Illinois DMV offers a variety of services and programs for new and existing Illinois residents. These programs include drivers license, drivers permits, new and custom plates, organ donation, teen driver safety course and more. On CyberDriveIllinois.com you can locate the nearest DMV, renew your license and schedule appoints with the Illinois DMV. You can also find documents and forms dealing with title & registration for your vehicle.
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New Illinois Drivers License
Who needs a license?
The privilege of driving is enjoyed by Illinois residents of many age groups and is used for several purposes. This can include recreation, daily living and even working for a living in one of multiple driving fields. You must first consider your age and the purpose for needing a license before you decide which license is for you. You must obtain a license from the Drivers Service Department License types include:
- The basic driver’s license in Illinois is a Class D license. It will allow drivers to operate personal vehicles as well as rental vehicles such as RVs and U-Hauls for moving. New drivers must first obtain a learner’s permit www.dmvcheatsheets.com for this license.
- Vehicles operated for a living require a Commercial License available in Type A, B and C depending on the size and type of commercial vehicle you will be operating.
- Mopeds and smaller motorized vehicles require a Class L license while operating a motorcycle will require a Class M license.
What are the requirements for getting a license?
You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a license in Illinois unless the follow three criteria are met:
- Minors ages 16 and 17 can obtain a license if they have completed an approved driver’s education program.
- They must have driven with a valid learners permit for at least 9 months and completed the required 50 hours of practice time.
- The applicant must pass the vision, written and driver’s tests and have a signed parent consent form or be accompanied by a parent that gives verbal permission.
Applicants of all ages wishing to obtain a drivers license must bring with them a signed application and required documents proving identity, age, legal status and residency. Approved documents are listed in the DMV Drivers handbook and online at the website and are divided into Type A, B, C and D. First time drivers must supply the following:
- One document chosen from Types A, B or C that can prove age, full legal name and signature. Your signature will be verified during licensing.
- Type C social security card or equivalent from list is required.
- Two documents from Type D are required proving applicants residency.
You will need to pay for a basic driver’s license if this is your first license of $30. Additional charges are based on the age of the licensee:
- For drivers ages 18 to 20 years old- $5
- Drivers between the age of 21 and 68-$30
- Drivers ages 69 to 80- $5
- Ages 81 through 86- $2
Over the age of 86 it is free to receive your license.
In addition, all applicants must pass the required testing in order to receive a license. This will include a vision and written test and the possibility of a driving test as well.
What tests do I need to take to get a license?
- All new drivers must take a vision exam during the testing process.
- A basic written exam consisting of both multiple choice and true/false questions will test the applicant’s ability to identify traffic signs and signs, and knowledge of Illinois state driving laws. The basic written test will be required for new drivers and in the renewal process every eight years unless the driver qualifies for the safe driving renewal.
- New drivers and those renewing over age 75 are required to take the driving test as part of the application process. The test will observe the new drivers skills behind the wheel and determine if they will be able to properly perform maneuvers safely on roadways if licensed. Teen drivers that take a drivers education course through school and receive a grade of A or B, may be exempt from this portion of testing.
Taking a driver’s education course
Driver’s education is a requirement to receive a learner’s for minors’ ages 17 to 17 years old. Each new minor driver must be enrolled in driver’s education at the time they apply for a learners permit as it must be used during the behind the wheel portion of drivers education classes. If you are 17 and 3 months old at the time of application driver’s education is not a requirement.
Preparing for the written test
The written test is an important part of the licensing process and you will find you must take it many times during your driving life. It is required for first time drivers when applying for a permit, it will be administered again when applying for each stage of a license or an adult license if over 18 and must be retaken every other renewal period unless safe driver qualifications are met. Therefore it wise to know first how to take a test and then understand the materials found well enough to pass.
The test is made up of a mixture of multiple choice and true/false questions regarding driving maneuvers, traffic laws and rules and common signs found on roadways you must obey. It will test your ability to understand all of these in order to safely operate a vehicle and must be passed. The test is compiled of 35 questions and 28 must be answered correctly to proceed to the next phase of licensing.
While Drivers Manuals are full of the information listed on tests they can be a bit overwhelming and intimidate an average reader. So it is important to not only obtain a copy of the Drivers Manual, but Cheat Sheets www.dmvcheatsheets.com as well. The cheat sheets will break down the information into easy to swallow parts allowing better use of your study time and ultimately a passing score.
Practice tests offer real-life samples of what the actual test will be like, allowing you to get a feel for the testing process as well as reinforce the information. By taking several tests beforehand you will be confident in your testing abilities come application day.
What to bring on test day
The vision and written exams are given on the day you submit your application so you will need all of the required documents to prove identity, age and birth date, signature, legal presence and residency as part of the process. Minors need a parent or guardian to accompany them for verbal permission or a signed parental consent form and proof of driver’s education completion, as well as a signed driver’s log. You will need to pay the licensing fees at this time as well so come prepared with a check, money order or cash.
For the drivers test, you will need to provide proof of liability insurance as well as proper registration papers for the vehicle. A drivers license for the over 21 driver accompanying you will also be needed. Remember to bring your valid permit for driving testing.
Taking the written test
On the day of application you will first provide the required proofs and take a vision test. You are then guided to a designated testing area and given the written test. On the test you will find multiple choice and true/false questions testing your knowledge of traffic signs, rules and driving procedures. You must correctly answer 28 out of 35 questions to pass www.dmvcheatsheets.com.
Study for the test in advance using your Drivers Handbook and cheat sheets in order to understand the materials covered on the test and take practice tests www.dmvcheatsheets.com to reinforce what you have learned and practice testing.
Taking the drivers test
The drivers test is required for certain applicants as the last portion of licensing. You may be exempt from the test if you have taken drivers education through the school and completed the 50 hours of practice driving. You must pass in order to receive a license so use your road practice time wisely.
The test will evaluate your skills both controlling a vehicle and obeying traffic laws in such areas as making turns and stops, backing up and your ability to properly follow traffic signs.
Renewing your Illinois Drivers license
Who needs to renew their license?
All persons wishing to continue driving legally on roadways must renew their license. The year in which your license will expire depends on your age including:
- Drivers under age 21 will need to renew their license three months after their 21rst birthday.
- Drivers ages 21 to 80 will renew every four years
- Drivers ages 81 to 86 must renew every two years
- Over the age of 87 license renew is every year
How do I renew my IL license?
The renewal letter will arrive 90 days before your expiration day reminding you to renew on time and providing specific information regarding your process. You may be asked to take the tests including a vision exam at your local DSD branch. The safe driver program rewards drivers with a clean driving record by allowing them to renew from home every other renewal or once every eight years.
What tests do I need to take to renew
You will receive a renewal notice 90 days before expiration by mail which will inform you what documentation you will be required to bring as well as which tests will be required at the time of renewal.
Unless the driver qualifies for the safe driving program, the written test will be required every eight years at the time of renewal.
Preparing to renew my Illinois Drivers license
Your renewal notice will inform you of how you need to prepare for your renewal. If you are required to visit an office, you will need to gather together the documents listed in your notice and your renewal notice to renew. For safe drivers you will be allowed to renew from home every eight years and you will be informed of this permission in the letter.
If any tests are listed in the letter preparation for these may include remembering to bring corrective lenses for the vision test and studying cheat sheets for a review of information for the written.
What is the cost to renew my license?
The cost of renewal will depend on your age at the time of licensing and include:
- For ages 18 through 20 renewal is $5
- Ages 21 through 68 renewal fees are $30
- Ages 69 to 80 pay $5 renewal fees
- Ages 81 to 86 have a $2 fee and it is free to renewal over the age of 86
Getting a Illinois Learners permit
Who needs a learners permit?
All new drivers or those changing a new class must first drive with a learners permit including CDL and motorcycle licenses. You must be at least 15 years old to begin the permit application process.
Requirements to getting a learners permit
Minors between the ages of 17 and 17 and 3months old must be enrolled in driver’s education at the time they apply for a learners permit. The permit must be carried during the mandatory six hours of behind the wheel instruction they will obtain during the education class.
- A parent or guardian must accompany minors to the DSD facility or sign a parent/consent form to be presented at the time of application.
- All proper forms of identification proving age, birth date, signature, legal presence and residency are required to be presented. In addition, a social security card or equivalent is needed.
- You will be required to pass a vision screening and written test www.dmvcheatsheets.com to continue. You must answer 28 out of 35 questions correct to pass the written test
Driving with a IL learners permit
All new drivers must drive on a learner’s permit but minors up to age 17 and 3 months old must drive with a permit for practice for at least 9 months before applying for a license. Minors are allowed to practice both during driver’s education and afterwards with a licensed driver over the age of 21 that has been driving at least one year. It is important to pay attention during driver’s education because a passing grade of A or B will benefit you during the licensing process. Those taking drivers education through school and receive at least a B may be exempt from the driving test.
Cost of a Illinois learners permit
A learners permit cost is $20 for a first time permit.
Steps to getting an Illinois Learners permit
- Gather together all required pieces of identification in advance and minors enroll in an approved driver’s education program before visiting your local DSD office.
- Submit proofs of age and birth date, signature, residency and law presence in the US as well as your social security card to the clerk with your permit application. Minors will also show proof of enrollment in driver’s education and a parent consent form.
- Take the vision exam and written test. Pass each test with the requirements to proceed.
- Pay the required $20 permit fee- (if you receive your license before the permit expires you will not need to pay additional fees).