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A Handy Guide for Illinois Driver’s License Renewal 

  • Insurance
  • Gerard Stevens
  • 8 minutes

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Is it time for your Illinois driver’s license renewal? Yes, if the Illinois Secretary of State’s office has sent you a driver’s license renewal reminder. You should probably get this mail 60-90 days before your license expires. It can be a dull job to renew an Illinois driver’s license but remember that you can’t drive on Illinois roads without a license.  

This reminder mail will include all the information you’ll need to renew your driver’s license in Illinois, including whether you’re eligible to do it online. So, it’s best to start the renewal process as soon as you get this reminder. The Illinois driver’s license renewal process can be daunting when you do it via the government website.  

How can you process your driver’s license renewal in Illinois? How much does it cost? Our blog will give you a detailed yet simple view of this process! 

How soon can you renew your driver’s license in Illinois? 

You must do the Illinois driver’s license renewal every four years if you are between 21 and 80. The expiration date of your driver’s license should always coincide with your birthday. To find the expiration date, check the portion labeled ‘4b’ on the front of your driver’s license card. 

Drivers aged under 21 will have their driver’s license expiry three months after they turn 21. In addition, drivers between the ages of 81 and 86 must renew their Illinois driver’s license every two years. In contrast, those aged 87 and over must renew their license yearly. 

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What documents are needed to renew your Illinois driver’s license? 

  1. You need to produce a document that verifies your identity proof. These can include the following items.
  • A piece of paper having your signatures like a canceled cheque, credit card, court order, or the current driver’s license.  
  • Documents verifying your birth year include citizenship, passport, birth certificate, or adoption record.  
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN). 
  • Documents proving your permanent residency like an insurance policy, bank statement, utility bill, or pay slip.  
  1. Produce any legal out-of-state driving license or IDs.
  2. Pass any necessary tests like vision screening.
  3. Take a photo of your Illinois driver’s license. 

How to renew Illinois driver’s license 

Illinois driving license
Image courtesy: https://www.illinois.gov/

You can complete your Illinois driver’s license renewal in several ways.  

  • Online 
  • By mail 
  • In-person  

Be aware that all drivers in Illinois won’t be eligible to renew their licenses online.  

How to renew your Illinois driver’s license online 

Your renewal letter will inform you if you are eligible to renew your Illinois driver’s license online. This notice should arrive 90 days before your license expiration date. Make sure not to lose your renewal notice because it will include a PIN required for the online renewal process. You can renew your Illinois driver’s license if you meet the following criteria.  

  • Your renewal contains a PIN on it 
  • You don’t need to attend a written exam to renew your license 
  • You don’t have to take a road test to renew your driver’s license 
  • Prepare to supply information that matches your existing driver’s license 

Know more about the online renewal process 

  • You can make a change in address while renewing your Illinois driver’s license online. However, you should make an in-person renewal if you want to change your name or other details.  
  • On submitting the online application, you’ll get a temporary credential. Print this and use it till you get your new license.  
  • You can renew your Illinois driver’s license via the Secretary of State’s website. 

How to renew your Illinois driver’s license in-person 

In Illinois, you must renew your driver’s license in person at a Secretary of State driver’s license facility. All drivers can renew their licenses in person, and some get compelled to. Plan on Illinois driver’s license renewal in person if you have the following requirements.  

  • Want to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license 
  • If renewing an instruction permit or commercial learner’s permit  
  • If you had your driver’s license and have the privilege to get one suspended, revoked, canceled, or denied 
  • You owe a reinstatement charge 
  • Not aged between 22 and 74 
  • Having an expired driver’s license for over a year 
  • Has a school bus permit 
  • You were prescribed corrective lenses since your last renewal 
  • Want to update any other info other than the address 
  • You hold a valid driver’s license from another state 
  • Obtain a temporary visiting driver’s license while on a visa 
  • Possess a disabled or homeless ID card 

Know more about the in-person renewal process 

Be aware that all drivers renewing their licenses in person must pass a vision screening test. In addition, you will get a temporary license valid for 90 days after renewing your license in person. These are the steps to follow while doing an in-person renewal.  

  • Give a visit to the current Driver’s Service Facility 
  • Produce your current driver’s license as well as your notification of renewal 
  • Take the necessary exams, if applicable (vision, written, or driving) 
  • Make any necessary changes to your legal name and address to have your driver’s license mailed to you 
  • Pay the renewal fee and take a new photograph for your license 

How to renew your Illinois driver’s license via mail 

Your Illinois driver’s license renewal letter will have the info if you are eligible to renew the license via mail. If you’re eligible, fill out the form completely and mail it.  

How much does it cost to renew your Illinois driver’s license? 

The Illinois driver’s license renewal fee depends on your age. In addition, suppose you have any outstanding tickets, penalties, reinstatement fees, or other charges on your record. If that’s the case, you must clear those charges before renewing your license. Drivers aged between 21-68 pay $30 for renewing their driving license, the most for any age category.  

Age group  Illinois driver’s license renewal fee 
18-21  $5 
21-68  $30 
69-86  $5 
87  $2 

How long does it take for an Illinois driver’s license renewal? 

Irrespective of how you renewed your license, you should receive your new Illinois driving license within 15 days. You can check the status of your new license’s mailing on the Secretary of State’s website. Suppose your mail returns to the post office for some reason. In that case, you must collect it from a Secretary of State facility in person. Ensure you go with a valid ID to collect it from the facility.  

How often do you renew your Illinois driver’s license? 

All Illinois drivers must renew their driving license according to the time frame allotted for each age group.  

Age group  Time for Illinois driver’s license renewal  
18-21  Three months after their 21st birthday 
21-80  Every four years 
81-86  Every two years 
87  Every year 

How soon can you renew your driver’s license in Illinois? 

You can renew your four-year or two-year license up to one year before it expires or six months before a one-year license expires. 

Is there a grace period for driver’s license renewal in Illinois? 

While there is a one-year grace period to renew an expired Illinois driver’s license, failing to do so within that period will result in severe consequences. In addition, you may have to undergo additional driving tests as part of the renewal process. 

How do I renew my expired Illinois driver’s license? 

You could renew your license online if it expired less than a year ago. However, you need to renew it in person by visiting a Secretary of State licensing facility if the driving license expired more than a year ago. 

There are no penalties for late renewals. However, getting caught with an expired license other can be costly! Driving without a legal license is a Class A offense if you get caught with an expired license.

You may get hefty fines, license suspension, and possibly jail time if caught with an expired license. You may also collect points on your driving record, which could lead to additional penalties and higher auto insurance rates.  

Is there an extension for Illinois driver’s license renewal? 

Yes. According to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, the expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards, and learner’s permits are extended until July 31, 2022. The last extension would have expired on March 31, 2022.   

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