This Step: Get a Drivers License

Driver's LicenseChecklist

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Get a Drivers License in Illinois

Although your instruction permit is valid for 2 years, you only have to hold it for a minimum of 9 months before you can apply for an IL drivers license. If you are 16 years old or older and meet this requirement, you can begin the process below to land a license.

A) Make a Road Test Appointment

Your last hurdle before getting your Illinois drivers license is to pass a behind-the-wheel test either at the Secretary of State facility or high school participating in the CDTP program. Look online for nearby locations and inquire about making an appointment.

Find Your Local SOS Office

B) Take the Road Test

Before heading out to take your road test, be sure you bring the following to your appointment:

You must also provide a road test vehicle that:

  • Is properly licensed and equipped for the driver’s license classification you are testing for
  • Complies with Secretary of State vehicle condition standards
  • Is properly insured
  • Displays valid front and rear Illinois plates and a valid registration sticker (if registered outside of IL, the vehicle must meet the registration requirements of that state)

Have the vehicle driven to the IL facility by a driver who either has a valid driver’s license or permit.

Get Your Illinois Driver's License

Once you pass the road test, you’ll earn either of the following IL drivers licenses depending on your age:

Initial Licensing Phase―Drivers Ages 16 and 17

  • Face nighttime driving restrictions―Sun.-Thurs.: 10 p.m. and 6 a.m; Friday and Saturday: 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. (local curfews might differ)
  • Must maintain a conviction-free driving record for the 6 months before you turn 18 years old
  • Have all occupants wear a seat belt
  • For the first 12 months of licensing (or until you turn 18 years old, whichever occurs
    first) you must keep the number of passengers down to 1 passenger under 20 years old, unless the passenger(s) is your sibling, step-sibling, child or stepchild; after this period, your number of passengers is limited to one in the front seat and the number of safety belts in the backseat
  • Avoid using a wireless/cell phone except in case of emergency to call a law enforcement agency, healthcare provider or emergency services agency

Once you turn 18 years old, you can graduate to a full drivers license.

Full Licensing Phase―Drivers 18-20

A full drivers license bears no age-related restrictions. You just have to avoid using a wireless/cell phone except in case of emergency to call a law enforcement agency, healthcare provider or emergency services agency. This safety law applies until you turn 19 years old.

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