Before you can get behind the wheel, you’ll need to take Illinois Driver’s Ed.
The Learners Permit Process
As soon as you turn 15, you can start on your way to getting your Illinois drivers license! The first step is getting your Illinois instruction permit. Here’s what you need to do to make that happen:
- Get parental consent.
- Enroll in an approved driver education course.
- To get your permit, you will either need to be enrolled or no more than 30 days from taking a course.
- If you are age 17 and 3 months or older, you are not required to take a driver education course to apply for your permit.
- Visit your local Secretary of State facility.
- Present proper identification documents.
- Pass a written exam and a vision screening.
- Pay the required fee.
What Happens After I Get My Permit?
Once you have your Illinois instruction permit, you get to begin practicing behind the wheel! But before you climb into the driver’s seat, you need to know the rules:
- You must have your permit with you at all times when you are behind the wheel, whether you’re with a driving instructor or a supervising driver.
- You must log at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice, 10 of which must occur at night.
- Your supervising driver must be at least 21 years old, hold a license for the type of vehicle you are driving, and have a minimum of 1 year of driving experience.
- Your permit is valid for 2 years, and you must hold your permit for at least 9 months before you may get an Illinois driver’s license.
- If you are 18 or older, your permit will be valid for 1 year.
- If you receive your license before your instruction permit expires, you may not be required to pay an additional fee.
What Are the Driving Restrictions?
While you hold an instruction permit, the hours you may drive at night are limited. Local curfews may differ, but generally, you may not drive:
- 10 p.m.-6 a.m. Sunday-Thursday
- 11 p.m.-6 a.m. Friday-Saturday
There are a few other things you need to keep in mind while you’re the proud owner of an Illinois learner’s permit:
- To move forward and get your license, you must not get any driving convictions during the 9-month period that you hold your instruction permit.
- You may only have 1 passenger in the front seat, and only as many passengers in the back as there are seat belts; all passengers must wear seat belts.
- If you are under 19, you may not use a cell phone while driving, even a hands-free device, unless it is an emergency.
- Texting while driving is prohibited for drivers of all ages.
After the minimum 9-month period, you can work on getting your drivers license! The state of Illinois requires both an initial licensing phase and a full license phase for drivers under the age of 18–but don’t worry, we’ll help you navigate that process too.