• Renew License

Illinois Renew License

There is no way around it, in order to legally drive on the Illinois roadways, you must be of legal age and you must hold a valid driver’s license.  This means, that when your driver license expires, you will need to renew it.  Don’t be alarmed that the expiration date may come and go, prior to your license expiration; you should receive a renewal notice in the mail.

Valid License

There are different types of licenses in Illinois.  There is the motorcycle license which will need to be renewed every four years.  There is also the commercial driver’s license as well that will have a different set of rules.  But for those drivers of passenger vehicles the rules are as follows:

  • Drivers under 21:  If you are under the age of 21 you will have to renew every three months until you turn 21.  On your 21st birthday, you can then follow the next set of rules.
  • Drivers 21 – 80.  When you are an adult driver that is the age of 21 -80 you will be required to renew e every four years.
  • Drivers 81 – 86.  When you are a senior driver between the ages of 81 – 86 you will be required to renew your driver’s license e very two years.
  • Drivers 87 years old and older:  When you are a senior driver that is 87 years old and older, you are required to renew your license every year. If you license is getting close to its expiration and you have not

Prior to your license expiring, you should receive a renewal notice in the mail.  You may fail to receive the notice if you do not have your proper address on file with the Secretary of State.  It will be your responsibility to have it renewed at the proper time.  By looking at your driving record, you can find important details regarding your driver’s license, like when it expires.

Expired License

Driving with an expired license in the state of Illinois is illegal.  However, there are exceptions made.  If you are a member of the military, on active duty, you and your family will be allowed to drive for 90 days on an expired license without penalties.

If you have failed to renew your license, there is a grace period of one year before you will be penalized for your expired license.  For all drivers that fail to renew their license within that year, they will be required to retake the driver tests in order to renew their Illinois driver’s license.

Suspended License

If your license has been suspended, you may be eligible to apply for a hardship license.  This will allow you driving to and from work.  To determine the length of your driving suspension you can review your driving record, which will detail all important facts of your suspension.

Once your driving privileges are reinstated, you will insurance rate will likely be affected and it may be a great time to shop for new auto insurance for cheaper rates.  For more information on insurance, and to receive multiple quotes from top rated providers, visit 4DMV.com’s insurance section.’

Lost License

If your current driver’s license has been lost, damaged or stolen, you can easily apply for a new license.  Simply follow the instructions in 4DMV.com’s Replace License section.

Check Your Renewal Notice

Prior to your license expiration, you will receive a notice in the mail.  You can expect to receive the notice anytime between six to nine months of its expiration.  If you have moved make sure to update your records with the Secretary of State to ensure that your renewal notice is mailed to your current address.  To change your address with the Secretary of State you can fill out a simple change of address form online.  For more information, visit our Change Your Address section that will direct you to the online form.

Your renewal notice will have important information that will contain:

  • Information regarding the status of your driver’s license and what is required of you in order to renew such as tests that may need to be taken or whether you are eligible to use the Safe Driver Renewal
  • The cost of your renewal
  • Your options to renew.  If you are allowed to renew online, n online renewal number will be included and if you are to renew by mail, a mailing address and telephone number will be included.

Renew Online

The state of Illinois reward responsible drivers between 21 to 80 years old by allowing them to participate in the Safe Driver Program.  This means these drivers are eligible to renew their license online.  When you receive your renewal notice in the mail, it will alert you to whether you are able to participate in the program.  There will be a 14 digit renewal authorization number and instructions to follow. 

The online renewal process is simple and simply requires that you:

  • Provide the renewal authorization number
  • Verify that all information is correct
  • Provide the renewal fee of $10 which is payable in the form of a major credit card or electronic check
  • Print your confirmation that you have successfully completed the renewal process
  • Affix your sticker onto your license once your license once you have received it in the mail

If for some reason you fail to receive your renewal sticker or would like to confirm that the electronic application was processed correctly, you can contact the Safe Driver program using the online form.

Who Doesn’t Qualify?

In order to be qualified you must be what the state considers a good driver.  You will not qualify for the Safe Driver renewal program if:

Drivers whose Illinois driver’s license has been suspended or canceled in Illinois or any other state in the US

  • Commercial driver license holders or school bus driver license holders
  • Drivers who have been involved in accidents anytime during the last four years
  • Drivers with medical or vision conditions that may impair their driving abilities
  • Drivers who have changed their name or their gender
  • Drivers who have moved after they have received their renewal notice

Out of State Drivers

If you are out of state and need to renew your driver’s license you can renew it by sending a request for renewal to the:

  • Secretary of State
  • Special License Re Examination Unit
  • 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway
  • Springfield, IL 62723
  • Or call  2718782-2720

Renew By Mail

Under the Safe Driver Program the state also allows drivers to renew their Illinois driver’s license by mail or via telephone.  Just follow the instructions on your renewal letter.

Renew In Person

To renew in person you simply visit the Secretary of State’s driver services office.  You will be required to pay the renewal fee of $10 which will be payable in the form of check or money order.  Check your renewal notice prior to visiting to see if you are required to bring any additional identification and whether you will need to take the written or vision exam. 

Update Your Driving Skills

Illinois traffic laws change quite often and it is the responsibility of the Illinois driver to take the necessary measure to ensure that they are aware of the road rules and laws.  Taking a supplemental traffic school course is always recommended.  It is also recommend that you review the Illinois Driver Manual:  Illinois Rules of the Road which can be viewed or downloaded for free.


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