DRIVER'S LICENSE/STATE ID CARD
Driver's License/State ID Card
Driver's License Application
To obtain an Illinois Driver's License you must:
- Visit a Driver Services Facility, show required identification documents and have your photo taken.
- Surrender all valid out-of-state licenses, state ID cards, instruction permits and commercial driver's licenses.
- Pay the appropriate fee.
- Pass the appropriate exams (vision screening, written and/or driving).
For Drivers under the age of 21, please see the Graduated Driver's License page.
Driver's License Renewal
The Secretary of State's office mails a renewal letter to driver's license holders 60 to 90 days prior to the expiration of your license. The letter is mailed to the address in the office's driving record file. The letter contains the information needed to renew your license. Testing requirements and fees vary depending on the type of license being renewed.
- If you are required to take a drive exam, you must present proof of liability insurance on your vehicle.
- Acceptable identification is required.
- If your renewal letter says you are a Safe Driver, you have additional renewal options, including online renewal.
- By law, you must notify the Secretary of State's office of an address or name change within 10 days. You may submit an address change form electronically, but you must still visit a Driver Services Facility prior to expiration of your license. For a name change, you must provide identification with your new name and identification that links the old and new names. Drivers who hold a valid CDL must notify the Secretary of State's office of an address or name change within 10 days and must obtain a corrected driver's license within 30 days.
- Drivers under age 21 — licenses expire three months after their 21st birthday; drivers age 21 through 80 — licenses are valid for four years and expire on a driver's birthday; drivers age 81 through 86 — licenses are valid for two years; drivers age 87 and older must renew their licenses each year.
- Vision screening is required for all drivers renewing at a facility.
- All persons age 75 and older must take a driving exam.
- Everyone must take a written exam every eight years except those having no traffic convictions. If you have an accident recorded on your driving record, you may be required to take the written and/or road exams.
- You may renew up to one year before your four-year or two-year license expires, or six months before a one-year license expires.
- Illinois driver's licenses contain several security features.
Out-of-State Driver's License Renewal
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty outside Illinois, as well as their spouses and children, may drive with an expired license for up to 120 days after their return to the state. A Military Deferral Certificate(s) must be carried with your expired Illinois driver's license. Certificates are available at no charge and may be mailed to your out-of-state address. To request a Military Deferral Certificate, mail a copy of your current Illinois driver's license, a copy of the front and back of your Military ID Card and your out-of-state address to:
Secretary of State
License and Medical Review Unit
2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62723.
For more information, please call 217-782-2720.
Duplicate/Corrected Driver's License
- A duplicate license contains the same information as the original license. If your license has been lost, stolen or destroyed, you may apply for a duplicate license. Victims of theft age 60 and older will receive a free duplicate license if they present a police report about their driver's license.
- To obtain a duplicate license, you must visit a Driver Services Facility and provide acceptable identification.
- A corrected license involves a change to the information on the original license, such as name or address. To obtain a corrected license, you must visit a Driver Services facility to turn in your incorrect license and provide acceptable identification.
- By law, you must notify the Secretary of State's office of an address or name change within 10 days. You may submit an address change form electronically, but you must still visit a Driver Services facility prior to expiration of your license. For a name change, you must provide identification with your new name and identification that links the old and new names. Drivers who hold a valid CDL must notify the Secretary of State's office of an address or name change within 10 days and must obtain a corrected driver's license within 30 days.
This office does not require a court order to prove a change of gender. However, such a court order shall be considered as best evidence to process the gender change. A customer who requests a change in file information to reflect a gender change must provide at least one of the following:
- Medical Report Form;
- Psychiatric Report Form;
- Physician’s statement or;
- Other acceptable documentation to indicate that a change has taken place or the customer is in the process of undergoing the gender change.
Lost/Found/Stolen Driver's License/State ID Card
- Contact your local police department as soon as possible to report your lost or stolen driver's license.
- If you find a driver's license or ID card, please return it to a Driver Services Facility or local police department.
- If you are in Illinois, a duplicate driver's license may be issued at any Driver Services Facility. You must provide acceptable identification and pay a fee.
- If you are out of state, call the License and Medical Review Section at 217-782-2720 for information on receiving a temporary driver's license and/or an application for a duplicate driver's license to be mailed to you at your out-of-state address.You also may request a temporary driver's license and/or an application for a duplicate driver's license by e-mailing the Secretary of State's office with your full name, date of birth, Illinois driver's license number and out-of-state address.
- If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission has developed an Identity Theft brochure that allows identity theft victims to report information to many companies using just one standardized form.
Operation of a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle in the State of Illinois requires a valid license with the proper classification.
- Class L is any motor-driven cycle with less than 150cc displacement; Class M is any motorcycle with 150cc or greater displacement.
- Applicants under age 18 who present an IDOT Motorcycle Rider Course Student Completion Card must still take the drive exam. Applicable fees and acceptable identification are required.
- Applicants age 18 or older who present an IDOT Motorcycle Rider Course Student Completion Card do not have to take the drive exam. Applicable fees and acceptable identification are required.
- First-time applicants who do not hold a valid Illinois driver's license must successfully complete a vision screening, written (basic and motorcycle) exam and a drive exam. Applicable fees and acceptable identification are required.
Restricted Local Drivers License
A Restricted Local License may be issued to qualified drivers who reside in areas with populations of 3,500 or less and who desire to drive only within certain areas, such as to the grocery store, bank or post office. To obtain a Restricted Local License, you must:
- Visit a Driver Services facility;
- Surrender your current license;
- Pass a vision exam;
- Pass a written exam (if required);
- Pay the appropriate fee; and
- Provide the route(s) you wish to travel.
Facility personnel will complete a route form and forward it along with the application to the Special License Unit for approval. Upon approval of the application and route form, a facility representative will contact the applicant to make arrangements for the drive exam, which will be administered over the route(s) they wish to travel. Upon successful completion of the drive exam, the test results will be forwarded to the Special License Unit. The applicant will receive his or her Restricted Local License by mail.
Social Security Online Verification
The Secretary of State's office verifies Social Security numbers with the Social Security Administration prior to issuance or renewal of a driver's license or state ID card to verify name, date of birth and Social Security number. If records cannot be verified, the driver's license or state ID card will not be issued.
State ID Card
Illinois-issued ID cards can help Illinois residents prove identity when banking, traveling, or in other situations. More information about state ID cards is available in the Illinois Rules of the Road.
- There is no minimum age for a state ID card, which provides photo identification for Illinois residents. Children traveling on airplanes may need identification of this type to fly. The card is issued for a fee and is valid for five years. To obtain a state ID card, please visit a Driver Services Facility.
- Free non-expiring state ID cards are available for Illinois residents over age 65. To obtain a state ID card, please visit a Driver Services facility.
- Free State ID cards valid for 10 years are available for persons with disabilities. To obtain a state ID card, please visit a Driver Services facility. The applicant must provide an Application for an Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card completed by his/her doctor.
State ID for the Homeless
A person qualifies for the no-fee identification card, if he or she is considered homeless as defined by the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11302 or 42 U.S.C. 11434a(2). This card is issued free of charge with the proper documentation to show proof of legal name, date of birth, social security number, and signature. The individual must also bring a completed Homeless Status Certification.
Temporary Visitor Driver's License
The Secretary of State's office issues a Temporary Visitor Driver's License (TVDL) for non-citizens of the United States who have been granted temporary, legal entry into this country and are temporarily residing in the State of Illinois and ineligible for a Social Security number. To be eligible for a TVDL, a foreign national must:
- Be a non-citizen of the United States residing in the State of Illinois;
- Be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be present in this country, and provide documentation verifying such authorization;
- Not be required to obtain a driver's license issued by the U.S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions;
- Be ineligible for a Social Security number, and present documentation, dated within 90 days of the date the individual is applying for a TVDL, issued by the Social Security Administration verifying such ineligibility;
- Be authorized to be in the country for at least one year and have at least six months remaining on an authorized stay;
- Provide acceptable documentation that proves name, date of birth, Illinois residency and verification of written signature;
- Pay the appropriate fee and successfully complete a vision screening and the appropriate written and road tests.
- A TVDL will be issued only in a Class D, L, M, DL or DM, authorizing operation of a personal car, motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. A TVDL is valid for three years or for the period of time the individual is authorized to stay in this country, whichever ends sooner.
- Individuals eligible for a TVDL may obtain an instruction permit allowing them to practice driving before taking their road exam. To obtain an instruction permit, the applicant must visit one of the designated Driver Services facilities (Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago North, Chicago West, Macomb, Rockford, Springfield (Dirksen Parkway)) and meet the requirements for obtaining a license for the first time.