Formal or Informal Secretary of State Hearings

Formal Secretary of State Hearings

We your driver’s license has been revoked by the Illinois Secretary of State you need complete a formal hearing before a hearing officer. Your chances of getting either a permit or your license reinstated at your first formal hearing are excellent if you are thoroughly prepared by us.

These formal hearings are scheduled in advance and require a $50 payment to the Illinois Secretary of State. You are also required that you collect all necessary documentation, evaluation and are prepared to answer the questions you will be asked by the hearing officer about your driving history. The hearing officer is appointed by the Secretary of State. At the actual hearing, the hearing officer will review arguments and all the evidence you provide. This hearing officer will conduct an examination of you and after considering all arguments made by you and your attorney, the hearing officer will make a formal decision, adhering strictly to Administrative Review guidelines under 735 ILCS 5/Art. III.

We will review all your documents, previous evaluations, and prepare you for a direct examination as well as any potential cross examinations. We look forward to preparing you well for your formal hearing so that you may obtain a restricted driving permit or full reinstatement of your driving privileges.

Informal Secretary of State Hearings

Informal Secretary of State Hearings
- However, competent legal representation at a hearing gives you the best chance of getting a permit or your driver's license quickly. Many people find the Secretary of State process confusing and intimidating.
-The hearing officer will ask the questions and write down your responses, but your lawyer should talk to you beforehand and make sure you understand all the questions you will be asked during the hearing.

As explained by the Illinois Secretary of State, informal hearings are only appropriate for certain drivers with suspended or revoked licenses, including:
  • Traffic offenses that did not result in death;
  • A single DUI offense; or
  • Minor traffic offenses.

There is no appointment required for an informal hearing. Eligible drivers just need to go to the Secretary of State’s nearest Driver Services facility. All informal hearings are conducted through a walk-in process. As a result of an informal hearing, eligible drivers may be able to secure either a Restricted Driving Permit full reinstatement of their license. It is important to note that just because an informal hearing is conducted does not mean that an alcohol evaluation will not be required, or the result will be immediate. In some instances, the driver will need to conduct an alcohol evaluation and finish any recommended treatment before any driving relief will be given. The common misconception is that informal hearings are quick and immediate when that is not always the case.

Examples of When an Informal Hearing is Necessary
Court supervision is a common disposition to most traffic offenses in Illinois. Most drivers can receive 2 findings of court supervision every 12 months. Court supervisions are not reported to insurance, nor are there any points assigned to your driving record. Once the two opportunities are used, a driver is only eligible for a conviction, which will assign points to your record. If a driver accumulates 3 convictions within 12 months, the point total for the three tickets will determine whether the driver is suspended or revoked, and for how long. For more information on the point totals, read another published article “Traffic Tickets can Lead to Driver’s License Suspension in Illinois.”

Another example is Leaving the Scene of an Accident involving property damage only, pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-402. Under this statute, a driver can be suspended if he receives a conviction on this ticket, and the clerk reports that the damages exceed $1,000.

If a driver receives a similar ticket of Leaving the Scene of an Accident involving Personal Injury or Death under 625 ILCS 5/11-401. A finding of guilt to this charge can lead to a mandatory revocation, which would require a formal hearing, described below.