Illinois Secretary of State Requirements

What You Need to Prove at Your Secretary of State Hearing

The driver’s license hearing attorneys at Harvatin Law Offices are renowned for their excellence in driver’s license reinstatement proceedings. Mr. Harvatin was a contractual hearing officer for 15 years before changing over to representing victimized drivers, accruing a vast knowledge of driver’s license and Secretary of State law.

With flexible fees and personal service, Mr. Harvatin gives clients what a big-city law firm lacks: familiarity, individual attention, and a strong record of success. Harvatin Law Offices provides the highest quality legal representation to residents in Springfield and beyond, including Quincy, Galesburg, Peoria, Danville, Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal and the Quad Cities.

Minimum Requirements Prior to the Hearing

The purpose of the hearing before the Illinois Secretary of State is to seek driving relief after a DUI. Illinois law provides a strict reinstatement procedure to ask for a partial or full return of driving privileges. This may mean showing “undue hardship” in order to qualify the driver for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) if you are not yet eligible for reinstatement of your license. But before the hearing, drivers must meet certain minimum requirements to show that they are eligible to ask for relief. These include:

  • A drug/alcohol evaluation prepared by a licensed provider
  • Fulfillment of evaluator recommendations which, depending upon risk level, may include:
    • Remedial education (10 hours of DUI risk education)
    • 12 hours of early intervention
    • 20-75 hours of treatment
  • For those classified as “alcohol dependent”
    • No drug or alcohol use for at least 12 months before hearing date
    • Alcoholics Anonymous or another approved support program to maintain abstinence

Post-hearing requirements for an RDP or Reinstatement

During the hearing, you must convince the Secretary of State that you are entitled to relief. To obtain an RDP after a successful hearing, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Provide proof of financial responsibility (SR 22) within 60 days
  • Pay an $8.00 RDP issuance fee
  • Take driver’s exam
  • Pay fee for installation of breath alcohol device if required

Reinstatement requires proof of financial responsibility, payment of a reinstatement fee and retaking the driver’s license exam.

Fulfilling These Requirements Does Not Guarantee Relief

Drivers either think that meeting the minimum threshold “equals” relief or that everybody gets denied the first time. Both are untrue. Just “getting by” or trying to “wing it” will not result in the desired outcome. Self-help is not the answer.

During the hearing, you will be confronted with numerous detailed questions about every aspect of your evaluation. This includes your driving history, past substance abuse, and arrests. Damaging remarks you make at the hearing become part of the record and are difficult to remedy (it is not easy to “un-ring a bell”).

You will have to pay for an updated evaluation and a denial response. If you return to the second hearing without having addressed the issues outlined in the denial, you will be forced to return again.

Seek Advice Immediately to Avoid Further Delays

Not all drivers are automatically denied at their first hearing. If that were true, the Secretary of State could just deny all the cases in large groups, saving the state a lot of time. Instead, every application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Those who are not properly prepared are denied the first time. That is why preparation is everything.

Whether it is obtaining a better evaluation, learning how to answer questions, or feeling comfortable in the hearing, a local driver’s license hearing attorney can mean the difference between denial and relief. Experienced representation shows the Secretary of State that you are serious and also helps level the playing field.

Look for Local Results, Not Big-City Promises

At Harvatin Law Offices, we understand that drivers are in a vulnerable position. That is why we have dedicated our practice to helping them through reinstatement proceedings. Even if you have already been denied, do not give up. We have helped numerous drivers with complex cases get relief.

No lawyer in Illinois has more experience preparing drivers for hearings. Mr. Harvatin has been involved with over 7,000 of these hearings in his legal career. Having worked as a hearing officer for 15 years, Mr. Harvatin knows how to obtain and present evidence in the best light. With a wealth of experience and flexible fees, you will get more value by finally ending the confusion and delay in your case. Call (217) 525-0520 today for a confidential consultation, or contact us online.

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