How does bankruptcy affect a suspended license in Illinois?

If you have lost your Illinois driver’s license because you were unable to pay a civil judgment or a penalty for certain traffic violations, you may have recourse through filing for bankruptcy. Keep in mind that you will have to do the following to get your license back: 

  •        Pay the debt you owe or have it discharged
  •        Pay any reinstatement fees
  •        Provide proof of insurance

According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, fines for traffic violations are not dischargeable through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but they do qualify in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Both paths can still result in your license reinstatement.

For example, many people cannot pay the fines or fees because they simply lack the money. Filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not dismiss that debt, but it can discharge other debt, thus freeing up money to pay what you owe to the government entity. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the penalty or fees will become part of a repayment plan through which you can eventually satisfy the debt.

It should be noted that there are certain traffic violation fines that will not qualify. Any activity that is deemed a crime is not admitted. For example, drunk driving is considered a crime. If you have a fine associated with a DUI, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will not admit it.

Once you file for bankruptcy, you should be able to apply for license reinstatement within a week.  While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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