This Step: Get a Learner Permit
Get a Learner Permit in Illinois
Depending on your age, you’ll apply for one of two Illinois instructions permits as a first-time driver:
- 24-Month Instruction Permit―Teens younger than 18
- 12-Month Instruction Permit―Applicants older than 17 years and three months
To receive a permit you must prepare for and pass a written test (as well as fulfill additional requirements noted below).
A) Ace a Few DMV Practice Permit Tests
Take multiple online practice permit tests before you head to a nearby Illinois Driver Services facility to take your written test. Sample test questions cover topics you’ll find on the actual IL permit exam.
In addition to taking some practice tests, thoroughly study the driver’s manual and review your drivers ed course material. That way you will be prepared to pass the actual Illinois written test with ease.
B) Gather Required Documents and Illinois Permit Fees
When applying for an instructional permit, make sure you have:
- Consent from a parent or legal guardian (if you are younger than 18)
- Proper identification
- Proper fees
In addition to passing the written test, you must also pass a vision screening test. You can also submit a Vision Specialist Report completed by a licensed optometrist, ophthalmologist or physician dated within six months of your facility visit.
C) Take the Illinois Written Test
Once you have all required documents and fees, head to an Illinois Driver Service facility to take your written exam. It will ask you to:
- Identify traffic signs by shape, color or symbol
- Identify signals and pavement markings
- Answer multiple-choice and true/false question on Illinois traffic laws, safety rules, crash prevention and vehicle equipment
Once you pass the written exam, you’ll receive either a 12- or 24-month instruction permit that grants you permission to get behind the wheel under specific supervision. If you allow this permit to expire, you’ll have to pay the appropriate fee, pass the vision screening and written tests and provide proper identification documents.