Renewing Your Illinois DMV Drivers License
Like other states in the country, Illinois requires that your drivers license be renewed every few years or so. It’s one of many ways to ensure that you remain a good driver consistently through your life.
How Do I Renew My Illinois Drivers License?
60 to 90 days before your drivers license expiring, you will receive a letter from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. This letter is mailed to the address the Secretary of State has on file, and has all of the information necessary for you to renew your drivers license.
The requirements for renewing your drivers license depend on the type of license that you have. The fees for Illinois license renewal also vary. Everyone renewing their license in Illinois will need to take a written exam every 8 years or sooner, depending on whether or not you’ve gotten any traffic violations. If you are renewing at the Secretary of State’s office you will also need to take a vision test. Those over the age of 75 are required to take a driving exam when they renew and those over 87 and older must renew their licenses every year.
What Happens If You Don’t Renew in Time?
It is very important that you renew your Illinois drivers license before it expires. This will give the state ample time to process your renewal and mail your new license to you before it expires. If, for some reason, your drivers license has expired, you will need to visit the Secretary of State’s office as soon as possible. You may be able to renew the license if it has been under a year since the expiration date. If it has been longer than that you may need to take more tests and pay extra fees.
Renewal Eligibility in Illinois
You will be sent a renewal notice about sixty (60) days before your license expires. This notice will have all of the necessary information regarding your license renewal. It is important that you read this notice carefully and that you do not lose it. At the time of your renewal, you can also register to vote, and/or become a registered organ donor.
If your letter states that you are considered to be part of the state of Illinois “Safe Driver Renewal” program, you’re in luck – you can renew your license online, on the telephone, or through the mail.
What to Bring or Prepare to Renew Your Illinois License
When you go to renew your Illinois drivers license, you will need to bring your current license, proof of liability insurance, and payment for your fees. If you do not have your current license you will also need to bring other appropriate forms of identification. If you are a part of the “Safe Driver Renewal” program, renewal of your license can be completed online in just four steps:
- Type in your renewal authorization number which is located at the top of your renewal notice.
- Follow directions on screen and verify your information.
- Use a personal checking account or Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express card for payment.
- Print out your confirmation. Your renewed license should arrive at your mailing address within 15 business days.
Exceptions to Regular Illinois License Renewal
If you are a member of the military and unable to come into the Secretary of State’s office in order to renew your Illinois drivers license, don’t stress out too much. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces can drive with an expired license in the state of Illinois for up to 120 days after their return to the state. A Military Deferral Certificate must be carried with the expired driver’s license.
To request a Military Deferral Certificate, mail a copy of your current Illinois drivers license, a copy of the front and back of your Military ID card, and your out-of-state address to:
Secretary of State
License and Medical Review Unit
2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62723.
For more information, please call 217-782-2720.
These Military Deferral Certificates are available at no charge to members of the military and their spouses and children.