Teen Driving in Illinois - The Instruction Permit
In the State of Illinois applicants are eligible for an Instruction Permit if between the ages of 15 and 17. To qualify for the instruction permit, applicants must be enrolled in an approved State of Illinois driver education course. If the applicant is 17 years and 3 months or older, the driver education course is optional.
- Prior to receiving an instruction permit, the permit applicant must pass a vision test and a written exam.
- The instruction permit is good for 2 years and teen drivers must hold their permit for a minimum of 9 months before applying for a driver license when they are a minimum of 16 years of age. Teen drivers with instruction permits are allowed to drive with a parent, legal guardian or a responsible adult 21 years of age or older with a minimum of 1 year of driving experience. Once permit holders have completed the driver education course, they may continue to drive with a responsible adult as outlined above.
- If a teen driver has completed the on-the-road driver training and the class was taken at their high school, the Illinois State Board of Education will automatically notify the Office of Secretary of State that this training has been completed.
- To have a driver's license record updated by the Secretary of State applicants must have eight passing grades in the two most recent semesters in school.
Under 18 Driver License in Illinois
Although applicants must be 18 years of age to receive a valid Illinois driver license there are exceptions and restrictions.
- Prior to application for a driver license, the under 18 driver must present the written consent of a parent or legal guardian.
- Any teen driver under the age of 18 must hold their learner permit for a minimum of 9 months, in good standing prior to applying for a driver license.
- In addition, the applicant must also pass a three part driver license exam.
- Teen drivers under the age of 18 must present written verification from a parent, guardian or responsible adult 21 years of age or older that they have had at least 50 hours of driving practice.
- 10 of the 50 hours must be nighttime driving.
- Notification of your completion of a state approved behind the wheel training course must appear on your license record at the time of application.
- Driver license holders under the age of 18 are under the following nighttime driving restrictions: Sunday through Thursday 10:00 PM to 6 AM; and Friday through Saturday 11:00 PM to 6 AM. These restrictions apply unless a parent or legal guardian is present while driving.
- Teen drivers who receive a ticket for driving outside of the restricted hours of their driver license may be suspended. Drivers under the age of 18 may have their driver license suspended for failing to maintain high school attendance.
Mandatory Minimum Liability Insurance
All drivers in the State of Illinois must be covered by minimum liability insurance. All vehicle owners are required to show proof of coverage during the vehicle registration process. The State of Illinois minimum liability insurance limits are listed below.
- $20,000 for the Injury or Death of One Person in a Crash
- $40,000 for the Injury or Death of More than One Person in a Crash
- $15,000 for the Damage to Property of another Person
While driving in the State of Illinois applicants must carry proof of liability coverage on your person or in your vehicle. This proof must be presented when requested by a law enforcement officer.
The fine for driving without insurance $500, in addition your vehicle registration will be suspended until a reinstatement fee is submitted. This is for a first time offense. Repeat offenses will receive a four month vehicle registration suspension.