Illinois driver’s license • Types and requirements

If you live in Illinois and you have a car, you need a driver’s license to be legally on the roads. According to its regulations, the minimum age to drive is 15 years old, but you will need to apply for a permit, and then get your license.

You can get either of them through the Illinois Secretary of State in any of its facilities. In general terms, you will be required to present a formal application, pass a written knowledge test, and a practice test. But there are some other specific things you must complete.

In this article, we will show you the types of licenses and the process to get yours.

Types of licenses according to the vehicle

Class D

This is the most common license for vehicles of daily-use.

  • It is issued to vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that does not exceed 16,000 pounds.
  • It is issued to vehicles that do not have commercial purposes.

Class A/B/C

Also known as “Commercial Driver Licenses” or CDL; these are issued only for heavyweight vehicles. Each letter corresponds to the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR):

  • A: 26,001 pounds or more. If there is another car being towed, it should exceed 10,000 pounds.
  • B: 26,001 pounds or more. If there is another car being towed, it should not exceed 10,000 pounds.
  • C: Used for single vehicles with a GVWR of at least 16,001 pounds, but less than 26,001 pounds.

Class L/M

It is designed for drivers with motorcycles and any of its variants.

READ ALSO: Illinois state ID • Requirements.

Types of licenses according to your age

To get a driver’s license in Illinois, you must meet individual requirements that will depend on your age; in general, they include a written knowledge test, a practice driving, and a vision-road test.

Instruction Permit

This one is generally for first-time teenagers, from 15 to 18 years old, who will be allowed to drive under the supervision of a person who must be at least 21 years old with a Class D, A, B, or C license, and one year of driving experience.

This is the first step if you have never driven before.

Requirements and process:

  • Application form: There are not online application forms, so you will have to pick one up at any Secretary of State Facility. Click here to locate the nearest from you.

illinois secretary of state facility finder

  • Submit your documents: They must show your legal name, date of birth, Social Security Number, address in Illinois, and signature. Click here to read the complete list of the accepted identification documents.

illinois acceptable identification documents for drivers license

  • Consent: Since you will not be able to drive alone, your parent or guardian must show with you at the Facility to give his consent in person.
  • Driver’s Education Course: Take and pass the driving course at any public high school or provider; it consists of 30-hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of driving practice.
  • Written knowledge test: You can take the test in the Facility, and you should score at least 80% to pass it. Note that you only have three chances to do it (in a year).
  • Vision test: You need to have a 20/40 uncorrected vision score.
  • Fee: Pay $20 (in cash, check, credit card, debit card, or money order).
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Receive the permit: You will get it in your mail in 15 business days.

Initial (Teen) Driver’s License

For people from 16 to 18 years old. In Illinois, you can drive unsupervised with this license under certain conditions:

  1. You cannot drive with more than one person in the car who is under 20 years, unless a parent or guardian is present.
  2. You cannot drive from 10 pm until 6 am, unless a parent or guardian is present.

Requirements and process:

  • Have an instruction permit for nine months (at least).
  • Application form: There are not online application forms, so you will have to pick one up at any Secretary of State Facility. Click here to locate the nearest from you.

illinois secretary of state facility finder

  • Submit your documents: They must show your legal name, date of birth, Social Security Number, address in Illinois, and signature. Click here to read the complete list of the accepted identification documents.

illinois acceptable identification documents for drivers license

  • Consent: Bring your parent or guardian to the Facility to certify that you have had at least 30 hours of supervised driving practice (including 10 hours at night).
  • Driver’s Education Course: Take and pass the driving course at any public high school or provider; it consists of 30-hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of driving practice.
  • Driving exam: You can take the exam in the Facility. Note that you only have three chances to do it (in a year).
  • Fee: Pay $30 (in cash, check, credit card, debit card, or money order). If you have a not-expired Instruction Permit, you do not have to pay the fee.
  • Receive the license: You will get it in your mail in 15 days.

Full (Adult) License

This one is for people of 18 years old or over.

If it is your first time requesting a driver’s license in Illinois, you can skip the Instruction Permit and apply directly to get the Full (Adult) License. If you already have the permit, start the process with the written knowledge test.

Requirements and process:

illinois adult driver education courses

  • Application form: There are not online application forms, so you will have to pick one up at any Secretary of State Facility. Click here to locate the nearest from you.

illinois secretary of state facility finder

  • Submit your documents: They must show your legal name, date of birth, Social Security Number, address in Illinois, and signature. Click here to read the complete list of the accepted identification documents.

illinois acceptable identification documents for drivers license

  • Vision test: You need to have a 20/40 uncorrected vision score.
  • Written knowledge test: You can take the test in the Facility, and you should score at least 80% to pass it. Note that you only have three chances to do it (in a year).
  • Driving exam: You can take the exam in the Facility. Note that you only have three chances to do it (in a year).
  • Fee: $5 (people of 18-20 and 69-80 years old), and $30 (people of 21-68 years old), payable in cash, check, credit card, or money order. If you have a not-expired Instruction Permit, you do not have to pay it.
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Receive the license: You will get it in your mail in 15 days.

Contact

If you have any more questions about how to get an Illinois driver’s license, feel free to send an email through their official website: https://www.ilsos.gov/ContactFormsWeb/driverslicense_contact.jsp.

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