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If you got a DUI in one state and moved to another can you receive a drivers license in that state you moved to?

Lemont, IL |

I used to live in Iowa and recently just moved to Illinois for school. Before I moved here I got a DUI. What happens if you got a DUI in one state and move to another? Can I receive a drivers license in the state of Illinois? Does a DUI in one state transfer to another?

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Attorney answers 4


If you get a DUI in one state and move to another you're out of luck, especially in the case of Iowa and Illinois. Iowa is a "compact" state with Illinois meaning that information regarding driving offenses is shared between them. Most states view out of state DUI's as if they had occurred in their own state. In other words, if Iowa suspended or revoked your license as a result of your DUI then Illinois will be honoring that and not issue you a license. Once the period of suspension is over and you are eligible for reinstatement of your license in Iowa you can also apply in Illinois. Where a license has been revoked in Illinois, the driver must request a hearing before the secretary of state seeking reinstatement.


Once you establish residency in Illinois (90 days), you can apply for a drivers license. However, the application form asks you for your driving history in other states. Your application will be checked against several national driver databases. If you answer truthfully (about your DUI), you will likley be denied a license until you clear your suspension/revocation in your old state. If you lie or misrepresent your background on the application, the Secretary of State could order that a new revocation for fraud be placed on your record in Illinois which will appear alongside your out-of-state suspension. Your stategy should be to finish all the requirements on your DUI and clear your suspension in your old state, before attempting to get driving privileges or a Restricted Driving Permit in Illinois. An Informal Hearing Officer, available at most large Secretary of State Offices, can give you additional guidance as to your options. Remember, driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor. A conviction could lead to an extension of revocation or wait time for eligibility (as a punishment) to reapply for a drivers license. Ruben Sanmiguel


You do not state if you were convicted of the DUI or received a deferral (what Illinois calls supervision). If it was a deferral, Illinois will not treat it as a convction and will issue a license.

If it was a conviction, no you will not be able to obtain a license until you have satisfied all Iowa requirements (paid fees, received reinstatement order) and more than a year has elapsed. Here is the rule:

g) The Secretary of State will not issue a driver's license to a new resident
of Illinois while his/her driving privileges are revoked in another jurisdiction, pursuant to Section 6-103.1 of
the Code.

It does not matter if Iowa is a Compact State or if Iowa reports a conviction to Illinois. Illinois will automatically run a PDPS search and if the Iowa case turns up as a convction, they will not issue. If no conviction, license will issue.


If you are valid in Iowa, then yes you can get a license in Illinois.

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