For many would-be drivers in Illinois, drivers ed is a necessary hurdle to overcome. Both teens and adults younger than 21 years of age must complete a course in order to obtain a full license. Drivers ed classes are vital to improving driving habits and driver safety. The courses go over the basic rules of the road, teach drivers safe maneuvers and reduce the risk of getting into an accident.

It is important to learn about drivers ed course and what types of benefits they offer before applying. For example, drivers may learn that Illinois driving laws says schools must waive fees for students who cannot afford them. The sections below describe the drivers ed options available in Illinois, what benefits new drivers can get from them, how to register for courses and more.

Who needs to take drivers ed in Illinois?

In Illinois, all unlicensed drivers 20 years of age or younger must complete a drivers ed course. Teens 17 years of age or younger should take a teen drivers ed program, while adults 18 to 20 should take an adult course. Adults 21 and older do not need to complete a drivers ed program to obtain a license. However, they do still need to pass the written and road tests.

Types of Drivers Ed Classes in Illinois

There are two types of drivers education courses available in Illinois: the teen program and the adult drivers ed program. The teen program is for drivers 17 years of age and younger. The adult program is for adults 18, 19 or 20 years of age. Adults 21 and older are not required to take an educational course. However, they can still benefit from completing the adult course before obtaining a license.

Illinois Online Drivers Ed Vs. In-Person Courses

Illinois teens and adults interested in drivers education can select an in-person or online course, depending on their preference. Classroom courses often include behind-the-wheel practice with an instructor and receive more direct attention in a classroom course. However, students must attend specific class sessions until the course is complete.

Taking an online drivers ed course allows for more flexibility. Students can complete the course at their own pace without waiting for others or rushing through lessons. Although teen drivers must complete the same number of behind-the-wheel practice hours, they can do it on their own time.

Online programs, like adult course, commonly require you to complete the class within 30 days of registration. Adult drivers ed does not require behind-the-wheel practice, although classroom courses may include it.

What will you learn in an Illinois driver’s ed school?

A standard drivers ed course will include:

  • Basic maneuvering.
  • How to operate a vehicle in unusual conditions.
  • How to yield.
  • How to merge.

Drivers will also review the meaning of common road signs and markings, as well as DUI laws and substance use. A teen drivers ed course must include six hours of behind the wheel training, while the adult course does not require behind the wheel training.

Illinois Drivers Education Requirements

There are different requirements in place for the two driver education courses available. The following hours and logs are required for teen and adult drivers ed in Illinois:

  • Teen Drivers Ed: According to Illinois law, drivers education for teens must include 30 hours of classroom time and 6 hours of behind the wheel practice. Depending on the program, they may also require six hours of in-vehicle observation. Students must complete the course in two-hour sessions, which means teens typically require 15 sessions to complete the course.
  • Adult Drivers Ed: The course for adults has less stringent requirements than the one for teens. The adult course requires only six hours of classroom time, which can be completed in one session. It requires no behind the wheel training. It may, therefore, be easier to complete an adult drivers ed course online.

Benefits of an Illinois Driver Education Course

For drivers younger than 21 years of age, completing a driver education course is required to obtain a full license. However, in addition to enabling teens and adults to get licensed, an education course provides valuable information. The course reviews all the rules of the road, and requirements that drivers should keep in mind. Drivers ed graduates are less likely to be involved in a crash or receive a ticket than students who do not take the course.

Additionally, some insurance companies may offer a discount to drivers who complete a drivers ed course. Drivers should inquire with their insurance companies about available discounts to determine if their course credit qualifies them for one. Finally, in some cases, a drivers ed class can result in high school course credits towards graduation. This can reduce the number of classes a student is required to take in school.

How to Enroll in an Illinois Drivers Ed School

The process for enrolling in a drivers ed school varies depending on the course provider and course. For example, some private classroom-based courses allow drivers to register online ahead of time. Others require drivers to make an appointment over the phone or in person.

After making an appointment, students must make sure to remember the time and date of the course and show up on time. Students may not be able to get refunds for the course if they do not cancel their registration quickly. Oftentimes, courses require students to cancel within a few days of registering for a full refund.

In Illinois, many drivers ed programs for teens are sponsored by high schools. In that case, teens typically register by applying for the course as they would any other elective course. Fees may or may not be required for school-sponsored courses.

Online courses like adult drivers ed course allows students to register online. Students must provide payment upon registration. Once registration is complete, students can begin taking the course immediately. Students can receive refunds on online courses typically until they begin the course.

Illinois DMV Drivers Ed Certificates

After completing an Illinois drivers ed course, you typically receive a certificate of completion. This certificate affirms that you have completed the course and should receive credit for it. Most classroom courses offer this certificate for free.

Additionally, some online adult course providers like will send you a certificate of completion for free. Others will charge you a delivery fee. This certificate is typically necessary to prove to the DMV that you have successfully completed the course. Additionally, the certificate may be required in order to obtain an insurance discount.

Drivers Ed for New Illinois Residents

If you complete drivers ed out-of-state but do not obtain a license before moving to Illinois, you can use your out-of-state education. You must present evidence that you completed a course, such as a certificate or a transcript, to the DMV. By presenting evidence, you can qualify to apply for a drivers license. You will still need to pass the road test, written test and visual test to obtain a drivers license.

Illinois Drivers Ed vs. Traffic School

There is a difference between a drivers ed course and traffic school in Illinois. Drivers ed school is meant for unlicensed teens and adults interested in learning how to drive. The courses go over the basics of driving safely, including safe driving maneuvers, the rules of the road and more. It provides a general overview as well as some behind the wheel practice.

On the other hand, traffic school in Illinois is aimed at licensed drivers who want to improve their record or skills. Commonly, drivers who incur violations or DUIs may be referred to traffic school. Traffic school can often remove points from a driver’s record or provide an insurance discount.

Illinois Driver Education Fees

Fees for drivers education school vary depending upon the type of program offered. Classroom courses are typically more expensive than online courses, due to the resources required. Additionally, teen courses cost more than adult courses because they are longer and more intensive. Illinois law says teen drivers ed prices cannot exceed $250 without state exemption.

Additionally, the fees should be waived for teens who cannot afford them. Nevertheless, some private courses charge as much as several hundred dollars for lessons. On the other hand, online adult drivers ed courses can cost as little as $54. offers an adult course for $54, including free certificate delivery.

Last updated on Monday, March 2 2020.