Illinois Permit Requirements

When applying for your Illinois driver permit with DMV, it is helpful to know the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the requirements and that you have the required documents ready.

The state of Illinois has specific rules for first time drivers on how to obtain your driver permit.  Understanding these procedures will help ease the process and get you on the road to driving sooner.

You may apply for a learner’s permit in Illinois beginning at age 15.  However you are required to be enrolled in an approved driver education class in order to apply.  The regulation states that you need not have actually begun the course prior to applying, as long as the class starts within 30 days of your application for a permit.  In any case, you must be enrolled before getting your permit. 

You will also need your parent or guardians permission for the permit, which must be signed in person at the Driver Services Facility (driver license office) or notarized on this form. http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x174.pdf

There are certain documents you will need to show to provide proof of identification, date of birth, social security number and residency.  This is most easily accomplished with a valid birth certificate and your social security card.  For the proof of residence, two approved documents with your address are required, and may include your school report card or transcript, a letter from your school or official mail from a government agency. You may also sign the Certificate of residency affidavit as one of your proofs of residency.  A list of acceptable documents can be found here: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x173.pdf 

You will also take a vision test, so wear your glasses or contacts.  The fee for the permit is $20, and this should cover all of the fees to get your actual license.  Then you will take the written test, which consists of 35 multiple choice questions, which you will need an 80% or higher to pass.

Once you receive your permit you should know the restrictions associated with it.  You may only drive with an adult 21 or older who has at least one year of driving experience.  You may only drive between 6 AM and 10 PM, or 11 PM on weekends.  In order to get your regular license you will need to get 50 hours of supervised practice driving, including 10 hours after dark, which you can log here: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x152.pdf  You also need to hold the permit for at least 9 months with no moving violations to be eligible for a regular license.

Once you turn 16 and pass the driving test you are eligible for an initial driver license which has its own restrictions.   Under the Graduated Driver License rules, for the first year you may drive with only one other passenger under the age of 20 unless your passengers are siblings.  The same nighttime driving restrictions after 10 PM still apply.  Illinois is also very strict about moving violations with a restricted license.  Any traffic tickets will extend the time it takes to get a full license and multiple violations will result in suspension of license, with additional classes, testing and fees for reinstatement.