Illinois Learners Permit: First Time Driver’s Guide

Illinois Learners Permit Guide
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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 to apply for their permit in person at a local Illinois DMV office of their 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 to 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.