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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in Illinois

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Drivers License Online Services Guide

Become an Illinois new drivers license holder by following the guidelines set up by the Illinois Secretary of State. To apply for drives licenses with the IL DMV, drivers who have never been previously licensed must meet minimum age, education and residency requirements. For many beginner drivers, drivers ed classes are a necessary requirement for obtaining a license to drive.

Did you know? Learners who take our online practice driving test are five times more likely to pass the Illinois DMV knowledge test.

How to Apply for an Illinois Driver's License:

  • Visit an IL SOS location.
  • Present the necessary documentation.
  • Pass the written DMV exam and/or driving test.
  • Pay Illinois drivers license fees.

Learn all about the Illinois drivers license application process by reviewing the information presented in the following sections.

Types of Drivers Licenses in Illinois

Getting drivers licenses in Illinois requires that applicants visit IL DMV offices to apply. DMV drivers license applicants who meet the age, education and residency requirements can submit their requests in person for the various types of credentials offered by the IL SOS. The Illinois Secretary of State's office classifies driving licenses based on the gross weight rating of vehicles (GVWR):

  • Class D drivers license - For the operation of standard vehicles with a GVWR of less than 16,000 pounds.
  • Class M motorcycle license - For the operation of a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle.
  • Class A, B or C commercial drivers license (CDL) - For the operation of commercial vehicles with a GVWR of more than 16,000 pounds.

First-Time Driver (Under 18) in Illinois

Illinois new drivers license applicants must meet the criteria set forth by the Secretary of State's office. In addition to the Illinois DMV license age and residency requirements, learners must also take driver safety courses. The requirements also include restrictions on when persons younger than 21 years of age can operate an automobile, as well as restrictions on who may be in the vehicle when they are driving.

For more information, visit our Learner's Permit page.

Illinois New Drivers (Over 18)

Adult drivers license applicants must take an IL DMV written drivers test to qualify for their first license to drive. Additionally, beginner drivers who are between 18 and 20 years of age and have never been previously licensed must complete an approved adult drivers education course.

IL Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test

New DMV license applicants can get the additional assistance they need to pass the drivers license test by utilizing a proven study method. Our Illinois drivers ed practice test will help you understand the state traffic laws that you are already familiar with, and it will also assist you with filling the gaps in your driving knowledge. The license to drive test bundle, which includes a supplemental study guide, contains sample questions and covers topics that are featured in the official Illinois exam.

How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in IL

To get drivers license services in Illinois, visit an IL DMV office and apply within. You will need to gather the appropriate documents to show:

  • Proof of written signature.
  • Proof of date of birth.
  • Proof of Social Security Number.
  • Proof of Illinois residency.

IL Drivers License Eligibility Requirements

Illinois DMV drivers licenses can be acquired by residents 16 years of age and older. Drivers 20 years of age and younger must gain their driving privileges, incrementally, during participation in the Graduated Driver's License program. All driving license applicants must, however, pass a drivers exam which can include a written drivers test and/or a road skills test, in addition to a vision screening.

IL Written/Driving Test

New drivers license applicants in Illinois will have to pass a written test and road skills test to complete their drivers license application process. Beginner drivers 18 to 20 years of age who have not previously participated in a drivers training course are subject to complete an approved adult drivers education program prior to taking the IL DMV drivers test. Learners of any age can benefit from our online practice driving test, which features questions similar to those found on the actual IL SOS knowledge test.

IL Driving Test

The Illinois drivers license test is required of any first-time driving license applicant. You will be examined operating a motor vehicle of your choice and tested on how well you maneuver the car while performing driver functions, including the following:

  • Ability to obey traffic laws.
  • How you slowly reverse the vehicle for a distance of 50 feet.
  • How you start and park the car on a hill.

Did you know? Drivers who have any traffic convictions must re-take the written drivers test every eight years. Sign up for a DMV traffic school to have points removed from your driving record, whereby making you exempt from re-taking the knowledge test.

New Illinois Resident

Drivers license applicants new to Illinois must obtain in-state driving credentials within 90 days of establishing residency. To obtain a license to drive in Illinois, you must visit an IL SOS office to surrender your previous state drivers license and present proof of name, date of birth, Social Security Number, written signature and Illinois residency. During your office visit, you must be prepared to take a vision test, written drivers exam and possibly even a road skills test.

Replace Driver's License in Illinois

Drivers license holders who find themselves with a stolen or lost drivers license should first report the incident to law enforcement. To obtain a DMV duplicate drivers license, visit an IL Secretary of State office with proof of identification as well as the fee amount. To find out more about how to get a replacement drivers license, click here.

Locate a DMV in Illinois

Get contact details on a nearby IL SOS driver service center. View our IL DMV location page to note the office hours, telephone number and other information you need to aid you in getting a driver license appointment.

Submitted by KRamlow on 29th Nov 2015

what do i need to bring when

what do i need to bring when i get my license

Submitted by Tommie232 on 11th Jun 2015

I just moved to Chicago and

I just moved to Chicago and during the process my license expired on the 27th of May.

I have a clean driving record with no moving citations or anything.

So I want to know will have to take the vision/written exam again? Or can I just pay the 30.00 and receive an Illinois license and only take the vision exam?

Submitted by adeoshiyemi on 16th Apr 2015

I live in Illinois. I have a

I live in Illinois. I have a Nigerian licence and have held it over 10 years now. I am a US resident now and would like to get a drivers licence. Would i take vision, written and driving tests?

Submitted by Joseph F Corcoran on 16th Dec 2014

I live and work in East

I live and work in East Africa, Work Juba South Sudan; Live in Kampala Uganda. I have not been able to get to my mailing address in River Forest Ill. since my drivers lisence expired on June 5 2014. So how do I renew online? Can you send me the code that would have been sent in the mail to : 1129 Park Ave., River Forest, Il. 60305 Thanks JFC

Submitted by Joseph F Corcoran on 16th Dec 2014

Please advise I need to renew

Please advise I need to renew online. I believe I have a very safe driver record...I have been living in Africa, and working for Non Governmental organizations since 2006. How do I do it? Thanks,

Joe Corcoran

Submitted by enx on 15th Oct 2014

Info here is waaay out of

Info here is waaay out of date.

Submitted by lindseyav (not verified) on 11th Jul 2013

Do you have to set an appt

Do you have to set an appt for a new driver's license if you're 18 yrs of age?

Submitted by (not verified) on 4th Jun 2013

this website was as helpful

this website was as helpful as me sitting at the dmv forever waiting for my number to be called only to find out I didn't have appropriate proof of residency because it states that no where on this site. thanks for posting that by the way, you should probably consider doing so.

Submitted by Autumn-Martin (not verified) on 14th May 2013

Hey! I have and Order of

Hey! I have and Order of Protection against my father and I am 16. I will be 17 in December. When i got the order of protection my father didnt give me my Social Security Card. I know my number and all but i didnt know if i could get my License with that and another form of identification. My dad took all my birth certificates and told me he will never give me my card. he is going to prison in 2 weeks and i would like to atleast have a license. for identity since without my card it is hard to live a life at all. please help.

Submitted by mah1979di (not verified) on 28th Apr 2013

Hello there, I have a family

Hello there,

I have a family coming to IL ,USA to visit us and they are having visitor visa ( valid for 6 months). They want to stay here for 3 months.

I want to see if they can get temporary drivers licence or any kind of certificate to drive?

Or if they can use the translated back home driver's licence during their visiting ?

Of course the visitor visa is non-immigrant visa but driving is the big issue in the United state.

Thank you.

Submitted by JC778777 (not verified) on 5th Apr 2013

What we need for proof of

What we need for proof of identification link is broken, please fix it.

Submitted by (not verified) on 13th Apr 2010



Submitted by on 14th Apr 2014

I need to get my drivers

I need to get my drivers license number

Submitted by jmr1458 (not verified) on 7th Dec 2012

i need to obtain my driver

i need to obtain my driver licsence nuber so i can open a sr-22 insurance account. thank you

Submitted by TNapier01 (not verified) on 13th Dec 2011

Need My Drivers License

Need My Drivers License Number

Submitted by pele10 on 2nd Jul 2014

Need My Drivers License

Need My Drivers License Number

Submitted by pele10 on 2nd Jul 2014

will I take a written test

will I take a written test again?

Submitted by Santacruz Montoya (not verified) on 20th Aug 2011