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  • Special Licenses in Illinois

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    Special Licenses in Illinois

    IL Special Licenses

    Depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive and the number of passengers you want to transport, you may need to a apply for a license other than your standard, noncommercial driver's license with the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS).

    Generally, the application process for additional endorsements or new license classes is similar to that of your regular driver's license. You'll likely need to:

    • Complete a new licensing application.
    • Pass a knowledge test.
    • Pass a driving test in the type of vehicle you want to drive.
    • Pay a new licensing or endorsement fee.

    On this page you'll find some of the class/endorsement requirements for large passenger vehicles.

    For information about applying for a standard driver's license or motorcycle endorsement, please visit one of our pages on the following topics:

    Commercial Driver's License in Illinois

    Any vehicle that is designed to transport 16 passengers or more automatically requires a commercial driver's license (CDL). For additional information, contact your nearest Secretary of State or download a copy of the Illinois Commercial Driver's Manual.

    The class of your IL CDL and the endorsements you hold will determine exactly what types of vehicles you can drive and what types of driving jobs you can have.

    For more information about obtaining a commercial driver's license, please visit our Applying for a New CDL in Illinois page.

    Special Requirements for Child Care Vehicles

    If the vehicle you wish to operate is used to transport children to or from a child care facility, the following will generally apply:

    • You must have a clean driving record.
    • You must agree to a medical exam that will determine if you have any health problems that could affect your ability to drive safely.

    You may need a Illinois CDL depending on the type of vehicle you'll be driving.

    Special Requirements for School Bus Drivers

    A school bus permit is necessary for anyone who drives a school's or religious institution's transportation vehicle over a regularly scheduled transportation route. Contrary to popular belief, a school bus permit is needed even if you are simply filling in on behalf of the regular school bus driver.

    In 1995, the Secretary of State was given the responsibility of regulating all school bus drivers within Illinois. To obtain a school bus permit, you'll need to:

    • Be at least 21 years old.
    • Pass the driving test in the type of bus you want to drive.
    • Pass a school bus knowledge test.
    • Have a clean driving record.
    • Complete a bus driver training and certification course.

    If you would like a detailed list of all rules which apply to motorists working as school bus drivers, visit the IL SOS website or send your request to:

    Secretary of State
    Driver Services Department
    2701 South Dirksen Parkway
    Springfield, IL 62723

    If you are in the process of seeking employment as a school bus driver, the school district representative in charge of the hiring process should be able to assist you in completing all of the necessary forms. For more information, please contact your local school district or the Illinois SOS.

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