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What is the difference between license revocation and suspension?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Drivers in Illinois must have valid drivers’ licenses, and they must follow state laws in order to keep those licenses. There are certain citations or charges which can result in the revocation or suspension of licenses in the state.

What is the difference between revocation and suspension? According to the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State, the difference is in the duration of time during which a person’s license is invalid.


In Illinois, a license revocation is indefinite. After a year, the driver may reapply for a license. Some of the common causes of license revocation include causing a crash that resulted in the death of another person, aggravated DUI, auto theft, fraudulent ID, leaving the scene of a fatal crash, school bus violation and more. The Secretary of State may also revoke the license of a driver with repeat traffic offenses.


Unlike revocation, a suspension typically has an end date based on a decision by the courts. After the temporary suspension, a person’s driving privileges get reinstated without the need to reapply for a license. Some common causes of license suspension include more than five unpaid automated traffic violations, failure to pay child support, child visitation abuse, blood alcohol concentration over 0.00 for anyone under 21 and more. Depending on the charge, additional requirements may be necessary for drivers to have their suspended licenses returned.

Understanding what charges can lead to suspension or revocation is essential if you want to continue to drive a motor vehicle in Illinois.