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Renewing Your License in Illinois

How to Renew Your Driver's License in Illinois

To renew an IL driver's license, you can either:

  • Log on to the Illinois SOS website and pay the renewal fee according to your age group.
  • Mail in your driver's license renewal notice.
  • Call the SOS and follow your notice instruction to renew by phone.
    OR
  • Visit an Illinois SOS office with your renewal notice and proof of identification.
  • For more details on these driver's license renewal option, please see below.

When to Renew Your Illinois Driver's License

The Illinois Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) will send you a renewal notice 60 to 90 days before your driver's license expires.

Depending on your age, your IL driver's license will be valid for different lengths of time:

  • 21 to 80 years old: 4 years (expires on your birthday).
  • 81 to 86 years old: 2 years.
  • 87 years old and older: must renew every year.

Valid Driver's License

You can renew your valid IL driver's license at different times depending on how long your current card is valid for:

  • Driver licenses valid for 2 years or 4 years: Up to 1 year before the expiration date.
  • Driver's license valid 1 year: Up to 6 months before the expiration date.

If you're under 21 years old, you must renew your IL driver's license 3 months after your 21st birthday.

NOTE: If your license is going to expire tomorrow, the IL SOS recommends you visit your nearest IL DMV office to ensure you have a valid IL driver license prior to it expiring.

Expired Driver's License

Do NOT drive if your IL driver license or motorcycle license has expired.

If your IL driver's license has been expired for 1 year or less, you are still eligible for renewal.

If you let your Illinois driver license stay expired for more than 1 year, you cannot renew your IL driver license online and you may be subject to additional testing requirements.

For more information on this process, please read our pages about Applying for a New IL License (Drivers 18+) or Applying for a New Teen License in Illinois.

Suspended & Revoked Driver's Licenses

If you have a suspended IL driver license, the IL SOS will take away your driving privilege temporarily or until you meet specific reinstatement requirements. You cannot renew your suspended driver's license in Illinois until it has been reinstated.

If your IL driver's license is revoked, you lose the privilege to drive and will not be able to reapply for your IL driver license until you appear before a Secretary of State hearing office

Since you cannot renew your suspended IL driver license, you may choose to apply for an IL state ID card as a form of valid identification. Visit our pages about IL Identification Cards and Suspended Licenses for more information.

Lost or Stolen Driver's License

If your Illinois driver license is lost or stolen, read our Replacing a Lost License in Illinois page to find out how to apply for a duplicate driver's license in Illinois.

You may need it for identification purposes when submitting your IL driver license renewal application.

If your lost IL driver's license is due for renewal, you can renew it instead of replacing it.

Illinois Driver License Renewal Requirements

Check your Illinois driver's license renewal notice to find out if you must renew your IL driver license online, by mail, by phone, or in person at your local Illinois DMV office.

Your renewal notice will give you the information you need to renew your IL driver's license, including:

  • Renewal options (online, by mail, by phone, or in person).
  • Your 14-digit renewal authorization number.
  • Testing requirements (if applicable):
    • If you're required to retake the Illinois drive exam during the IL renewal process, you'll also be asked to prove financial responsibility with a minimum of liability insurance. For more information about the IL road test, see the IL Driver Handbook.
  • Fees (see the “Fees to Renew Your IL Driver License" section below).

The IL SOS office will mail your renewed IL driver's license to your address on file within 15 business days.

Social Security Number Verification

Your information with the Social Security Administration (SSA) must be up to date before the Illinois SOS will issue your renewed IL driver's license.

The Illinois SOS must be able to verify your Social Security number (SSN), name, and date of birth with the SSA in order to process your request.

Address & Name Changes

You must notify the Illinois SOS office within 10 days of your name change OR change of address if you hold a valid IL driver license.

You need to first change your name and/or address on file with the IL SOS before you renew your IL driver's license online.

For more information about changes to your IL driver's license, please read our pages about changing your address or changing your name in Illinois.

Organ Donation in Illinois

If you would like to register to become an organ donor in Illinois, you may elect to participate while renewing your IL driver license.

When you select “Yes" to becoming an organ donor during your IL driver license renewal application, you will receive instructions on how to complete the back of your IL driver license. The IL SOS will add you to the Illinois organ donor registry.

Illinois Voter Registration

If you are not already registered to vote in Illinois, you may register while you are renewing your IL driver's license. When you select “Yes" to the voter question on the application, you will later receive an Illinois voter registration packet by mail.

For more information on voting in Illinois, visit our Voter Registration in Illinois page.

Online Driver's License Renewal

If you're eligible to renew your Illinois driver license online, visit the Illinois SOS driver license renewal page.

Eligibility Requirements

You can only renew your IL driver's license online if the Illinois SOS considers you a safe driver. Your IL driving record must be clean for at least 4 years, and you must also meet other requirements, including the following:

  • You must be over 22 years old and under 74 years old.
  • Your driving privileges must not be suspended, cancelled, or revoked in any state.
  • Your IL driver's license must NOT have expired more than 1 year ago.

For a complete list of eligibility requirements for the Illinois Safe Driver renewal program, please visit the IL Secretary of State website.

By-Mail Driver's License Renewal

To renew your IL driver's license with the Illinois SOS by mail, you'll need:

  • A completed IL driver's license renewal notice.
  • If you recently moved, be sure to include your change of address information.
  • Payment for the renewal fee. See the “Fees to Renew Your IL Driver's License" section below.

Send the above documents to the address specified on your renewal notice.

The IL DMV will process and mail your renewed IL driver license within 15 business days.

NOTE: If you changed your address, you may need to provide 2 documents to prove your residency during your next visit at your local IL DMV office.

By-Phone Driver's License Renewal

If the IL SOS office sends you a renewal notice stating you're eligible for their “Safe Driver Renewal," you can renew anytime by calling (866) 545-9607.

For information on specific fees and acceptable payment methods, please view the section “Fees to Renew Your IL Driver's License" below.

In-Person Driver's License Renewal

You can renew your IL driver's license up to 1 year before it expires if you have a license that was valid 2 years or 4 years.

To renew your IL driver license in person at your local IL DMV office, you will need:

  • Your valid Illinois driver's license.
  • Your IL renewal notice.
  • Payment for the renewal fee. See the “Fees to Renew Your IL Driver's License" section below.
  • To take a vision test.
  • To take a driving test, if you are over 75 years old.
  • To take a written and/or road test, if you have a traffic incident on your Illinois driving record.

NOTE: You will be required to take a written exam in Illinois every 8 years, unless you have not received a traffic ticket.

If you need to change your name or address, you will also need to prove your identity with:

  • 1 document from Group A, such as your:
    • Current IL driver's license.
    • Current out-of-state driver's license.
    • Major credit/debit card.
  • 1 document that satisfies each of Group B, Group C and Group D.
    • You'll need 2 documents from Group D if your address has changed.

The SOS provides a complete list of acceptable identification documents.

The IL SOS will update your IL driver's license with a new photo and issue your renewed IL driver license before you leave the facility.

Military Renewal Deferment in Illinois

Notice for Military Members Stationed in Germany

If you are currently stationed in Germany, please be aware that some states require you to have a valid U.S. driver's license in addition to your USAREUR license. Read our article for more information.

If you're stationed outside of Illinois on active military duty, you may drive with an expired driver license for up to 120 days after returning to the state. The same rule applies for your dependents and spouse.

You must carry a Military Deferral Certificate with your expired IL driver's license. To request one at no charge, you'll need:

  • A copy of:
    • Your current Illinois driver's license.
    • The front and back of your military ID card.
  • A statement noting your out-of-state mailing address.

Send the above to:

Secretary of State
License and Medical Review Unit
2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62723

To get specific information about the status of your specific license renewal situation, call (217) 782-2720.

Fees to Renew Your IL Driver's License

The following fees apply when renewing your driver's license in Illinois:

  • 18 to 20 years old: $5.
  • 21 to 68 years old: $30.
  • 69 to 80 years old: $5.
  • 81 to 86 years old: $2.
  • 87 years old and older: Free.
  • Class M (motorcycle license): $5.
  • Upgrade to Class M (motorcycle license): $10.

NOTE: If you renew your Illinois driver license online, you must pay an additional $1.75 fee.

Accepted Payment Methods

For online transactions, payment must be made using the following credit cards:

  • American Express.
  • Discover Card.
  • MasterCard.
  • VISA.

For IL SOS transactions in person, you can pay by:

  • American Express.
  • Discover Card.
  • MasterCard.
  • Personal or traveler's check.
  • Money order.
  • Cash.

For IL SOS transactions by mail, you can pay with:

  • Personal check.
  • Money order.
  • VISA.
  • MasterCard.
  • Discover.
  • American Express.

Contact your Illinois DMV driver license office to find out exactly which payment methods are accepted while renewing your IL driver's license.

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