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Illinois Drivers Education

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You must have a state-issued driver’s license to legally drive in Illinois. Those who are learning to drive for the first time must complete a graduated driver licensing program. The graduated system helps new motorists adapt and learn how to drive safely and legally over a period of time instead of putting them behind the wheel of a potentially deadly vehicle and hoping for the best.

Testing and Preparing to Drive

The ISOS certifies several Adult Driver Education programs and others for teens that typically are offered through respective Illinois public schools. Any adults who never were licensed and want to obtain driving privileges in Illinois must successfully complete a state-certified Adult Driver Education course.

Enrollees can complete the courses in person in a classroom setting or online. The certified adult driver education training provider has the freedom to choose the training format. Upon successful completion, students receive an official certification of successful completion. That certification enables the holder to apply for driving privileges at a local ISOS service facility.

The application process includes vision and written testing that the applicant must pass. The applicant also must pass a road test, which can be given by a certified third party.

Graduated Driver License

The ISOS Graduated Driver License system lays out the system through which new drivers can obtain driving privileges with an unrestricted Illinois driver’s license. Starting at age 15, the graduated licensing system enables teens to obtain a learner’s permit. The permit allows teen drivers to operate a motor vehicle during daylight hours and on a limited basis during night while supervised by a licensed adult driver.

The initial licensing phase starts for teen drivers who are ages 16 or 17 and whose parent or guardian certifies has completed 50 hours of daytime driving and at least 10 hours at night. The teen also must successfully complete a state-certified driver education program. Once done, the parent or guardian must accompany the teen to the ISOS facility when the teen applies for an initial driver’s license.

Upon reaching ages 18 through 20, the ISOS enables motorists to obtain full driving privileges with no restrictions. Those who have not completed an approved driver education program must successfully complete a six-hour course for adult drivers before applying for and obtaining full driving privileges in Illinois.

Remedial Driver Programs

Depending in a licensed driver’s age and experience, the ISOS might require successful completion of a Remedial Driver Program if the motorists gets too many traffic tickets too quickly. The remedial program is required for reinstatement of full driving privileges. It applies to drivers whose licenses ISOS suspended for accruing too many points and for particular moving violations, like reckless driving or DUI. Drivers who do not complete a remedial driver program will not regain driving privileges in Illinois and many other states.

Defensive Driving Courses

The ISOS does not sponsor or offer defensive driving courses, but many quality third-party providers do in the state of Illinois. A defensive driving course helps motorists to gain better control of their vehicles while also improving their driving skills and awareness. The idea is to teach the kind of driver survival skills that make trips through heavily populated areas like Chicago less likely to end in an accident or other tragedy. ISOS does not require complete of defensive driving courses to gain or maintain driving privileges.

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Last Verified:
Aug 18, 2022