Call Us Toll Free: 1-855-430-7753

Q&A

See if your question's been answered
Looking for more answers? Find advice to
commonly asked questions from our team
of insurance experts.

Q

How old do you have to be in the state of Illinois before you can drive a car? Because I have heard that it was 16, and then I heard it was 18.


A

The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) Driver Services Department states that the widespread rumor about a change in the minimum driving age from 16 to 18 is false.

Even with the new provisions effective January 1, 2008, age 16 remains the age at which a person who has successfully completed a driver education program may apply for a driver's license. The graduated system establishes additional requirements during the instruction permit phase, with the goal of producing better-skilled 16-year-old drivers.

You can begin your permit phase of driving in IL at age 15. During this time period:

  • Parent/guardian consent required to obtain an instruction permit.
  • Must be enrolled in an approved driver education course, and must pass vision and written exams.
  • A nighttime driving restriction is in place Sunday-Thursday, 10 p.m - 6 a.m., and Friday-Saturday, 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (local curfews may differ from the nighttime driving restriction).
  • Permit must be held for a minimum of nine months.
  • Must practice driving a minimum of 50 hours, including 10 hours of nighttime driving, supervised by a parent or adult age 21 or older with a valid driver's license.
  • Must not acquire any driving convictions during the nine-month permit phase.
  • Number of passengers limited to one in the front seat and the number of safety belts in the back seat.
  • All occupants under age 19 must wear safety belts.
  • Cell phone use while driving is prohibited except in the case of an emergency to contact a law enforcement agency, health care provider or emergency services agency.
  • Permit is valid for up to two years.

Next is the initial licensing stage which drivers are age 16 and 17. During this phase:

  • Parent/guardian must certify that a minimum of 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours of nighttime driving, has been completed.
  • Parent/guardian must accompany teen to provide written consent to obtain a driver's license, OR complete and notarize an Affidavit/Consent For Minor to Drive form.
  • Must have completed a state-approved driver education course.
  • A nighttime driving restriction is in place Sunday-Thursday, 10 p.m - 6 a.m., and Friday-Saturday, 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (local curfews may differ from the nighttime driving restriction).
  • Must maintain a conviction-free driving record for six months prior to turning age 18 before moving to the Full Licensing Phase. A traffic conviction during the initial licensing phase may extend restrictions beyond age 18.
  • All occupants under age 19 must wear safety belts.
  • For the first year of licensing, or until the driver is age 18, whichever occurs first, the number of passengers is limited to one person under age 20, unless the additional passenger(s) is a sibling, step-sibling, child, or step-child of the driver. After this period, the number of passengers is limited to one in the front seat and the number of safety belts in the back seat.
  • Cell phone use while driving is prohibited except in the case of an emergency to contact a law enforcement agency, health care provider or emergency services agency.

The graduated system in Illinois establishes additional requirements during the instruction permit phase, with the goal of producing better-skilled 16-year-old drivers. Even with new provisions put in place in 2008 to the GDL system in IL you can still obtain a license at age 16, you do no not have to wait till age 18 as is rumored.

For more information on the licensing process in place in Illinois contact the SOS. To get free auto insurance quotes in IL, click here.


Categories:

Add Comment

Leave a Comment
 
 
 
0 Responses to "How old do you have to be in the state of Illinois before you can drive a car? Because I have heard that it was 16, and then I heard it was 18."