Behind the Wheel in Illinois
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Illinois Driver's Training
If you're a teenager applying for your first driver's license in Illinois, you'll need to complete both driver's training and behind-the-wheel driving practice with a licensed adult.
These are both requirements of the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) graduated driver's license (GDL) program.
Your behind-the-wheel practice will help you develop the skills necessary to ace your road test and get on the road with your first unrestricted driver's license. You'll be better prepared to drive by yourself and to handle the challenges you may face as a young, new driver.
On this page you'll find information about your supervised driving requirements and the next steps in the Illinois GDL process.
IL Behind-the-Wheel Requirements
If you are younger than 18 years old, you'll need to complete the following behind-the-wheel requirements before advancing from your learner's permit to a provisional driver's license:
- Driver's training during a Driver's Ed course.
- At least 50 hours of supervised driving practice.
You can begin the IL GDL program and your behind-the-wheel requirements when you are at least 15 years old by enrolling in Driver's Ed and applying for your learner's permit.
For more information about applying for your learner's permit and enrolling in driver's training/driver's education, please visit our pages on those topics:
Illinois Driver's Training Course
As part of your Driver's Ed program, you'll complete at least 6 hours of behind-the-wheel practice with a certified driving instructor. You'll generally begin this component after you complete the classroom segment of your course.
You'll have the benefit of beginning your driving practice after you complete the classroom component of your program. You'll be able to apply and practice all of the lessons you'll have learned in the classroom to your driving practice.
After you complete both components, you should receive a completion certificate.
Driver's training is offered by high schools and approved professional driving schools.
For more information, see our Driver’s Ed in Illinois page.
Supervised Driving Practice
While you have your driver's permit, you'll be able to practice driving with a licensed adult who is 21 years old or older.
Before advancing to your provisional driver's license, you'll need to complete at least 50 hours of supervised behind-the-wheel practice, including 10 hours during the night.
You can keep track of driving practice with the 50-Hour Practice Driving Log (Form DSD X 152).
When you apply for your provisional driver's license, your parent/legal guardian will need to certify that you've completed your driving practice.
Next Steps - Intermediate Driver's License
You'll be eligible to take your driving test and apply for your provisional driver's license after you:
- Turn 16 years old.
- Have held your learner's permit for at least 9 months.
- Have completed your driver's training. (See “Illinois Driver's Training Course" above.)
- Have completed your required hours of driving practice. (See “Supervised Driving Practice" above.)
For more information about any additional documents, forms, and fees you may need to present to the Illinois SOS for your driver's license, please visit our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Illinois page.