In the United States, driver’s licenses are issued by individual states under their laws. This system created a way to ensure concepts of federalism were upheld in the U.S. and also because some states retain their authority in specific areas of the law. In 1899, Chicago and New York City were recognized at the first cities to issue driver’s licenses after license applicants passed a test. Massachusetts and Missouri were the first states to issue driver’s licenses, beginning in 1903.
Illinois eventually passed its driver's license law in 1939 and did not require that drivers pass an examination until 1953. Before the enactment of this legislation, many states did not issue drivers’ licenses. The Illinois Supreme Court originally decided that licensing requirements imposed on private individuals were unconstitutional. Many states followed Illinois’ lead until the Great Depression era. In the years that followed, states began imposing license requirements, likely for revenue purposes.
Today, the Illinois Secretary of State is responsible for administering licenses under its Driver Services Department. The requirements for obtaining a license include:
- Applicants must complete 50 hours of driving
- Complete a driver’s education course
- Show proof of enrollment in school
- Retain a driver’s permit for nine months before applying for a driver’s license
- Individuals receiving a moving violation during the 9-month period must restart the waiting period
- People under 18 must honor the curfew requirements, which maintain no driving between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Reasons to Visit the DMV Offices in Illinois
It is essential to regularly maintain an Illinois license, license plate, and registration, which is vital if involved in an auto accident. In addition to issuing driver’s licenses, the DMV offices in Illinois provide:
- Road tests
- Driver’s license renewals
- Driver’s permits
- Identification cards
- Vehicle registration
- License plates
- Child passenger safety seat fitting stations
- Vehicle emissions testing stations
- Hearings and appointments
The Illinois Vehicle Code
The Illinois Vehicle Code contains specific requirements for obtaining a license, identification card or permit. The act mandates that every person must have a driver’s license to operate motorized vehicles on the roads of Illinois. Recently, the Illinois Code was amended to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for and obtain driver’s licenses in the state. Also, the act maintains a clear distinction between state regulations for licenses and municipal ordinances. Municipalities and cities may not override state law or require individuals to obtain additional licenses.
Some of the other notable points of the Code include:
- An employee of the U.S. government or Armed Forces is not obligated to have an Illinois license while on official business.
- Nonresidents do not need Illinois licenses if they have a license from their state or country.
- Individuals receive a renewal letter 60 to 90 days before the expiration of a license.
- People might need to fulfill other testing requirements for a renewal of a license, such as vision screening or a new driving exam (applicable to residents over 75).
- Every eight years, every driver is required to take a written exam unless they have not violated a traffic law.
Illinois DMV Locations
Illinois DMV locations reside within the following cities:
- Des Plaines
- Arlington Heights
ChicagoMelrose Park Sec. of State Facility 1903 North Mannheim Road Melrose Crossing Shopping Center Melrose Park, IL 60160 (312) 793-1010
ChicagoSecretary of State Facility 650 Roppolo Drive Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 (312) 793-1010
ChicagoSec. of State Facility – North 5401 North Elston Ave. Chicago, IL 60630 (312) 793-1010
ChicagoLombard Sec. of State Facility 837 South Westmore Road Eastgate Shopping Center Lombard, IL 60148 (630) 629-8305
ChicagoSec. of State Facility – West 5301 W. Lexington Ave. Chicago, IL 60644 (312) 793-1010
AuroraAurora Secretary of State Facility 339 East Indian Trail Aurora, IL 60505 (630) 896-9880
AuroraNaperville Sec. of State Facility 931 W. 75th St. Ste. 161, Hobson Shopping Center Naperville, IL 60565 (630) 355-9815
AuroraWest Chicago Sec. of State Facility 1280 Powis Road West Chicago, IL 60185 (312) 793-1010
AuroraWheaton Secretary of State Facility 128 West Liberty Drive Wheaton, IL 60187 (312) 793-1010
AuroraLombard Sec. of State Facility 837 South Westmore Road Eastgate Shopping Center Lombard, IL 60148 (630) 629-8305
RockfordRockford Sec. of State Facility 3720 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 394-0179
RockfordRoscoe Secretary of State Facility 10631 Main St. Village Hall Roscoe, IL 61073 (815) 623-9063
RockfordDekalb Secretary of State Facility 1360 Oakwood St. Dekalb, IL 60115 (815) 756-7781
RockfordWoodstock Sec. of State Facility 428 S. Eastwood Drive Woodstock, IL 60098 (312) 793-1010
RockfordDixon Secretary of State Facility 925 S. Peoria Ave. Dixon, IL 61021 (815) 288-6685
NapervilleNaperville Sec. of State Facility 931 W. 75th St. Ste. 161, Hobson Shopping Center Naperville, IL 60565 ( 630) 355-9815
NapervilleWest Chicago Sec. of State Facility 1280 Powis Road West Chicago, IL 60185 (312) 793-1010
SpringfieldSpringfield Howlett Facility 501 S. Second St. Springfield, IL 62756 (217) 782-0308
SpringfieldSpringfield Klein & Mason Facility 316 North Klein Springfield, IL 62702 (217) 782-4850
SpringfieldSpringfield Dirksen Pkwy. Facility 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway Springfield, IL 62723 (217) 782-6030
SpringfieldTaylorville Sec. of State Facility 1400 East Park St. Taylorville, IL 62568 (217) 824-3006
SpringfieldLincoln Sec. of State Facility 2200 N. Kickapoo St. Lincoln, IL 62656 (217) 732-7617
PeoriaPeoria Sec. of State Facility 3311 N. Sterling Ave. #12, Sterling Bazaar Shopping Plaza Peoria, IL 61604 (309) 686-6040
PeoriaPekin Sec. of State Facility 200 S. Second St. Pekin, IL 61554 (309) 346-6186
PeoriaRoanoke Sec. of State Facility 106 West Broad St. Roanoke, IL 61561 (309) 923-6381
PeoriaLacon Sec. of State Facility 127 Prairie St. Lacon, IL 61540 (309) 246-3395
PeoriaCanton Sec. of State Facility 1015 West Locust St. Canton, IL 61520 (309) 647-6811
JolietJoliet Secretary of State Facility 201 S. Joyce Road Joliet, IL 60435 (312) 793-1010
JolietFreeport Sec. of State Facility 1054 N. Riverside Drive Freeport, IL 61032 (815) 235-4164
JolietOrland Park Sec. of State Facility 14700 S. Ravinia Ave. Orland Park, IL 60462 (312) 793-1010
JolietBridgeview Sec. of State Facility 7358 West 87th St. Bridgeview, IL 60455 (312) 793-1010
ElginElgin Secretary of State Facility 595 S. State St. Elgin, IL 60123 (312) 793-1010
WaukeganWaukegan Sec. of State Facility 617 S. Green Bay Road Waukegan, IL 60085 (312) 793-1010
LibertyvilleLibertyville Sec. of State Facility 342 Peterson Road Libertyville, IL 60048 (312) 793-1010
BellevilleBelleville Sec. Of State Facility 400 W. Main St. Belleville, IL 62220 (618) 236-8750
BellevilleGranite City Sec. Of State Facility 1810 Edison Ave. Granite City, IL 62040 (618) 877-2451
BellevilleEast St. Louis Facility 8750 Church Lane East Saint Louis, IL 62203 (618) 397-9488
BellevilleWaterloo Sec. of State Facility 511 Illinois Ave. Waterloo, IL 62298 (618) 939-3663
BellevilleEdwardsville Sec. of State Facility 1502A Troy Road Edwardsville, IL 62025 (618) 656-8956
PlainfieldFreeport Sec. of State Facility 1054 N. Riverside Drive Freeport, IL 61032 (815) 235-4164
PlanoPlano Secretary of State Facility 712 E. South St. Plano, IL 60545 (312) 793-1010
Des PlainesSecretary of State Facility 650 Roppolo Drive Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 (312) 793-1010
Des PlainesSec. Of State Facility – North 5401 North Elston Ave. Chicago, IL 60630 (312) 793-1010
ChampaignChampaign Sec. of State Facility 2401 W. Bradley Ave. Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 278-3344
ChampaignRantoul Sec. of State Facility 421 South Murray Road Rantoul, IL 61866 (217) 892-8773
ChampaignMonticello Sec. of State Facility 1205 Bear Lane Monticello, IL 61856 (217) 762-2841
ChampaignTuscola State Facility 211 South Main St. Tuscola, IL 61953 ( 217) 253-2813
ChampaignGibson City Sec. Of State Facility 304 W. Second St. Gibson City, IL 60936 (217) 784-4351
DecaturDecatur Sec. of State Facility 3149 N. Woodford St. Decatur, IL 62526 (217) 875-1650
CiceroSec. Of State Facility – West 5301 W. Lexington Ave. Chicago, IL 60644 (312) 793-1010
BloomingtonBloomington Sec. Of State Facility 1510 West Market Bloomington, IL 61701 ( 309) 827-3531
BloomingtonPontiac Sec. of State Facility 507 Crane St. Pontiac, IL 61764 (815) 844-5766
Individuals can make appointments in advance by calling the DMV phone number for the relevant location. Making an appointment can help you avoid long lines and save time.
Contact Illinois Auto Accident Attorneys for Help With Car Accident Injuries
If you are involved in an auto accident caused by a driver without a license, you might still be entitled to insurance benefits. Our experienced Illinois auto accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation and can further investigate your case. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.