Renewing Your CDL in Illinois
Many people need to have and maintain a current commercial driver license (CDL) as part of their livelihood. If your CDL is set to expire soon, renew it through the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) to make sure you don’t have to live without it.
CDL Renewal Eligibility in Illinois
You need to renew your Illinois CDL every 4 years. If you are a non-excepted interstate driver, there’s a couple of extra steps you need to take, including:
- Submitting a Medical Examination Certificate (Form MCSA-5876) before the certificate expires.
- Self-certifying your medical examination certificate every 2 years.
- The examiner may set the expiration date of your certificate sooner based on certain medical conditions.
See our page on Illinois CDL medical exams for more details and instructions on getting your certificate. If you have a different classification of CDL, you don’t have to worry about completing these steps.
Exemptions & Endorsements
Do you think you may qualify for a medical exemption on your CDL? If so, head on over to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website for more information about federal medical exemptions.
If you have a HAZMAT endorsement for your commercial driver license, make sure you’ve completed a TSA background check within the last 5 years BEFORE renewing your CDL with the endorsement. Check out our HAZMAT Endorsement page for details about applying for this background check.
How to Renew an IL CDL
The process for renewing your CDL differs slightly based on age. Regardless of your age, and once the renewal process is complete, you’ll get a temporary license to use while your card is processed and mailed to your address.
To renew your Illinois CDL, no matter your age, you’ll need to:
- Pass any required CDL testing (if your renewal notice says you must). This could include a:
- Vision exam.
- Basic auto written exam.
- CDL general and endorsement knowledge tests (such as HAZMAT).
- Motorcycle test for Class L and Class M license renewal.
- Study the Illinois Commercial Driver’s License Study Guide (Form DSD CDL 10) to prepare.
- Provide documents proving your legal presence. The SOS website has a complete list of acceptable documents.
- Pay the $60 renewal fee.
- If you have a Class M or L license, an additional $5 renewal fee will apply.
When you’re ready, submit your items and take your test(s) at your local SOS office.
CDL Renewal Age Qualifiers
If you are 75 years old or older, first you’ll have to make an appointment* to take and pass a:
- Pre-trip test.
- Skills exam.
- Drive test.
Make sure that you take any tests needed in the same class of vehicle your CDL indicates.
You can prepare for your test by downloading the Illinois Commercial Driver’s License Study Guide (Form DSD CDL 10) and studying the:
- Pre-Trip Inspection section.
- Skill Maneuvers section.
- Driving Road Test section.
*Schedule your appointment online or by calling (217) 785-3013 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.