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The State of Illinois has approved Public Act 098-0870, effective January 1, 2015, which adds Section 6-308 to the Illinois Vehicle Code and provides that any person cited for a petty traffic offense is not required to post his or her license as bond.  This is a change to the former license as bond requirement.

Former License As Bond Requirement

Formerly, any person cited for a petty traffic offense was required to post bond, which usually meant a person posted his or her driver’s license as bond. The officer issuing the citation would take the person’s driver’s license, and the person’s driver’s license would be returned to the person upon favorable disposition of the traffic matter.

License As Bond No Longer Required

Under the new Section 6-308, any person cited for a petty traffic offense will be able to keep his or her driver’s license. There is no longer a license as bond requirement. However, a person will be required to sign the traffic citation as a promise to comply with the terms of the citation, which may include appearing at a scheduled court date. If a person fails to appear at a scheduled court date, that person’s driver’s license may be suspended.

Section 6-308(b) also provides the procedure to be followed by the court if a person fails to appear at a scheduled court date. That section provides:

Whenever a person fails to appear in court, the court may continue the case for a minimum of 30 days and the clerk of the court shall send notice of the continued court date to the person’s last known address. If the person does not appear in court on or before the continued court date or satisfy the court that the person’s appearance in and surrender to the court is impossible for no fault of the person, the court shall enter an order of failure to appear. The clerk of the court shall notify the Secretary of State of the court’s order. The Secretary, when notified by the clerk of the court that an order of failure to appear has been entered, shall immediately suspend the person’s driver’s license, which shall be designated by the Secretary as a Failure to Appear suspension. The Secretary shall not remove the suspension, nor issue any permit or privileges to the person whose license has been suspended, until notified by the ordering court that the person has appeared and resolved the violation. Upon compliance, the clerk of the court shall present the person with a notice of compliance containing the seal of the court, and shall notify the Secretary that the person has appeared and resolved the violation. 625 ILCS 5/6-308(b)

It is a petty offense to operate a motor vehicle during a time when the person’s driver’s license was suspended under the provisions of Section 6-308.