As you can see, the Illinois Secretary of State's office performs
many services to the public. In fact, the Secretary of State's office
interacts with more Illinois residents than any other state agency. The
most commonly utilized services are getting a driver's license and
registering a vehicle. Here is a quick primer on how to do both:
Getting an Illinois driver's license
The procedures for getting a driver's license in Illinois vary,
depending on your age and on whether or not you have been licensed
before in another state. However, no matter who you are, getting your
license the first time requires a visit to one of the Illinois
Secretary of State's Driver Services Facilities. To find a driver
services facility near you, click
here. Before you go, read on to make sure that you have all
of your paperwork in order.
First Time Driver- under 18
- Your parents must agree to let you get your license. They can
either accompany you to provide written permission when you go to apply
for your license, or they can provide you with a completed, notarized
copy of an "Affidavit/Consent for Minor to Drive" form to take with
- You must have completed 50 hours of driving practice, including 10
hours driving at night.
- You must have completed a state-approved driver's education class,
the written test, the vision test and a road test.
- You must have had your learner's permit for at least 9 months, and
maintained a clean driving record with no traffic convictions during
- You must bring proof of signature, proof of date of birth, proof of
social security number, and proof of residency. For a list of
acceptable documents, click
First time driver- Age 18 and above
- You must bring acceptable documentation for each of the categories
listed above (signature, date of birth, social security number and
- You must pass a vision test, written test, and a driving test. You
do not have to take a driver’s education class.
- Fees: If you are 18-20 years old, pay $5.00. If you are 21-68, pay
$10.00. If you are 69-80, the price goes back down to $5.00. If you are
81-86, it's only $2.00. Once you hit your 86th birthday, you can renew
your license free of charge.
Driver licensed in another state
- You must bring acceptable documentation per above.
- You must pass a vision test, and possibly a written and a road
test, depending on your current license status in the state you moved
- Drivers with no tickets on their record may be eligible to renew
online through the Safe Driver Renewal Program.
- Vision screening is required, even if you are eligible for a Safe
- If you have convictions on your driving record, you will be
required to take the written test again every 8 years.
- If you have accidents, you may also have to re-take the road
- Unless you are renewing online, you must bring three acceptable
forms of ID to prove your name, date of birth, address, Social Security
number, and signature. To see acceptable forms of ID, click
- Fees depend on how old you are. See the list above of driver's
license fees by age group.
When you buy a vehicle from a dealership, the dealer may take care of
all of the registration paperwork for you. If that’s the case, you’ll
just get your tags in the mail. However, if you buy a vehicle from a
private-party seller, or if you moved to Illinois from out-of-state,
you'll have to do the dirty work yourself. Here's how:
- The first time you register your vehicle, you'll need to go into a
Secretary of State Branch office. Click
here to find one near you.
- If your vehicle is a new purchase, fill out an Application for
Vehicle Transaction and bring it in along with a tax form and a
surrendered title signed by the previous owner.
- A $65 fee for getting the title in your name.
- A $78 fee for the new license plates.
- Proof of Illinois liability insurance.
Renewing your registration is easier. You can apply for renewal
online or through the mail. You should get a renewal notice about 45
days before your registration expires. The renewal notice will list all
applicable fees and give you instructions on how to renew.