Illinois DMV License Renewal

Illinois DMV License Renewal: A Step-By-Step Guide In 2024

Did you know that getting a ticket for driving without a valid driver's license is equivalent to an arrest in Illinois? To avoid unnecessary punishment, we create this article to bring you everything you need to know about Illinois DMV license renewal, we hope this guide will be useful for you.

January 1, 2022

Did you know that getting a ticket for driving without a valid driver’s license is equivalent to an arrest in Illinois? To avoid unnecessary punishment, we create this article to bring you everything you need to know about Illinois DMV license renewal, we hope this guide will be useful for you.

Illinois DMV License Renewal

What do I need to bring to the DMV to renew my license in Illinois?

  • Written signature verification documents: driver’s license, canceled check, ID card, legal or court documents, credit card, or passport.
  • Date of birth: birth certificate, citizenship certificate, adoption record, U.S. passport.
  • Social Security Number: social security card, W-2 form.
  • Residency: bank statement, rental or mortgage agreement, insurance policy, utility bill, or pay stub.
  • Renewal authorization number (found on your renewal card).
  • Proof of vision test.

How long after your license expires can you renew it in Illinois?

You may renew your driver’s license up to a year before it expires. Those who have a one-year license can renew up to 6 months early. The expiration date of an Illinois driver’s license depends on your age:

  • Under 21 years old: Your license expires 3 months after your 21st birthday
  • Between 21-80 years old: Your license expires every 4 years
  • Between 81-86 years old: Your license expires every 2 years
  • 87 and above: Requires annual renewal


About 60 to 90 days before your license expires, the Secretary of State office will mail you a renewal notice to the address provided on your driving record file to remind you to renew it. This notice will notify you of which tests will be necessary and what documents are required in order to renew your Illinois driver’s license. 

However, the Secretary of State Office will not send you a notice if you fail to notify them of a name or address change.

How to Renew Your Driver’s License in Illinois?

There are numerous ways to renew your Illinois driver’s license:

In-person Illinois DMV License Renewal 

If you receive a Safe Driver invitation and your driver’s license is close to the expiration date, consider renewing in person. You will not receive a temporary paper license online, by phone, or by mail!

You can renew your license in person at any convenient Illinois DMV Office. To find the nearest IL DMV office and its open hours, check it by using our free DMV Near Me feature. The document you need to provide is your existing Drivers License or ID Card. If it’s not available, you will need to show:

  • The document proving and demonstrating your Written Signature
  • The document proving your Date of birth, Social Security Number and Residency

Plan of Action:

  • Complete an application form in person at a Secretary of State Facility.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pass a behind-the-wheel driving test if you are over 75 years old.
  • Pass the Illinois drivers license test if you have had an accident record.
  • If you have changed anything about your identity, provide documents to verify the change.
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Pay the license renewal fee.

You will get a temporary paper driver’s license valid for 90 days issued by The Driver Services Facility. Your permanent plastic license should be sent in the mail to you within 15 business days. Check its status online or Call (217) 782-7044 if you don’t receive it.

Pass a written test/exam once in 8 years if you have any traffic convictions such as a speeding ticket. You may be required to take the road exam as well if you have an accident record.

If your driver’s license expired more than a year ago, you will need to pass vision, road, and written tests.

Online Renewal

Only those who have kept a clean driving record for the past four years are qualified for the Safe Driver Renewal Program. Whether you qualify as a safe driver will be stated in your renewal letter and it will provide instructions on how to renew online.

Requirements to Renew Online:

  • Must be between 22 and 74 years old.
  • Not used for Commercial Driver Licenses or School Bus Permits, just only valid for a regular one.
  • Must have a clean record free of sanctions, crashes or traffic tickets such as running a red light or speeding. 
  • Your Social Security Number must be verified through the Social Security Online Verification System.
  • Your driver’s license hasn’t been expired for over 1 year.
  • You can only renew your driver’s license online at each other renewal cycle. It means that if you last renewed your license online, you will not be able to use the website for the second time in a row.
  • Your vision hasn’t changed since your last renewal. It means that you cannot use the online system if you are required to wear glasses or lenses now. 
  • Your license must remain its class. If you wish to change it, you must do it in person.
  • You cannot use this system if your driver’s license is from another State.
  • You cannot use this system if your name or gender has been changed.

Steps When Renewing Online:

  • Visit the Secretary of State’s office webpage at the Safe Driver Renewal section.
  • Enter the Renewal Authorization Number, which can be found on your renewal notice.
  • Follow the displayed instructions.
  • Pay the renewal fee by card or personal checking account.
  • When complete, print out the confirmation to keep a log for yourself.

Renewal by Phone

You will need to receive a Safe Driver renewal form because it contains your authorization number. You can then call (866) 545-9607 to renew. To renew your Illinois diver’s license by phone, you will need to receive a Safe Driver Newal form. The instructions will be provided in your renewal notice package.

Renewal by Mail

You can renew by mail only if the renewal letter the Secretary of State office sent to you says so. The instructions will be provided in your renewal notice package.

You will receive a new license in the mail within 15 business days. To ensure that your new license will arrive in time, you need to consider renewing at least 30 days before your existing license expires because you will not receive a temporary paper license in the meantime.

Out-of-state renewal

If you are on active duty outside Illinois, you and your spouse and dependents can drive with an expired driver’s license for 120 days after you return to the state as long as bringing a Military Deferment Certificate with your expired license. These certificates are provided free of charge and can be mailed to your out-of-state address. You will provide the following document to get a Military Deferment Certificate:

  • A copy of your current Illinois driver’s license.
  • A copy of the both front and back of your military identification card in.
  • Your out-of-state address.

Illinois DMV License Renewal

What if My License is Lost 

In this case, you will need to present approved documentation of:

  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of residency if you’ve changed your address. Two documents for a REAL-ID, and one for a standard ID.
  • Proof of Written Signature

Then you will be given a temporary paper license that expires in 90 days. This card will be sent to you via mail in about 15 days.

Does Driving Record Affect License Renewability?

The answer is yes. Your Illinois driver’s license can not be renewed if all your fees and fines are outstanding and if your license is suspended or revoked. To smooth your renewal process, you need to keep your driving record clean.

You can request to check your driving record to ensure that nothing is pending and Illinois will provide a quick reference to reinstate your license.

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

The Illinois driver’s license renewal fee is based on the age of the driver.

  • 18 to 20 years old: $5
  • 21 to 68 years old: $30
  • 69 to 80 years old: $5
  • 81 to 86 years old: $2
  •  87 years old and above: free

There are various ways for renewing your Illinois driver’s license, so don’t wait. Driving on an expired license may cost you much more than the renewal fee. You may also take our DMV practice test on this website to familiarize yourself with the questions and format of the actual test if you wish to get a new Illinois driver’s license.