Will a license suspension in a different state affect me in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Traffic Tickets |

You’ve made some mistakes in your life, but the one that has had the most lasting effect is the one that caused your driver’s license to be suspended.

Well, it’s a new year, and it’s a new you, right? And, to boot, you’re moving to a new state – so you’re thinking that this is a chance to start over with a new license. You have a relative who talks about how they did that “back in the day” and it worked out just fine.

Well, think again. Your relative may be referencing a time either before a certain state joined the Driver’s License Compact (or before technology made it easier for the states to track drivers). Today, things are very different.

What’s the Driver’s License Compact (DLC)?

The DLC is an interstate agreement with the motto “One Driver, Once License, One Record.” In other words, whatever happens to your driver’s license in one state will follow you to another. This is true whether you were just on vacation when you racked up points on your license because you missed a speed sign or your license was suspended for a drunk driving charge where you lived before.

Thanks to the National Driver’s Register (NDR), your identifying information will be flagged and you’ll be unable to obtain an Illinois driver’s license until you overcome the suspension or revocation in the other state, whatever the cause.

Sometimes, that means little more than paying for your outstanding parking and traffic tickets, proving that you do have auto insurance after all or complying with some other restriction for a while (like an ignition interlock device). Other times, restoring your ability to legally drive can be a much more complicated process.

Because every situation is different, it’s hard to speculate as to what opportunities you may have to overcome the barrier to obtaining a new license. It’s generally wisest to collect all the paperwork you have on the issue that led to your license being suspended or revoked in another state and seek experienced legal guidance.