Drivers in Illinois may understand the consequences of certain actions on the road. Driving while intoxicated, speeding, reckless driving and other violations can result in tickets, fines and even jail under some circumstances. However, another serious result of a traffic violation is the risk of losing one’s driving privileges, either temporarily or permanently. Understanding the difference between a suspended and a revoked license is the first step to avoiding this hardship.

License suspension is a temporary loss of driving privileges. You may have a definite date when you can begin the process of reinstating your license, or it may depend on other factors, such as getting caught up on late child support payments. License suspension typically occurs after a driver accumulates too many points for speeding and other violations, although a suspension can take place immediately after a DUI conviction.

A license revocation, on the other hand, means your driving privileges are cancelled, sometimes permanently. This can happen due to a medical condition, but it is also the consequence of a more serious traffic violation, such as causing a fatal accident or multiple serious infractions. Getting one’s license back after it has been revoked is even more complicated than after a suspension and will require the driver to request permission from the Illinois Secretary of State and retake all driving tests.

Dealing with a suspended or a revoked license is an enormous complication to one’s life. It often means burdening friends and relatives for rides or missing important appointments. Avoiding convictions for traffic offenses is the best way to keep one’s license, but an experienced attorney can assist a driver through the process of having a license reinstated.