Written by attorney John P. Yetter

Illinois Tollway Driver's License Suspensions

In Illinois, the Legislature has created dozens of different ways an individual can get their driver’s license suspended. These are set out in 625 ILCS 5/7-303 The purpose of this guide is to deal with one particular type of suspension with en explanation of how you get it, and, more importantly, how to get rid of it.

If your Illinois driver’s abstract says your have been suspended for action code “07," one of the possible causes is outstanding toll violations with the Illinois Toll Authority. This suspension is authorized by 625 ILCS 5/6-306.7.

These arise from camera enforcement of toll booths. Camera shots record all people passing through the lanes who do not pay, both through IPASS and the cash lanes. If you do not pay the toll online within seven days the Authority runs a tab against the owner of the vehicle. They send notice to the address, assess fines and if the account is not satisfied, they notify the Illinois Secretary of State. At this point the suspension enters and it is indefinite – that is, it your license is suspended until such time you clear the issue with the Toll Authority.

Only the first named registered owner is suspended. You need not receive a ticket for the toll violation for the Authority to deem you have missed a payment of toll.

The report of the Authority to the Secretary of State is a legal notice which must contain the following things with specificity:

  1. Name, last known address, DL number or registration number

  2. A statement from the Authority proving it sent the owner a notice to the address registered.

If these things are not present you can have a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State Hearing Officers. “It was not me" is not an issue to be raised before the Secretary. That argument needs to be made before the Toll Authority at the time notice is sent. The pictures from the cameras are usually attached to the notice. There is a form available at the Toll Authority website, and it also comes in the envelope with the notice of the original violation.

Barring a factual dispute about the driver, or a procedural argument about the notices, the remaining option is to satisfy the debt. This can be done in a negotiation with the Toll Authority. They have accepted in the past a variety of settlements including partial payments in satisfaction, reduction of total cost by elimination of the fines and payment plans.

Please note a few things. One, the willingness of the Authority to negotiate is not universal. Specifically, the amount of your sanction (total) and the length of the history of missing tolls play a big part, as does the needs for funds at any given time. The other is that the situations here are usually fairly complicated and consulting with an attorney to really nail down that you are doing the easiest and most effective thing for you is the best way to go about it.

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