Driver's License/State ID Card FAQsDriver Services
I have lost my driver's license. How can I get a replacement?
You should first contact the local police department to report your lost or stolen driver's license. You may purchase a duplicate license online. A replacement driver's license will be mailed to your Illinois address within 7-10 days.
If you are out-of-state, please call the Special License and Re-Examination Unit at 217-782-6901. If you will be out-of-state for more than 90 days, the Secretary of State's office will mail you the forms to apply for a duplicate driver's license.
Can I renew with Safe Driver Renewal?
If your driving record contains no convictions or accidents for the past four years, you may be eligible to renew your driver's license through the Safe Driver Renewal Program.
If you have received a renewal notice in the mail indicating you are eligible for Safe Driver Renewal, you may renew online or use the touch tone system at (866) 545-9607. Internet and touch-tone renewal is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
Illinois drivers can renew their licenses up to one year before a four-year license expires.
I am temporarily out-of-state and have lost my Illinois driver's license. What are my options?
Please contact the Special License and Re-Examination Unit to discuss your options. If you plan to be out-of-state for more than 90 days, you may request that forms to apply for a duplicate driver's license be sent to you. You may telephone the Special License and Re-Examination Unit of the Secretary of State's office at 217-782-6901.
I am in the military, stationed outside the state of Illinois, and my license is expiring. How can I renew without coming back to Illinois?
As a member of the military stationed outside the state of Illinois, you, your spouse and children living with you may all have the expiration of your driver's licenses deferred for up to 120 days after your discharge or reassignment to a military base in Illinois. Military Deferral Certificate(s) to be carried with your expired Illinois driver's license can be issued at no charge and mailed to your out-of-state address.
In order to obtain a Military Deferral Certificate, mail a copy of your current Illinois driver's license, a copy of the front and back of your Military Identification Card and your out-of-state address to the Secretary of State, License and Medical Review Unit, 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62723.
If you have questions regarding a Military Deferral Certificate, you may contact the License and Medical Review Unit at 217-782-2720.
You also may be eligible to renew your driver's license through the Safe Driver Renewal Program. The Illinois driver’s license will be mailed to your Illinois address and will not be forwarded to an out-of-state or out-of-country mailing address. Please contact the License and Medical Review Unit before renewing your Illinois driver’s license via the Safe Driver Renewal Program.
It may be helpful to know that Illinois drivers can renew their licenses up to one year before a four-year or two-year license expires, or six months before a one-year license expires.
Is it true that the minimum driving age is being raised to 18? How can I find information on teen driver's licensing requirements?
The widespread rumor about a change in the minimum driving age from 16 to 18 is false. For complete information on licensing requirements and sanctions for teen drivers, please review the Illinois Graduated Licensing Program.
The Illinois State Board of Education administers high school driver education programs and issues blue slips. For information on these, please call the Board at 217-782-5256.
For information regarding a Commercial driver training school, contact the Commercial Driver Training Section at 847-437-3953.
How do I obtain a copy of my driving record or a letter of clearance?
If you are requesting your own driving record and you have the information from your most recently issued Illinois driver's license, you may purchase and print your certified driving record. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a minor person (under age 18) and are requesting the driving record of that minor person, the requestor must submit a notarized written permission of the person listed on the request form to obtain the driving record and pay $12.
If you are an immediate family member (parent/legal guardian, brother, sister, spouse, grandparent, child or grandchild) of the adult person (age 18 or older) and are requesting the driving record of that adult person, the requestor must submit a notarized written permission of the person listed on the request form to obtain the driving record and pay $12.
The Illinois Secretary of State no longer issues clearance letters. If another state insists on written proof of your driving status in Illinois, you may request a certified copy of your driving record for the licensing authorities in that state. For further information, you may contact the Abstract Information Unit at 217-782-2720.
My driver's license is suspended. Can I apply for a permit to drive to work or school?
To apply for restricted driving privileges (RDP) during the period of suspension, you should contact an informal hearing officer at a Driver Services Facility. The hearing officer will review your driving record and explain the requirements and procedures to apply for driving relief. Please call the facility to determine the availability of the hearing officer. All informal hearings are held on a walk-in basis. Review the Informal hearing officer locations.
My child has an Illinois instruction permit. Can he/she drive in other states while we are on vacation?
Illinois law allows a person with a valid instruction permit issued in another state to drive a vehicle when traveling through our state, as long as that person is driving within the parameters of the permit and has the permit in their immediate possession.
Most states reciprocally recognize the Illinois instruction permit. You may, however, wish to contact the local law enforcement agencies of the state in which you will be traveling.
I will be working in/moving to Illinois. How do I obtain a driver's license?
Drivers moving to Illinois may use their valid driver's license from their home state or country for 90 days. You may obtain an Illinois driver's license or identification card only if you are becoming a legal resident of Illinois. If you have a valid driver's license from another state or country, you may use it to drive in Illinois throughout your stay (if you do not plan to become a permanent resident of this state). Illinois does not recognize the international driver's license.
To receive an Illinois driver's license or ID card, you must provide acceptable identification to prove name, date of birth, Illinois residency, Social Security Number and your signature for comparison.
To obtain an Illinois driver's license, you must successfully complete a vision screening, written examination and possibly a driving examination, and pay the appropriate fee. An Illinois driver's license is valid for four years. An Illinois ID card is valid for five years.
How can I obtain a motorcycle driver's license?
If you wish to obtain a motorcycle classification on your driver's license, you must pass a separate motorcycle written and road examination. The two classifications are Class L for motor-driven cycles with less than 150 cc and Class M for motorcycles.
If you are age 18 or over, you may apply for a 12-month instruction permit to operate a Class L or Class M motorcycle. It allows you to drive only during daylight hours, under the direct supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator. If you are under age 18 and have successfully completed driver education, you may apply for a 24-month instruction permit to operate a motor-driven cycle Class L (under 150 cc). It allows you to drive only during daylight hours, under the direct supervision of a licensed motor-driven or motorcycle operator.
An instruction permit for a Class M license may be issued to an applicant under age 18 only after successful completion of an approved driver education course and documentation of enrollment in an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Motorcycle Rider Education course. For more information on classes, please visit IDOT's Motorcycle Safety Program on the web or call 217-785-1181.
To initially obtain a Class L or Class M license, a person age 18 or older who successfully completes an IDOT motorcycle training course will not be required to pass a driving or written examination at a Driver Services Facility. Review the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual.
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty outside Illinois may be eligible to add a motorcycle classification to their Illinois driver's license with the completion of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course offered at their military base. For more information and to request an application for motorcycle upgrade, please contact the Out-of-State Licensing Unit at 217-782-2720.
How can I find information on Illinois driving and traffic laws?
For general information, please refer to the Illinois Rules of the Road.
To review specific statutes, the text of the Illinois Vehicle Code is on the Illinois General Assembly's Web site. Choose Illinois Compiled Statutes, then Chapter 625. To obtain a copy of the Illinois Vehicle Code (480 pages), please call 217-782-7132 or write to Secretary of State, Forms Distribution Center, 501 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62756.
How do I report the death of a card holding relative (Deceased Notification)?
Upon the death of a card holder, please submit a copy of the certified death certificate along with the Driver's License and/or Identification Card (if available) to:
Secretary of State
Central Services Section
2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62723
If you are a relative of the decedent and would like to keep the driver's license, please visit the attending coroner or nearest Driver Services Facility and fill out the Invalidation of a Driver's License or Permit Form. This form is in compliance with Chapter 625, paragraph 5/6-301.3 of the Illinois Compiled Statues. If you have any questions please contact Central Services at 217-785-1424.