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So you've taken your first step towards becoming a new driver in Illinois? Congratulations!
As you probably already know, driving is a valuable skill, but can also be extremely dangerous. Therefore, to help new teen drivers develop safe driving habits during their first few years behind the wheel, the State of Illinois has implemented a graduated driver license program for Illinois drivers who are under the age of 18.
We’ve summarized a few things you’ll need to know as you begin the process of becoming a licensed driver in Illinois.
Drivers under 18--Go To School! Poor school attendance may result in you not having driving privileges.
To apply for an Illinois instruction permit, you need to meet the following prerequisites:
When you're ready to take your test, remember to take the required forms of ID with you to the driver's license office (a complete list of acceptable documents can be located at the Illinois DMV website) along with $20 to cover the processing fee.
After you receive your Illinois instruction permit (valid for 2 years), you may begin driving, however a licensed driver who's at least 21 years old must be sitting next to you in the front passenger seat whenever you drive.
After you have had your instruction permit for nine (9) months, you may become eligible to apply for your Illinois provisional drivers license provided you meet the following prerequisites:
When you're ready to take the written test plus the road test, then head back down to the driver license office with your instruction permit plus the same ID documents you took when you went to get your instruction permit.
After you get your provisional license, there are still some restrictions which apply to you:
If you are caught driving during these blackout hours, your Illinois driver license may be suspended.
After you turn 17, you will earn your full Illinois driver's license (provided you have committed no traffic violations during the time you've held your provisional license).
The State of Illinois requires that you maintain a certain amount of liability coverage on any vehicle you drive. The minimum required coverage is as follows:
Driving while uninsured is a crime in Illinois! If you drive without the required insurance coverage, you will face having your license suspended, plus a hefty fine.
If you drive under the influence of alcohol, you will face the following penalties--on your FIRST offense!
And of course, further Illinois DUI convictions will result in increased jail time, community service, fines, and Illinois license suspension or even Illinois license revocation.
Sending or reading text-messages while driving is prohibited in Illinois. Cell phone use is not permitted while driving through school zones.
Illinois law requires all provisional license applicants to complete a state-approved drivers education course. Please visit the Illinois State Board of Education's website for a listing of approved drivers ed courses.