines and increased insurance premiums if you accept a ticket. Generally, a traffic violation that involves causing injuries to someone else or destroying property would be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, with felonies being especially serious.

At Harvatin Law Offices, we have successfully handled many different matters pursued under the Illinois Vehicle Code, including license fraud, driving on a suspended or revoked license, zero tolerance license fraud, speeding tickets, following too closely, failure to stop, failure to signal, and safety belt law violations. We also represent clients charged with failure to appear violations.

Consult an Experienced Driver’s License Reinstatement Lawyer in Springfield

We understand that entrusting an attorney with legal matters that have high stakes can be stressful and frustrating. We aim to remove as much anxiety as possible from the process. Mr. Harvatin and our professional staff work hard to make prospective and current clients feel at ease. To learn more about our services, call us at 217.525.0520 or complete our online form.

Attorney Profile
Photo of Attorney Theodore Harvatin
Theodore J. (Ted) Harvatin

Upon graduating in 1981 from the University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana-Champaign, I entered the private practice of law in a small law firm in Springfield Illinois. The firm was general practice, meaning it was "all things to all people".

Sensing that this was not what the public wanted, in 1984, wishing to learn the ropes of Driver's License Reinstatement and Driving Under the Influence (DUI), I secured a personal services contract to act as a driver's license hearing officer with then-Secretary of State (and later Governor) Jim Edgar. I continued hearing cases during the administration of George Ryan (himself becoming Governor). Following that, I stayed with Secretary of State Jesse White for a year.

At the end of the year 2000, after hearing at least 5,000 cases, I sensed that there was a desperate need to help those seeking driving privileges to work their way through the vague, confusing and contradictory labyrinth that was and is the hearing process. In 2001, I began representing revoked drivers and in the ensuing years have attended over 3,000 hearings and submitted several hundred out-of-state packets. Hearings and DUI cases constitute well over 95% of my practice.

Client Reviews
"I am so glad I was referred to Mr. Harvatin. In no time he took care of the problem. A bad informal hearing decision was amended in favor of reinstatement. When Mr. Harvatin speaks, the Illinois Secretary of State listens. You want him as your attorney." Pam
"Ted completely changed my life. He helped me get approved to get my license back and that's an incredible life changer for me and an incredible help to moving on with my life." Mark
"Ted completely changed my life. He helped me get approved to get my license back and that's an incredible life changer for me and an incredible help to moving on with my life." Jayme
"They are are very professional and well worth the fee. I felt loss till I found them and they put me on track... Thank you so much." N.W.
"After some bad informal hearing decisions I was not sure what to do next. Mr. Harvatin said he would get it straightened out and he got the job done. Do yourself a favor and hire the expert." Micah
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  1. 1 Free Consultation
  2. 2 Former Secretary of State hearing officer for 15 years
  3. 3 Recognized by Illinois State Bar Association as an authority on driver's license matters

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