Ready to start driving without supervision? All of your work and practice up until now culminates in the Illinois Driving Test (or DRT). The process doesn’t have to be nearly as stressful as it seems.
The Illinois Driving Road Test is designed to test your competence in driving on the road. The test focuses on driving laws and safety regulations featured in your Illinois Rules of the Road Handbook.
The road test consists of two phases: First, you demonstrate that your test vehicle is in working order along with your knowledge of its parts. Then you have the 10-20 minute drive, where your examiner will observe you driving, parking, and how you handle various driving situations. For example:
Depending on your age, you have certain criteria to complete before you can take your Illinois road test.
If you can’t bring a parent or guardian with you, you’ll need their signature on the ‘Consent to Drive’ form. When you apply for your license and driving exam, you should bring the following:
If you are 18 to 20 years old, you do not need a signed form or 50 hours of practice. However, you do need to complete a state-certified Driver’s Ed course before you’re allowed to take your test if you did not take Driver’s education prior to turning 18.
If you are over 21, you will not need to take a Driver’s education course. However, it is still a good idea to do so. It will give you the critical knowledge you need to be a safe driver and pass your exams.
One of the most effective things you can do is study the Illinois manual thoroughly, especially the parts about signs and signals and their meanings. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to master all the concepts before taking the road test.
Cramming or skimming the material is a good way to forget vital details on the road! Make sure to take advantage of online practice tests and programs made to ensure you mastered the material.
In addition to the qualifiers we listed earlier, you will need to bring proof of name, birthdate, social security number, and residency. You can bring the items below. Everything must be original. No photocopies.
Make sure all these things are fully functioning. Any of these things failing to work will invalidate the vehicle for the driving test. It also needs to be clean, and with no cracks or obstructions in your windshield or mirrors.
You will have to bring proof of ownership and proof of insurance for the vehicle that you intend on taking the driving test in. If you bring a rental car, make sure the contract lists that you are approved to take a road test in it.
Illinois is one of the few states that lets you practice in their testing area ahead of time. When you can, take a few minutes to explore and get a feel for the driving environment. Practice driving, if you have the appropriate permit, so you will be ready for the real thing!
You can only take your road test at designated Secretary of State facilities, also known as SOS sites. You should aim to get to one early and choose one that’s convenient for you. Unfortunately, you can’t schedule a driving test in advance. Make sure to plan for lines and processing times accordingly.
The driving exam tests multiple aspects of a driver’s capability to perform standard maneuvers, such as checking all the instruments and making any necessary adjustments before driving.
You will also be expected to complete the following maneuvers:
Once you pass the driving road test, you will be issued a temporary paper license. You will get your Illinois driver’s license in the mail in about 15 days! If you fail, you can try again as early as the next day, but we recommend taking some time to study first. Be careful, you can only fail three times before you have to start the process over again, including any paid fees and fines.
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