Adult Driver's Ed in Illinois

Driving is a privilege, no matter your age—and if you've never before been licensed in Illinois, you'll need to acquire the knowledge and skills required to be a safe, responsible driver... even if you're applying as an adult!

To obtain a first-time Illinois driver's license as an adult, you'll likely need to complete an adult Driver's Ed course.

We'll help you out with the details—keep reading our guide below.

Eligibility Requirements for IL Adult Driver's Ed

An adult driver education course is required in Illinois if ALL of the following are true:

  • You are between the ages of 18 through 20 years old.
  • You're applying for a first-time Illinois driver's license.
  • You have never before completed any kind of Driver's Ed course, either in high school or through a third party provider.

If you took a high school driver's education course as a teen, even if in another state, and you can prove this to the IL Secretary of State, you won't have to retake a course as an adult. Gather a certified transcript showing that you passed and bring it to the SOS when you apply for your license.

Course Requirements

The Illinois adult driver's education program is 6 hours long, and consists solely of classroom or online learning, with a written exam to finish the course that allows you to apply for your license. The Illinois Secretary of State provides a list of approved providers.* Most courses will vary in price according to the provider you choose. Online instruction will generally let you complete the course at your own pace.

You are NOT required to complete and record any specific hours of behind-the-wheel practice before applying for your Illinois driver's license.

HOWEVER, the SOS strongly recommends that before you take your road driving test to obtain your driver's license, you complete at least:

  • 50 hours of driving time with an eligible adult supervisor.
  • 10 hours of night driving.

* NOTE: You MUST choose a provider that has been approved by the SOS; otherwise, you will not receive credit for your hard work!

General Course Curriculum

Most of the information covered during the course will be consistent with that which is found in the Illinois driver handbook.

The curriculum of your IL adult driver's education course is meant to help students understand basic road safety and avoid common traffic violations and mistakes that often lead to collisions.

Some of the topics you can expect to learn about in class include:

  • State traffic laws.
  • Road signs and signals.
  • Common traffic violations.
  • Effects of drugs and alcohol.
  • Cell phone and texting laws.
  • Avoiding distracted driving.
  • Driving at night.
  • Defensive driving.

While some of this information may overlap, please note that the curriculum and course are different from the Illinois defensive driving course (also referred to as traffic school). For more information on adult driving courses please call (630) 520-9310.

After Your Adult Driver's Ed Course

If you pass the test following classroom or online instruction, here's what you'll need to do to receive your driver's license:

  • Make sure you have your certificate of completion.
  • Make an appointment with your local Secretary of State branch office for your written and road driving tests.
  • Bring the certificate along with all other required identification documents. These will prove your:
    • Written signature.
    • Date of birth.
    • Social Security number.
    • Residency.
  • Take a vision test.
  • Pass the written and road driving tests.
  • Pay the required fees.

For step-by-step details, check out our full guide to applying for a driver's license in Illinois, and enjoy your brand new IL license!

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