Illinois Learners Permit: First Time Driver’s Guide

Illinois Learners Permit 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
    1. Or intention to take one

At the DMV, teens will need to:

  1. Pass the written test
  2. Pay the DMV application fee
  3. Take a vision screening
  4. 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.