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Illinois driving license candidates who meet the age, residency and education requirements may obtain their pillages at an IL Secretary of State driver service center. Applying for drivers licenses in IL involves passing the written drivers test as well as a road test. Applicants younger than 18 years of age are subject to driving license restrictions put in place by the Graduated Driver License program.
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How to Apply for an Illinois Learner's Permit:
- Be at least 15 years of age.
- Be enrolled in an approved driver's education course.
- Present the appropriate documents, including a parental consent form.
- Pass the written DMV test and vision test.
- Pay the learners permit fee.
Applying for an IL Instruction Permit
New drivers younger than 18 years of age can get their Illinois permit for driving as a first step of the Graduated Driver Licensing program. After nine months of holding a learners permit and adhering to its guidelines and restrictions, the novice driver can then move on to the initial licensing phase starting at 16 years of age, followed by the full drivers license phase beginning at 18 years of age.
What is an Illinois Graduated Driver License?
The Illinois Graduated Driver License involves a three-step phase to which new drivers younger than 21 years of age must adhere. Driving applicants qualify for driving privileges starting at 15 years of age. The following is a breakdown of the licensing phases and the age ranges to which they apply:
- The learning permit phase - 15 years of age.
- The initial licensing phase - 16 to 17 years of age.
- The final licensing phase - 18 to 20 years of age.
Each licensing phase carries a set of restrictions and requirements that a driving applicant must meet to advance to the next level. Graduate Driver License guidelines include completing a drivers ed course, passing a written drivers test, completing supervised driving during the day and at night and more.
How to Get an IL Instruction Permit
Instruction Permit Requirements in Illinois
Illinois DMV drivers permits are available to applicants who meet the following guidelines:
- You are at least 15 years of age.
- You can obtain parental consent.
- You are enrolled in an IL SOS-approved drivers training course.
- You pass the written drivers test and vision screening.
- You present acceptable documents that show proof of written signature, date of birth, Social Security Number and Illinois residency.
- You pay the required fees.
Preparing for an Illinois DMV Written Exam
Applying for a learners permit involves passing a written DMV drivers test. The test is comprised of multiple choice and true/false questions on topics such as traffic safety and automobile equipment. During the written exam, learners must also be able to identify road signs, signals and pavement markings.
To properly prepare for the Illinois Secretary of State basic written exam, learners should obtain a learners permit practice test with questions similar to those found on the actual test. Our DMV driving practice test contains such material, assisting you with becoming familiar with Illinois traffic laws.
Illinois instruction permit applicants can take on the written drivers test at an IL SOS driver facility. To locate a DMV location near you, click here.
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IL Drivers Education
Illinois driving permit applicants 15 to 17 years of age are required to register for drivers ed classes. You must begin training at an approved driver school within 30 days of receiving a permit for driving. Driving applicants who have reached 17 years and three months of age are not required to take drivers education to obtain an instruction permit.
Illinois Instruction Permit Restrictions
The IL learners permit, referred to as an instruction permit, allows the holder to participate in supervised driving on a restricted basis. You may only drive accompanied by a licensed adult 21 years of age and older, who has at least one year of driving experience. Additionally, learners are not allowed to drive during nighttime hours from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday or from 11 p.m. through 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Illinois driving permit holders must complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving including 10 hours of nighttime driving in order to eventually qualify for a license to drive. During the instruction permit phase learners also:
- Cannot acquire any DUI convictionsduring the first nine months.
- May only carry as many passengers as there are safety belts.
- May not use a mobile device, including hands-free, if younger than 19 years of age.
Initial Illinois Drivers Licenses
The initial drivers license is the second phase of the Illinois Graduated Driver License. After holding an instruction permit for a minimum of nine months without incident and completing the drivers education requirement, learners 16 to 17 years of age become eligible for a new drivers license.
Initial drivers license applicants should contact an IL SOS driver station to schedule a road skills test. Passing the road skills test qualifies the applicant for a type of restricted drivers license.
Note: New drivers license applicants who have successfully completed an approved behind-the-wheel driver's education course may be exempt from having to take a road skills test at a IL DMV facility.
Initial IL Drivers License Restrictions
The initial Illinois driving license allows holders to operate a motor vehicle with certain restrictions. Drivers 16 to 17 years of age must follow guidelines concerning the time of day and type of passenger that may accompany the driver. Initial drivers license restrictions include the following:
- You cannot drive during the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday or 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
- For the first 12 months or until the drivers turns 18 years of age, he or she can only carry one passenger younger than 20 years of age with the exception of the driver's own child or sibling.
- After 12 months, the driver can carry as many passengers as there are safety belts in the vehicle.
Replacing an IL Instruction Permit
You must apply for an Illinois DMV permit replacement if your credential has been lost, stolen or destroyed. To receive a duplicate driving permit, apply in person at a IL SOS office. Applicants must present acceptable proof of identity and pay a learners permit replacement fee in order to complete their transaction.
Locate an Illinois DMV
To find the location of an IL DMV office in your area, click here. Each Illinois Secretary of State listing includes office hours and other contact details you need to pinpoint the facility that can fulfill your driver service requirements.