Driving Laws

Initial Licensing Phase - Drivers Age 16-17
  • 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 6 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 1 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.

Full Licensing Phase - Drivers 18-20
No age-related restrictions apply except in cases where a driver fails to move from the initial licensing phase to the full licensing phase.

Cell phone use while driving for persons under age 19 is prohibited except in the case of an emergency to contact a law enforcement agency, health care provider or emergency services agency.

Effective July 22, 2008
The driver's license of a person who is 17 years of age and has been licensed for at least 12 months is not invalid while the licensee is participating as an assigned driver in a Safe Rides program that is sponsored by 1)The Boy Scouts of America or another national public service organization and 2) The sponsoring organization carries liability insurance covering the program.

For more information on the GDL laws, please visit the Illinois Secretary of State website.