Your How-To Guide to the Illinois Road Test

Traffic and driving laws can vary between states. While the differences are very minimal and the driving road tests are almost similar in every states’ DMV, it’s important to know exactly what your state rules are to receive your driver’s license.

In this article, we’ve provided an ultimate guide to Illinois’ road test. This will include the steps you need to take to register for a driver’s license with the DMV and then passing your road test.

Getting Your Learner’s Permit

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Before you can get behind the wheel, you need to make sure you fit in with the requirements. An applicant as young as 15 years old can get their learner’s permit, but those ages 15 to 17 need the consent of a parent or legal guardian. They must also be enrolled in an accredited driver’s education course.

The applicant will be given a vision and written exam. If they pass, they will be given a permit that can allow them to drive for up to two years. However, they aren’t allowed to drive like all licensed drivers just yet and must:

  • Drive a minimum of 50 hours (10 of which are at night) before applying for their driver’s license
  • Be supervised by a parent, guardian, or any 21-year-old with a driver’s license
  • Not drive on certain from 10PM to 6AM

In addition to this, their vehicle should only have the number of passengers equal to the number of seatbelts available. This means one supervising adult in the front seat and two or three passengers in the back, depending on the available seatbelts.

If anyone below the age of 18 with a learner’s permit is apprehended driving without their permit will not be allowed to apply for their driver’s license until they turn 18.

Applying for an Initial Licensing (for Minors Only)

After a minimum of nine months has passed after obtaining the learner’s permit and the parent or guardian can certify that the learner has completed the minimum number of practice hours, they can apply for an initial licensing phase.

First, they must complete a state-approved driver education course. Their parent or guardian must accompany them to provide written consent. They must also notarize an Affidavit for Minor to Drive. Once this is completed, the permit holder may:

  • Drive any time of the day except 10PM to 6AM
  • During the first year, the driver is limited to one passenger under the age of 20. After a year, they are limited to one person in the front seat and the number of seatbelts available in the back.
  • No using of phones except for emergencies while behind the wheel.

If the permit holder can comply with these stipulations until their 18th birthday, they will be allowed to continue driving before they get their real driver’s license. The restrictions about passengers and the times they will be allowed to drive will be removed upon their 18th birthday.

Driver’s License Application

To take your driver’s license application, head to the nearest Secretary of State facility to apply for a driver’s license. Bring with you your required identification documents and get processed for your application. There may be a fee of $30 you will have to pay for processing.

Taking Your Road Test

During your application, you will be required to perform a road test to prove that you are capable of driving. Bring with you a testing vehicle that meets these requirements:

  • Valid and current registration, proof of insurance, inspection stickers
  • Windshield with an unobstructed view
  • Fully-functioning car safety features
  • Working doors and lights
  • No warning lights indicating there is something wrong with the vehicle

If you do not have a car, you will need to rent one or borrow one from a friend or family member. Be sure to ask for the registration and proof of insurance when borrowing from others. You will also need a licensed driver present with you during the test.

After getting processed, you will meet with an examiner who will judge your ability to drive in the facility’s driving area. Illinois driving road test sites are roughly the same as any other testing city in the state, so they’re all meant to examine how well you can perform the basic to intermediate moves when driving.

Test Coverage

The entire test should take between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how well you do. While there is no time limit, you may be asked by your examiner to go a bit faster if there are plenty of applicants waiting their turn and you’re going through the course very slowly. These are the basics that are highly likely to appear in the test coverage:

  • Parallel Parking
  • Uphill/Downhill Parking
  • Backing 100 feet in a straight line
  • Stopping quickly and smoothly
  • Three-point turns
  • Right of way
  • Stopping and Going on Grades
  • Turning
  • Passing

Some of these will have to be demonstrated by driving. In some cases, such as yielding to pedestrians, your examiner will ask you basic driving questions you should know the answer to, such as who has the right of way in an intersection.

It’s important to remember that your driver’s test is not like an ordinary test in school. Just because you technically finish a certain test does not mean it does not matter how you got from A to Z. Your examiner will be taking notes on your driving technique and performance. For example, if you manage to parallel park but always keep on using your mirrors and not looking behind you, they’ll note that. Or, if you bump a few traffic cones during your three-point turn, that’ll be another mark against you. Too many points against you, and you may end up failing the exam.

Post-Exam

Your examiner will let you know whether you’ve passed or failed the exam. If you passed, you will be issued a temporary license in the facility until your real license will arrive in the mail within two weeks or so. If you fail, you will be allowed to re-take the test in another day, though it’s recommended that you continue practicing for a while before retaking.

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