The “Deadbeats Don’t Drive” Act

Formerly known as the Family Financial Responsibility Act, the Deadbeats Don’t Drive Act allows courts in Illinois to suspend the driver’s license of parents who are more than 3 months behind in court-ordered child support payments. The suspension may be invoked either through a circuit court ruling or by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS).

Court Ordered Supervision

If a circuit court judge rules that a parent is at least 90 days behind on child support payments, a Record of Non-Payment of Court Order Child Support Family Responsibility can be entered, certified by the court, and submitted to the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS). The SOS will notify the delinquent parent/driver that a license suspension will take effect in 60 days unless child support obligations are met. Once the obligations are met, the court will submit a Compliance of Family Responsibility Law to the SOS, and the license suspension will be lifted.

DHFS Ordered Suspension

The DHFS also has the authority to request that the SOS suspend the license of parents who are delinquent at least 90 days in their child support payments. The SOS will notify the driver that a license suspension is pending within 60 days if child support obligations are not met. Once these obligations are met, DHS will notify the SOS so that driving privileges may be restored.

Visitation Interference

In addition to non-payment of child support, a parent’s driver’s license may also be suspended for violating court-order visitation rights. For example, the refusal to let the non-custodial parent exercise their visitation rights constitutes a violation, as does a non-custodial parent’s failure to return the child to the custodial parent at the time and place specified. Other types of visitation interference, as defined by 625 ILCS 5/7-702(d), may also provide grounds for a license suspension.

How can I pay child support if I can’t drive to my job?

In cases of court order supervision, a limited driving permit (often referred to as a “hardship permit”) may be issued that will allow limited driving to and from the workplace if no alternative means of transportation is available. Driving is also allowed for medical treatment or participation in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. In order to qualify for a limited driving permit, the driver must be at least 16 years old and have a driver’s license that was valid prior to the suspension. There is no provision for operating a commercial vehicle. There is an $8 fee for filing for the restricted driving permit.

Is there a limited license provision for a Commercial Vehicles License?

No. A DHFS ordered suspension has no provision for obtaining a limited license. Drivers who are delinquent in child support payments must either pay the amount owed or enter into an approved payment program in order the lift the suspension.

Restoration of Driving Privileges

Drivers who are delinquent in child support payments will have 60 days to comply with their court-obligations before their license is suspended. This gives the delinquent parent a chance to pay their back child support payments and avoid a driver’s license suspension. Drivers may also request an administrative hearing with the SOS during the 60-day period in order to challenge, request modification, or make arrangements to comply with their existing order of support.

Get Professional Legal Help with Your Suspended License or Revoked License

Attorney David B. Franks has several years of experience in defending those facing various traffic offenses, including Driving While License Suspended and Driving While License Revoked charges, and assisting Clients in taking the necessary steps for the Illinois Secretary of State to lift the suspension or revocation of their driver’s licenses. Call David B. Franks today for a free initial consultation.