1.

If your license has been recently lost or stolen, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. Without a valid license, you will not be able to drive legally in your state or present a valid form of identification when necessary. The two most common methods of replacing your lost or stolen license are visiting your local licensing location in person or applying for a replacement online. Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to replace your license or ID by mail. However, the fastest and most efficient way to replace your driving credential is online. To learn how to replace your license online, you can refer to our helpful drivers license guide. In addition to helping you through the replacement process, our guide will also teach you how to renew and change the name or address on your license.

2. By Mail

Most states offer a mail-in application option to residents who have lost their license while out of the state. In most cases, military service members stationed outside of the state will also be able to apply for a replacement by mail. To apply, you will need to mail in a primary and secondary proof of identification, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, Social Security card or W-2 form. You will also need to send proof of a residential address such as a deed, voter registration card or utility bill. Depending on your state, you will be required to provide any combination of the aforementioned documents, in addition to other documents and information. You will also need to keep in mind that it may take several weeks to obtain your replacement license, as mail can often be delayed or unreliable.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

Finally, you can replace your lost or stolen license at your local DMV or licensing office. You will be required to bring all the documents previously mentioned as proof of identification and residency. If you are uncomfortable mailing these important documents to the DMV, then an in-person visit is more secure. However, you may need to reschedule an appointment if you forget your passport, citizenship certificate, car title or any other documents that you are using as proof of identification or residency. Additionally, if you make any mistakes on your form, you will not be able to receive your replacement license or ID the same day you apply for it at the DMV.


If you are a driver with a lost drivers license in Illinois, then you should documents through the Illinois Secretary of State’s Driver Services Department (DSD) immediately. A missing, broken or damaged copy of drivers license identification excuse will not keep a law enforcement officer from issuing you a citation when you fail to produce a valid drivers license. Similarly, if your license has been stolen, then it is recommended that you report the thief and replace the card immediately.

You must obtain a replacement drivers license to meet the requirements of Illinois driving laws. You can replace drivers license in IL easily and inexpensively at one of the dozens of DSD offices statewide. It is important to know the requirements to obtain a replacement copy. To learn how to replace drivers license in Illinois, continue reading the information detailed below.

When is a replacement drivers license required in Illinois?

A replacement driver license in IL is required when your current license is lost or stolen. A duplicate drivers license in Illinois is also necessary if your drivers license card becomes damaged enough to render any of the text illegible or seriously reduce photo quality. You must have valid credentials to operate a vehicle on public roads.

Taking prompt action to replace lost drivers license documents also helps protect your identity and prevent potential legal issues should your license fall into the wrong hands. If a motorist uses a lost drivers license as his or her own, then the traffic violation will be on the license holder’s record. This can cause damage to the driver’s record.

Illinois Drivers License Replacement Requirements

The DSD cannot issue a drivers license copy online at this time, and the department requires certain documentation to obtain a drivers license replacement in person at one of its service offices. Documents fall into four categories listed below, but this list is not by any means exhaustive:

  • Group A: Written Signature – A canceled check, a signed Social Security card or a passport
  • Group B: Date of Birth –A birth certificate, adoption record, passport or military service record.
  • Group C: Social Security Number – An IL driver’s license record, a military service record or a Social Security award letter
  • Group D: Residency – Proof of residency with a bank statement, college transcript, credit report or mortgage/lease agreement

Duplicate drivers license applicants must provide one document from Group A and one document from Group D if requesting an address change. To see a full list of acceptable replacement drivers license documents in each category, contact your local DSD service office. All documents listed above for drivers license replacement purposes must be original copies that are current and not expired.

In many cases, one document will satisfy requirements from more than one group. Photocopies will not be accepted when applying for a duplicate drivers license in Illinois, and the DSD reserves the right to accept or refuse any document.

How to Replace Your Illinois Drivers License

To obtain a DMV duplicate license in IL, you must appear in person at a driver services office with the documents listed above and a form of payment the fee. If your original copy of drivers license documentation was stolen, then bring a copy of your police report.

Note: Illinois drivers are allowed three duplicate drivers license replacements annually, and only 10 total replacements over a lifetime.

Out-of-State Drivers License Replacement in Illinois

The method for out-of-state drivers license replacement in Illinois differs from the way you complete the process in person. First, you must call the Special License and Re-Examination Unit of the Secretary of State’s office and let the clerk know if you plan to return to Illinois within 90 days or if you will be away longer than that. If you plan to return to IL within 90 days, then you may request that a temporary DMV duplicate license be mailed to your current out-of-state address. If you plan to be away longer than 90 days, then you will be sent a duplicate drivers license application form and instructions on how to replace your license.

Military members stationed out-of-state and their spouses and dependents living with them may wonder, “Where can I get a copy of my drivers license while deployed?” These military families may request an extension on their current copy of drivers license documentation that will be valid for up to 120 days. Although the military deferral certificate you receive cannot be used as a substitute for a lost drivers license, it can be shown with a damaged drivers license to extend its use. If you have other questions regarding how to get copy of drivers license documents while stationed out-of-state, call the License and Medical Review Unit.

How to Report a Missing Drivers License in Illinois

If you need a duplicate drivers license because yours was stolen, then you need to contact your local police department and report your stolen driver’s license. The DSD recommends reporting a lost copy of drivers license documents as well. This is due to the rampant problem of identity theft and the very real chance that your original credentials could be used to commit fraud if your old license falls into the wrong hands.

If the authorities have a record of you replacing drivers license credentials, then they will know that your former drivers license number is no longer valid. Having a police report also allows you to waive your duplicate drivers license fee when you apply for your new license.

Illinois Drivers License Replacement Fees

The basic Illinois replacement drivers license fee is $5. However, the following drivers can get copy of drivers license credentials at no charge by providing supporting documentation:

  • Active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces, the member’s spouse and dependent children living with the service member
  • Drivers 60 years of age and older whose original copy of drivers license credentials has been lost or stolen
  • Any driver with a lost drivers license due to theft and a police report verifying the crime
Last updated on Wednesday, December 5 2018.

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