Illinois Driver’s License Renewal Guide
Updated July 3, 2021
Did you know that getting a ticket for driving without a valid driver license is equivalent to an arrest in Illinois? In the Prairie State, driving without a valid license is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail! Plus, $1,500 in fines, and the possibly getting your driving privileges revoked.
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Even if you’re visiting the windy state with an out-of-state license, Illinois Secretary of State has the is allowed to take away your right to drive. Keep reading for more details about driving in Illinois.
How to Renew Your Illinois Driver’s License
What do I need to do and what is required to renew my driver’s license in the state of Illinois? Good questions.
The Secretary of State’s office handles Illinois driver’s license renewals and will mail a renewal letter 60 to 90 days before your license expires. This renewal letter provides all the information you need such as the required documents, any required testing and whether you are eligible to renew online or must appear in person.
The letter is mailed to the address on file, so if you’ve moved and haven’t updated the Secretary of State’s office, be diligent and make sure you don’t let your license expire. Driving on an expired license may end up costing you a lot of money. To avoid trouble, here’s how to renew an illinois driver’s license.
Do I Need to Renew My Driver’s License?
Drivers who are aged 21 to 80 will have to complete an Illinois license renewal every four years, while those aged 81 to 86 will need to renew every two years. If you are over age 87, you will have to renew every year.
Required Documents for IL License Renewal
If there are no required changes, such as your address, you will only need your current valid license to complete your Illinois driver’s license renewal.
If you must change your address or for some reason you no longer have your license card, you must verify your identity by providing additional documentation.
Acceptable documents include:
- Signature verification document such as a cancelled check, an ID card, legal or court documents or a passport.
- Address verification document or proof of address such as a bank statement, rental or mortgage agreement, or a pay stub.
When Does My Driver’s License Expire?
For drivers under the age of 21, your license expires three months past your twenty-first birthday.
For all other drivers, your license expires on your birthday. For drivers who are between 21 and 80, your license is valid for four years.
For those aged 81 through 86, your license is valid for two years. If your 87 or older, you’ll have to renew your Illinois license every year.
Where to Renew Your License in Illinois
You can renew your license up to one year before it expires (six months for a one-year license).
Renewing Your License Online
Your renewal notice will let you know if you are eligible to complete your Illinois license renewal online.
The following conditions will exclude you from renewing online:
- You are under 22 or over 74 years old.
- Your license is suspended, cancelled or revoked.
- Your license has been expired for more than one year.
- You have had driving incidents within the last four years.
In these cases you will need to complete your Illinois driver’s license renewal in person. The online portal is accessed through the Secretary of State’s website.
Renewing Your License In Person at the DMV
You can renew your license at your local DMV office by walking in or scheduling an appointment. Make sure you bring your current license and your renewal letter when renewing an Illinois license in person.
At the office you will need to do the following:
- Pass a vision test.
- Pass a behind-the-wheel driving test (for those over 75 years old).
- Pass a written test/exam (if you have had a driving incident).
- Pay the required license renewal fee.
Please note, Illinois requires all licensed drivers to take a written exam every eight years, unless you keep your record clean.
You will receive a temporary, paper license that remains valid for 90 days. This document can be legally used for driving purposes or to prove your identity.
Renewing Your License by Mail
You will receive your permanent license in the mail.
Your renewal letter will indicate if you are eligible to renew by mail. If so, simply mail in the renewal form. A new, permanent license will be mailed to you within 15 business days.
Renewing Your License by Phone
If you are considered a safe driver, your renewal letter may indicate that you complete your Illinois driver’s license renewal via telephone.
If you are eligible, you can renew by calling (866) 545-9607.
Required Driver’s License Renewal Fees
Illinois license renewal fees are based on the age of the driver looking to renew or replace:
- $5 for those age 18 to 20
- $30 for those age 21 to 68
- $5 for those age 69 to 80
- $2 for those age 81 to 86
- Free for those over the age of 87
There are many options for completing your Illinois driver’s license renewal, so don’t wait. Driving on an expired license may end up costing you much more than the renewal fee.