Every driver must renew their driver’s license after the number of years that the state required. Illinois is not an exception. However, the paperwork is always not an easy task to deal with. Don’t worry, this handy Illinois driver’s license renewal guide can solve that problem perfectly. Let’s see how we can help you to be stress-free on the renewal license process!


dmv illinois drivers license renewal
How to make the DMV Illinois drivers license renewal


1. When do you need to make the Illinois Driver’s license renewal?

As appeared on your license, the IL driver’s license is valid for 4 years. However, it can be changed based on your age. Read the list below to know when your license will be expired:

  • Under 21 years: 3 months after you are 21 (count from your birthday)
  • From 21 to 80: 4 years on your birthday 
  • From 81 to 86: 2 years on your birthday
  • Above 87: Annual 


Some people often ask whether if they can renew their license earlier. The answer is yes. You totally can make the Illinois driver’s license renewal up to a year before it expires. Besides, if you are in the annual renewal drivers, you can make it 6 months sooner


Normally, you will receive a notification mail before your license is about to be invalid about 90 days earlier. In that mail, there will be your personal information including your name, sex, address, date of birth, etc. In addition, there also have tests you will take in order to renew your license. However, you might not receive this email if you change your address or name without reporting to the Secretary of State’s office.


>> Read more: DMV Illinois Driver’s License guide


2. How to renew your Illinois driver’s license?

These days, there are many available choices for you to make an Illinois driver’s license renewal. You can choose between 4 ways to renew your driver’s license in IL: 


2.1. In person 

This is the original method that people often do to renew their licenses. And it is also the only way to get a temporary IL driver’s license. Following the steps below to make the Illinois driver’s license renewal:

  • Step 1: Visit the nearest DMV facility (Driver’s service facility)
  • Step 2: Show the staff at the office your IL Driver’s license as well as the renewal notification you have received 
  • Step 3: Take the required exam: a vision test, DMV written test, DMV Driving test 
  • Step 4: If there is any incorrect information about your legal name or address, ask the staff to help you correct them as soon as possible before receiving a new driver’s license
  • Step 5: Take a new portrait photo for your driver’s license 


2.2. Online 

Browsing to the DMV website of Illinois (Illinois Secretary of State) and fill out the online application form 


2.3. By phone 

You must get a Safe Driver renewal form since it contains your authorization number. You can then renew by calling (866) 545-9607.


2.4. By mail 

When they offer the invitation to renew your license from home, submit a given mailing form. After around 15 days, you will receive a new license by mail.


illinois drivers license renewal
How to renew your Illinois drivers license


3. Which test will you take when making the Illinois driver’s license renewal?

Each person will need to take a different test depending on the driver’s license condition. The IL DMV office will decide which one you should take after you submit your current license. Generally, there will be 3 Illinois driver’s license renewal tests that you must take: 


3.1. DMV Written test 

The IL written test consists of 35 multiple-choice questions, which focus on road rules and safety guidelines. All the content originated from the DMV Illinois manual Handbook, which you can find the pdf version on our website or you can grab a copy from your IL DMV office. In order to pass the test, you must get at least 28 correct questions. Even if you are a master of driving, it is necessary to take some DMV written test study guide as well as the DMV practice test that is designed for your state only.


3.2.  DMV Driving test 

If you are required to take the DMV Driving test, remember to bring your own vehicle with all safety standards: such as no bald tires, lights and windows must work


3.3. Vision test

You must take a vision test to make sure you are able to drive a vehicle efficiently. In order to pass the vision test, you must get 20/40 of correctness. If can bring your glasses and contact lens if you are long or short-sighted. 


4. Frequently asked questions about Illinois Driver’s license renewal

How much does the driver’s license renewal cost?

Depending on your age, the cost will be different:

  • From 18-21: $5
  • From 21 – 68: $30
  • From 69 – 86: $5
  • From 87 and older: $2


Where can I renew my IL driver’s license?

Visit your closest DMV office. In order to renew it from home, you must:

  • Own a clean driving record 
  • A verified Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Between 22 and 74


If you are invited, you will get a letter with your permission number and instructions. You will then have the option to renew that year by mail, phone, or online. You cannot receive this invitation twice in a row, therefore you must still visit the facilities office every eight years


Does the driving record affect my Illinois driver’s license renewal process? 

Totally yes. You cannot renew your Illinois driver’s license unless all outstanding fees and penalties are paid. You can’t even renew your license if it’s suspended or revoked. Maintaining a clean driving record is essential for a successful renewal procedure.


illinois drivers license dmv
You can’t even renew your license if it’s suspended or revoked


5. Sample question for Illinois driver’s license renewal 


Question 1: If you approach a traffic light with a red signal and a police officer directs you to go through the intersection without stopping, you should:

  1. Come to a complete stop before proceeding.
  2. Go through the intersection without stopping.
  3. Stop until the light turns green.


Question 2: When driving in work zones, you should:

  1. Increase your speed to get through the zone as quickly as possible.
  2. Maintain your normal speed the whole way through the zone.
  3. Reduce your speed and be prepared to stop suddenly.


Question 3: You are approaching a green traffic light and traffic is blocking the intersection. What is the best thing to do?

  1. Continue into the intersection and wait for traffic to clear.
  2. Don’t enter the intersection until you can get completely across.
  3. Partially enter the intersection to establish your right-of-way.


Question 4: When being passed by another vehicle:

  1. Brake hard.
  2. Maintain a constant speed.
  3. Speed up.


Question 5: Give the right-of-way to any pedestrian who is:

  1. Crossing any street.
  2. In a marked crosswalk.
  3. In any crosswalk or intersection.


Question 6: When entering the interstate, check for a gap in traffic in the nearest lane, adjust your speed to match traffic, signal, and:

  1. Expect traffic to allow you to proceed into the lane, since you have the right-of-way.
  2. Merge carefully into the gap.
  3. Wait for the lane to clear before merging.


Question 7: When parking next to a curb, you should use your turn signals:

  1. Only when pulling away from the curb.
  2. When pulling next to or away from the curb.
  3. When pulling next to, but not away from, the curb.


Question 8: If you see orange construction signs and cones on a freeway, you must:

  1. Be prepared for workers and equipment ahead.
  2. Change lanes and maintain your current speed.
  3. Slow down because the lane ends ahead.


Question 9: When driving in fog, you should:

  1. Use your high beam headlights.
  2. Use your low beam headlights.
  3. Use your parking lights.


Question 10: Which of the following substances can affect the ability to drive?

  1. Cough syrups and cold tablets containing codeine or antihistamines.
  2. Tranquilizers, marijuana, and sedatives.
  3. All of the above.


All of the information about the Illinois driver’s license that readers should know is presented. We hope that it will be helpful for your DMV IL Renewal process. If you have any questions, tell us now, we are here to help. Don’t forget to take the DMV Illinois practice tests to improve your passing score!