Illinois Drivers License Renewal
Motorists must renew drivers licenses in Illinois in order to maintain their driving privileges with the state. IL drivers licenses renewal applications are processed in person at local IL DMV locations or online. Illinois online drivers license renewals are an option for qualifying residents with a clean IL driving record. For more information on where to renew drivers licenses with the Illinois Secretary of State, continue reading below.
How to Renew Your IL Driver's License
Drivers licenses renewals in Illinois may be handled either online or in person at an IL SOS office. Renewing drivers licenses online is a service designated for Illinois Safe Drivers. Motorists will receive a drivers license renewal notice in the mail approximately 60 to 90 days prior to their drivers license expiration date. Drivers with a renewal letter stating that they are a Safe Driver are eligible to apply online while all other applicants must appear in person. In person applicants must provide one document from each of the following categories:
- Proof of written signature.
- Proof of date a birth.
- Proof of social security number.
- Proof of residency.
The driver license renewal applicant will be issued a temporary paper driver's license which is valid for 45 days. Permanent drivers licenses are mailed to the applicant's address and should arrive within 15 business days. Motorists should make sure that their mailing address is up-to-date with the Secretary of State prior to applying for a renewed drivers license.
Illinois drivers license renewal fees can vary and is dependent upon the age of the applicant. The cost to renew drivers licenses in IL are the same as original drivers license fees. The drivers license renewal fee for most drivers is $30. Minor and senior renewal applicants pay less, with persons 87 years of age and older eligible for a free renewed driving license. The following are current Illinois drivers license renewal fees:
- $5 - Applicants 18-20 years of age.
- $30 - Applicants 21 to 68 years of age.
- $5 - Applicants 29 to 80 years of age.
- $2 - Applicants 81 to 86 years of age.
- Free - Applicants 87 years of age and older.
When to Renew
Your IL Driver's License
Drivers in Illinois must renew their drivers license within the time period that is set by the type of license they hold. Drivers with a two or four-year drivers license can renew up to one year prior the driving license expiration date. Those with a one-year license can renew up to six months prior to the drivers license expiration date. Drivers 87 years of age and older must renew their driving licenses each year at a local Illinois DMV office.
Illinois drivers must renew their expiring drivers licenses prior to the actual date of expiration. Expired drivers licenses are only valid in conjunction with a temporary driver license or to those with a Military Deferral Certificate. Once an IL drivers license renewal applicant receives his or her permanent license in the mail, he or she must then destroy the expired drivers license along with the temporary license. The Military Deferral Certificate is valid for up to 120 days following a service member's return to the state.
Motorists renewing drivers licenses at an Illinois Secretary of State's office will be issued a temporary paper license at the time of application. The temporary license can be used in the same capacity as a permanent card and is valid for 45 days from the date of issuance. Temporary licenses are approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the purpose of flying with a commercial airline. To board an aircraft, drivers will need to present their temporary license in conjunction with their expiring drivers license to a TSA agent. Drivers will receive their permanent driver's license in the mail within 15 days of their application.
Requirements to Renew an Illinois License
To renew drivers licenses in Illinois, residents must adhere to the requirement set by the IL SOS office. Drivers license renewal applicants must present the required documentation and take a drivers license exam, if applicable. Around 90 days prior to their drivers license expiration date, motorists will receive a drivers license renewal application in the mail. Drivers with a Safe Driver designation on the form are permitted to apply online for renewal. In person applicants must adhere to the following requirements to renew drivers licenses in IL:
- Pass a vision screening.
- Pass the written exam every eight years. Drivers with no traffic convictions on their driving record are exempt from this requirement. Drivers with an auto accident on their record may be required to take both the written and road examinations.
- All drivers 75 years of age and older must take a driving exam at the time of renewal.
IL Drivers License Online Renewal
Illinois drivers can renew drivers licenses online if they have been designated as a Safe Driver by the IL Secretary of State's office. To be eligible for online drivers license renewals, a driver's record must be free of any traffic convictions from the previous four years. Eligible applicants must visit the IL SOS Safe Driver Renewal website and enter their renewal authorization number, which is written on their drivers license renewal form. Drivers must have either their checking account info or a valid debit/credit card to pay the drivers license renewal fee, along with a nominal transaction fee. The renewed drivers license should arrive to the applicants mailing address on file with the DMV within 15 business days.
Renewing Your IL Drivers License in Person
Drivers applying for an IL drivers license renewal must do so in person at an Illinois SOS office location. Unless the drivers license renewal notice designates you as a Safe Driver, you must apply in person. Drivers 75 years of age and older are automatically required to renew in person as they must complete a driving exam. Driving exams are also required every eight years for drivers who have had traffic convictions within that time period. When renewing in person, drivers must present the following types of documentation:
- Proof of written signature.
- Proof of date a birth.
- Proof of Social Security Number.
- Proof of residency.
If you are required to take a driver's license test to renew your driving credentials, order an Illinois practice test to help you prepare for the written portion of your exam.
Out-of-State Military Renewal
Drivers license renewals for military members and their dependents stationed out-of-state can be handled either online or by mail. Services members can choose to apply by mail to request a defer their drivers license expiration date or to renew their license through the online Safe Driver Renewal site. Contact the Illinois Secretary of State for more information on out-of-state renewals for military members and their families.
Drivers License Extensions
Members of the military who are currently stationed out-of-state are eligible for a Military Deferral Certificate. This certificate allows the service member and his or her dependents to utilize his or her expired drivers license up to 120 days beginning upon their arrival to Illinois. Drivers can apply for the Military Deferral Certificates by mailing a photocopy of their current Illinois driving license and military ID card to the IL Secretary of State, License and Medical Review Unit.