- Location: Illinois
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- Welcome to Illinois―The Prairie State
- What You Need to Know about Driving (and boating) in Illinois
- Documents for Illinois Driver’s License and ID’s
- Registering Your Vehicle or Boat in Illinois
- IL Auto Insurance Coverage
- Register to Vote in Illinois
- Military Personnel Stationed in Illinois
- Non-US Citizens Driving in Illinois
Located in the middle of the U.S. heartland, the state of Illinois has thousands of miles of scenic roads, the thrill of Chicago, Wrigley Field and the Abraham Lincoln Historic Site to explore. Not to mention the bordering Great Lakes where the fishing and beautiful water provide endless fun for boat enthusiasts.
Illinois gives you have a full 90 days before you need to get your license.
However, the time to get a CDL license and to register and title your vehicle is a mere 30 days.
The application to register a boat needs to be done within 15 days. There is no license requirement for boats.
Even though you have 90 days to get a license or an ID, your best bet is to make sure you have all the documents you will need to get a new license before you visit your local Illinois Drivers Services Facility.
To get ready for your appointment for your new Illinois license there are a few things you will need:
- Proof of your true full name, birth date and legal presence.
- Surrender your valid out-of-state driver's license.
- Payment for $30 driver's license fee or $60 CDL. IL Drivers Service Facilities accept cash, check, money order or ATM/Debit cards.
- Pass the appropriate exams (vision screening, written and/or driving).
These requirements apply to drivers 21 and older. Licensed drivers under 21 moving to Illinois are required to take the written test and will have restricted licenses that apply to their age bracket.
Just Need an ID?
If you don’t plan on driving you can apply for an Illinois ID card. The identification for an ID card is the same as for a license. ID cards come in handy for those who don’t drive but plan on traveling or banking.
After moving permanently to Illinois, you have 30 days to properly register your vehicle and 15 days to register your boat. Registering your car requires a trip to an Illinois Drivers Services Facility, while the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) handles boat registrations.
To register a vehicle you will need some documents:
- Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD-190). Obtain from any Secretary of State(SOS) facility, or by calling (800) 252-8980.
- Name and Illinois address of owner.
- Odometer reading.
- Description of the vehicle.
- Names and addresses of any lienholders.
NOTE: Depending on your county, your vehicle may also need to pass an emissions test.
The following documents also are required for a leased vehicle:
- Your lease agreement.
- Valid out-of-state registration.
- Valid out-of-state title.
- Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO).
- Bill of sale identifying the vehicle and the lessor’s name and address.
To register your boat:
- Complete a Watercraft Registration/Title Application.
- Calculate the tax due with registration by contacting the Department of Revenue at (800) 732-8866 or (217) 782-3336 for instructions before submitting the application.
- Provide boat registration fee payment. The size of your boat will determine the fee.
For detailed boat registration information, visit our IL Boat Registration page.
Not only must you have a valid registration but Illinois law requires that you carry liability insurance as well. Unlike many states you are not required collision, comprehensive, medical payment or uninsured property, though a lien holder may require it.
When you go and get your new Illinois license, you will be offered a voter registration application that you can sign and will be forwarded to election authorities. Voting in Illinois has a few restrictions you need to know to be able to vote:
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Not be convicted of an offense and in jail.
- Be 18 on or before the next election.
- Not claim the right to vote anywhere else.
- Be a resident of your election precinct at least 30 days prior to the next election.
Active duty military members are exempt from being required to get an Illinois driver's license if they have a valid license from their home state. The same applies to their spouse and any children of driving age still living at home.
Need more information? Visit our Military Drivers page.
Non-US citizens who have been granted legal entry into the US and are living in Illinois may apply for a Temporary Visitor Driver's License (TVDL) with the
Secretary of State.
The following requirements must be met if you wish to have a Illinois license:
- Residing in Illinois but not a citizen of the US.
- Proof from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be in the US.
- Not be required to obtain a driver's license issued by the U.S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions.
- Documentation from Social Security Administration verifying such ineligibility for a Social Security number.
- Be authorized to be in the country for at least one year and have at least six months remaining on an authorized stay.
- Documents of name, date of birth, Illinois residency and verification of written signature.
- Pay the appropriate fee and successfully complete a vision screening and the appropriate written and road tests.
A Temporary Visitor Driver's License (TVDL) expires in 3 years or at the end of the visitors authorized stay.