illinois driver information
Welcome to the Illinois driver's page. If you want to know where cars are most stolen in the state or how to get your first IL drivers license, you're right where you want to be.
Illinois driving information
Number of licensed drivers: 8,301,000
Registered vehicles: 9,891,000
Licensing and registration authority: Illinois Secretary of State
Average commuting time for Illinois workers: 28 minutes (national average: 25.2 minutes)
Illinois driving record points
Convictions for most common traffic violations will add 10–20 points to your driving record. Serious traffic offenses, like reckless driving or failing to stop after an accident, may add as many as 50–55 points.
You can expect a license suspension or revocation if you accumulate 3 or more convictions within a 12-month span. The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the offenses.
Most moving violations will stay on your record for 4–5 years.
In 2010, 41,900 DUI arrests were recorded in Illinois. And of these arrested drivers, 92 percent ended up having their licenses suspended or revoked. A first conviction for a DUI (driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher) can be penalized by loss of driving privileges (for up to one year). Stricter penalties are enforced for minors, those driving with children in the car, and any subsequent DUI convictions.
If no police report is taken at the scene, you're responsible for reporting it to the state, if necessary. Accidents causing injury or $500 or more in damages must be reported to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
Drivers in the military
After returning from deployment outside of the state or country, you'll have 90 days to renew your IL license if you have a military deferral certificate. More information on how you can get a military deferral certificate is available through the state's license and medical review unit, which you can call at (217) 782-2720.
Restricted local drivers license
If you live in a town with a population of 3,500 or less and you're not interested in road trips, you may be able to get a restricted local drivers license. This license is for those who plan on only limited driving, like to the post office or grocery store. After applying for this license, you're required to give the DMV the routes you plan on driving. You'll then be given a road test that is catered to these routes. If you have a regular license, you'll have to surrender it to the DMV when you get your restricted license.
Distracted driving in Illinois
Texting behind the wheel is banned for all drivers in Illinois, and talking on cell phones is illegal for all novice drivers. If you're an adult driver, you can talk on a cell phone while driving unless you're in a school or construction zone.
Stolen cars in Illinois
Like the rest of the nation, Illinois has its share of car thefts. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the most stolen vehicles in Illinois are:
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1995 Honda Civic
- 1996 Honda Accord
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 1999 Plymouth Voyager
- 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass/Supreme/Ciera
- 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix
- 2000 Chevrolet Impala
- 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (full size)
- 1999 Ford Taurus
Where cars are stolen the most
- Chicago – Joliet – Naperville, IL– IN – WI area (more than 33,000 thefts reported in 2011)
- St. Louis, MO–IL
- Rockford, IL
- Davenport – Moline – Rock Island, IA – IL area
- Peoria, IL
Moving to Illinois
If you plan on becoming a legal Illinois resident, you'll have 90 days to obtain a new Illinois drivers license.
Registering a car or truck
You'll have 30 days to get your vehicle registered once you become an Illinois resident.
Young drivers in Illinois
First-time drivers who are under 18 will go through Illinois' graduated licensing program.
- Minimum permit age: 15 years old
- Tests required to get permit: written exam and vision screening
- Required education to get permit: must be enrolled in a state-approved drivers ed course
- Minimum permit holding period: 9 months
- Initial license age: 16–17 years old
- Required education to get initial license: must complete driver's ed course
- Parent/guardian practice hours needed to get initial license: 50 (10 at night)
- Nighttime restrictions of initial license: 10 p.m.–6 a.m. (Sunday–Thursday) and 11 p.m.– 6 a.m. (Friday–Saturday)
- Full license age: 18–20 years old (age restrictions lifted)
- Requirements to get full license: no traffic convictions for 6 months before turning 18, must pass road test
You can find more info on teen driving requirements here.
Car insurance in Illinois
Your guide to coverage requirements, policy options, and potential discounts in Illinois.
Graduated driver licensing in Illinois (PDF)
If you've got a teenager who's learning to drive, check out this document on the state's teen licensing program.
Illinois' official driver's manual (PDF)
A complete list of state insurance laws, traffic rules, and other info is included in the IL driver's manual.