Getting an Illinois Drivers License
Like other states in the county, a drivers license is required for you to legally drive on public roads. Even if you're over 18 years old and have been driving for a good chunk of your life, a drivers license is required for you to legally drive.
Required Courses for a New Illinois Drivers License
As of July 1, 2014, young adults ages 18-20 who did not take drivers ed in high school must successfully complete a 6-hour adult driver education course before obtaining a drivers license. If you are under the age of 21, you will need to complete the state’s graduated drivers license program. The graduated drivers license program will allow you to carry a learners permit, and you must take a drivers education course in order to be licensed.
Exams/Driving Tests Required for a New Illinois Drivers License
In order to receive an Illinois drivers license you must:
- Visit a Driver Services Facility, show required identification documents, and have your photo taken.
- Surrender all valid out-of-state licenses, state ID cards, instruction permits, and commercial drivers licenses.
- Pay the appropriate fee.
- Pass the appropriate exams (vision screening, written, and/or driving).
The identification documents must show the following:
- Written signature
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Proof of residency
If you are a new resident to Illinois, you may continue to drive with your out of state license for 90 days. Commercial drivers license (CDL) holders must notify the Secretary of State’s office within 10 days and must get a corrected CDL within 30 days. As a new resident, in order to receive an Illinois drivers license you must visit a Driver Services facility to surrender your out-of-state license. You will also need to pass a vision screening, written exam and possibly a drive exam. To prepare for the written exam you can refer to the Illinois Rules Of The Road handbook.
Renewing Your Illinois Drivers License
You must renew your drivers license every 4 years if you are 21-80 years old, every 2 years from age 81-86, and every year if you are 87 or older. About 60 days prior to your license expiring, the Secretary of State will send a letter to you with all of the information you will need in order to renew your Illinois state driver’s license.
Drivers age 18-20 must successfully complete a 6-hour adult driver education course if they have not previously taken an approved driver education course. When applying for your license you will also need to take the written exam, pass a vision exam, and possibly take a driving exam depending on your age.
Additionally, the state of Illinois has a mandatory insurance law. This means that everyone that drives in Illinois must be required to have auto insurance coverage. You can refer to the Mandatory Insurance section of the Secretary of State website for more information.