Illinois Learners Permit: First Time Driver’s Guide
Getting your Illinois learner’s permit is an amazing milestone.
First-time drivers can begin their journey getting a license by going through the state’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) program. This program helps first-time drivers understand the rules of the road and provides ample behind-the-wheel experience until they’re ready to drive by themselves.
Teens need to apply and pass the Illinois learner’s permit requirements before they can get on the road. This includes taking a driver’s education course and passing a written DMV test.
This post shares the steps required to get their learner’s permit.
Get an Illinois Learners Permit
Illinois requires first-time drivers apply for their permit in-person at a local Illinois DMV office of your choosing.
Your IL permit requirements include:
- Be at least 15 years old
- Proof of ID
- Birth Certificate
- S. Passport
- Social Security Card
- Enroll and complete an IL SOS-approved drivers education course
- Pass the written DMV test and vision test
Illinois lets first-time drivers apply for their instruction permit if they intend to take a driver’s course within 30-days of application. Those 17 and 3-months old can apply without taking the course.
Call the SOS at 1-888-261-5238 if you have specific questions about your eligibility.
About Driver Education Courses
IL teens will take a driver’s education course (Cooperative Driver Testing Program (CDTP) approved by the Secretary of State (SOS).
Courses are available at accredited locations or through online providers. The course includes include 30-hours of classroom instruction.
About the Written Test
Application for an Illinois learner’s permit requires you take a written test. This test is multiple choice to test your ability to recognize road signs and rules-of-the-road.
We recommend taking an Illinois driving practice test to improve your passing chances.
At the DMV: Bring These, Prepare for This
Bring all the following:
- Proof of ID
- Proof of residency
- Driver’s ed certificate
- Or intention to take one
At the DMV, teens will need to:
- Pass the written test
- Pay the DMV application fee
- Take a vision screening
- Receive the learner’s permit
Teen drivers will pay a $20 application fee.
Permits for teens under 18yo last for 2-years and 1-year for those 18 and older.
Congratulations! You’ve got a learner’s permit in Illinois!
Getting Behind-the-Wheel Experience
Teens are permitted to drive with a licensed driver (21+). This behind-the-wheel experience should include 50-hours of driving (with at least 10-hours at night).
Failing to show driving responsibility may forfeit your ability to get a license until 18-years-old.
Getting Your Provisional Driver’s License
First-time drivers showing responsibility behind-the-wheel and having held their permit for at least 9-months may on to their provisional license. This intermediate license gives more driving freedom and flexibility.
Ready for the next step? Click to go to our Illinois Provisional License Guide.