Illinois Learner's Permit

Getting Your Illinois Learners Permit: Rules and Requirements

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 07, 2022

If you have turned 15, the first step to your license starts with the Illinois instruction permit, also known as a learner’s permit. The process may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll go through all the details so you know exactly what to expect.

Illinois Learner’s Permit Requirements

You must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be at least 15 years old.
  • You must be enrolled or recently graduated from a state-approved Driver’s education course.
  • A parent or guardian must sign consent for you to drive and accept financial responsibility to begin the application process.

How to Get Your Illinois Instruction Permit

To obtain a permit, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Enroll in a driver’s education course. You must be currently enrolled in or within thirty days of graduating an approved Driver’s Education course. These courses consist of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of driving instruction.
  2. Visit your local Secretary of State facility. Depending on your location, an appointment may be required to complete your application.
  3. Present proof of identity, residency, Social Security number, and lawful presence in the United States. Examples of approved documents include:
    • Certified Birth Certificate
    • Social Security Card
    • Medicare card
    • School transcripts
    • Bank statements
    • A cell phone bill in your name for residency
  4. Take a vision exam. You need a minimum score of 20/40 with or without corrective lenses. If you need corrective lenses to pass the test, your permit will indicate that you are required to wear them while driving. A score of 20/40 or greater is limited to daytime driving only. You must also demonstrate a peripheral vision of 140 degrees.
  5. Take a written exam. This consists of identifying signs, signals, multiple-choice questions about materials covered in the Illinois Rules of the Road Handbook. It consists of 35 questions, and you will have to get 28 correct to pass. You can prepare using our online practice tests so you know that you come fully prepared to your exam!
  6. Pay the required fee and receive your new Illinois learner’s permit.

Permit Restrictions

Once you have your permit, you’ll have limited freedom to drive. However, the following restrictions apply:

  • Whenever driving, you must have your permit and a parent, guardian, or another driving supervisor with you – this person must be at least 21, have a valid driver’s license, and have at least one year of driving experience to be a driving supervisor.
  • Until you are 19, you are prohibited from using all cell phones or texting devices, even with hands-free technology.
  • You are not allowed to drive between 10 PM and 6 AM (Sunday-Thursday), and between 11 PM and 6 AM (Friday-Saturday).

You will have to hold your learner’s permit for at least nine months before you can apply for a driver’s license. You also need to log at least 50 hours of driving practice, 10 of which must be at night. 

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about getting your instruction permit in Illinois. If you need any help studying for your upcoming knowledge or driving exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with a summarized handbook, Illinois practice tests, and a gamified learning experience.

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