Find a licensing center
You can go to a local Illinois Secretary of State (ISOS) facility to obtain a state driver’s license after completing all requirements to do so. The ISOS has offices in every county and can provide full services, including licensing. A quick search of the ISOS website will provide the exact location, times, fees and payment methods to obtain a new Illinois driver’s license, renew a license or change your address.
Getting a license for the first time
Illinois uses a graduated licensing system that enables new drivers to learn how to drive safely over a period of time prior to obtaining full driving privileges. Teen drivers must complete an approved driver education program and graduated licensing
Young adults who are between ages 18 and 20 and did not successfully complete a state-approved driver education course still can obtain a license. They must complete a six-hour Adult Driver Education Course that is taught by state-certified driver education instructors.
Renewing your license
If your Illinois driver’s license is about expire or already has, you can renew it at a local ISOS office or online. Illinois drivers are eligible for the online renewal process upon receipt of the ISOS notice that their licenses will expire in 90 days. Receipt of the renewal letter affirms the respective motorist is eligible for online driver’s license renewal. Those who did not receive a letter can check their eligibility online at the ISOS website. Those who cannot renew online must go to a local ISOS office to do so.
Do you need a Real ID?
As of October 1, 2021, Illinois resident will need a Real ID in order to board and fly on domestic and international commercial flights. A Real ID also will be required to enter military bases and secured federal facilities as of Oct. 1. Until then, a state-issued ID or driver’s license suffices to provide individual identification and fly aboard commercial aircraft, enter military bases or go into federal facilities.
Upgrade your probationary license
Some Illinois motorists run afoul of state driving laws and end up with probationary licenses for periods of time. Drivers who are over 21 years of age and have a license suspension of no more than three months’ duration can drive under a probationary status. After successfully completing the probationary period, drivers can go to their respective local ISOS services centers to regain their unrestricted licenses.
Replace a lost or stolen license
You must have your Illinois driver’s license in your possession at all times while driving on public roads in the state. If you lost your driver’s license or it was stolen, you need to report it to the ISOS and obtain a replacement. ISOS says to also report a stolen license to your local police and then buy a duplicate license online or by visiting a local ISOS services facility.
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