It is essential for commercial drivers to obtain a CDL renewal in Illinois when their initial credentials are close to expiration. A commercial license in Illinois is valid for up to 4 years, but there are certain restrictions that are based on age. To renew a commercial driver’s license in Illinois motorists must retake the appropriate knowledge and skills tests based on their vehicle class and endorsements. Vision screenings are also required for a renewal.

Drivers who possess hazardous materials endorsements are required to supply additional materials when applying for a CDL license renewal. HAZMAT drivers must pass a security threat assessment with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) each time they renew their CDLs. All commercial motorists must go to their local Illinois DMV to complete their renewal. They are expected to come prepared with their identification documents, proof of residency, self-certification and DOT medical certification, if necessary.

When to Renew Your CDL License in Illinois

CDL holders in Illinois must obtain a CDL renewal every 4 years. This is the case for drivers between the ages of 21 and 80. The license expires on their birthdays.

Individuals who are younger than 21 years of age must apply for a CDL license renewal 3 months after turning 21 years old. On the other hand, drivers who are 81 to 86 years of age must renew every 2 years. In addition, those who are 87 years of age and older must requalify under CDL renewal requirements yearly.

The Secretary of State’s office mail renewal letters to all commercial drivers 60 to 90 days prior to the license expiration. However, individuals are permitted to renew a commercial driver’s license 1 year before it expires. Drivers who only permitted to carry their CDL for 1 year, however, may renew 6 months prior to license expiration.

CDL renewal letters contain all the instructions that the commercial driver needs to renew his or her license.

CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Illinois

There are several CDL renewal testing requirements for commercial drivers in Illinois. First, all drivers who renew a commercial driver’s license in person are required to complete a vision exam. Some CDL holders are required to pass written tests if they have incurred any penalties or violations on their CDL driving records.

In addition, all Illinois drivers, including commercial drivers, are required to pass a written exam every 8 years. However, motorists who have not collected any traffic convictions may be exempted. Those with certain traffic convictions may be required to take a driving exam as well.

Commercial drivers who are 75 years of age or older must pass their complete written and driving tests in addition to the vision test in order to acquire a CDL license renewal. The skills and knowledge tests must be conducted in the appropriate vehicle class.

These tests require an appointment at an Illinois SOS facility. All drivers are expected to pay the appropriate fees for their class and endorsements.

What do you need to renew your CDL license in Illinois?

Commercial drivers seeking to renew their licenses often ask, “What do you need to renew your CDL license in Illinois?” There are several key documents that the SOS requires from CDL holders. Individuals who did not show proof of lawful presence in the United States during their initial CDL certification must present it for their renewal.

Certified birth certificates and valid U.S. passports are both acceptable documents to verify lawful presence.

In addition, motorists are expected to have updated or current CDL medical examiner’s certificates. These documents require renewal every two years so their deadlines often overlap with those of CDL renewals. The SOS will not approve a new CDL without a current medical certificate. Drivers can present their updated certificates at an SOS office and have their medical status changed immediately.

Furthermore, commercial drivers should also have a form of identification and their expired license on hand when renewing commercial driver’s license. All renewed CDLs must be paid for. Motorists should carry either a debit/credit card, cash or check with them in order to do so.

CDL Renewal Process in Illinois

Motorists can complete the CDL renewal process in Illinois at an SOS facility. While DOT medical certifications and self-certifications can be completed offsite or online, the rest of the process must be at a DMV in person. All commercial drivers must make an appointment to be if they are required to take a skills or driving test.

This information should be disclosed within the renewal notice letter sent from the Secretary of State’s office. A CDL license renewal appointment can be scheduled online or by calling the nearest DMV.

Illinois CDL Permit Renewal Requirements

In Illinois, prospective commercial drivers are able to obtain a CDL permit renewal if they do not, or cannot, pass their CDL tests within a set time period. Vehicle operators question, “how long is a CDL permit good for?” An Illinois CLP, or commercial learner’s permit, is valid for 180 days. It can be renewed without penalty 30 days prior to expiration.

However, it must be renewed within 5 days of expiration in order to avoid additional testing. Furthermore, CLP renewals require retesting for driving exams. It will be valid for another 180 days past the CDL permit expiration date. Drivers who wish to renew a second time must reapply for a brand new commercial drivers permit, retake all tests and pay all necessary fees.

Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Illinois

Drivers who possess or wish to add a hazardous materials endorsement must meet certain CDL renewal requirements in Illinois. HAZMAT drivers must meet the same qualifications as other commercial drivers as well as several others. They must be approved with the TSA through security threat assessment.

This assessments involves finger printing and a background check. Motorists are required to pass this assessment with every CDL renewal. In addition, commercial vehicle operators must pass a written HAZMAT test prior to renewal.

CDL Renewal Fees in Illinois

The CDL renewal fee is $60 for all drivers who are between the ages of 18 and 69 years old. This covers the following:

  • $10 standard Illinois driver’s license.
  • $24 commercial driver’s license.
  • $6 nationwide Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) program.
  • $20 Motor Carrier Safety Inspection Fund.

After the age of 69 years old, CDL fees decrease. However, the fee for the commercial learner’s permit renewal is $50. Drivers who seek to upgrade their commercial license, remove a restriction or add an endorsement must pay the CLD renewal price of $5.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.