Driver’s licenses are classified by the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of your vehicle.
Drivers seeking a basic license to operate a car in Illinois are issued a Class D license. Below, you will see all of the driver’s license classifications in the state of Illinois. Take note of the specific weight ratings and the license class required for each.
- Class A — Any combination of motor vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, providing that the vehicle being towed is in
excess of 10,000 pounds. Does not include motorcycles or motor-driven cycles. (A
CDL is generally required.)
- Class B — Any single motor vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or any
such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds. Does not include
motorcycles or motor-driven cycles. (A CDL is generally required.)
- Class C — Any motor vehicle with a GVWR of more than 16,000 pounds but less
than 26,001 pounds; or any such vehicle towing another with a GVWR of 10,000
pounds or less; or any such vehicle designed to carry 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or hazardous materials that require placarding. Does not include
motorcycles or motor-driven cycles.
- Class D — Any motor vehicle with a GVWR of 16,000 pounds or less, except those
vehicles requiring a Class A, B or C driver’s license or an L or M motorcycle license.
- Class L — Any motor-driven cycle with less than 150cc displacement.
- Class M — Any motorcycle or motor-driven cycle.
NOTE: Holders of a Class D license may also operate rental vehicles up to 26,000
pounds when transporting their own personal property or that of an immediate family
member for non-business purposes within the State of Illinois. The driver is required
and should be provided information to successfully complete a safety course regarding
the safe operation of that vehicle from the rental company.
Certain licenses can be issued under special circumstances:
- Probationary License — Issued in conjunction with a driver improvement activity
that grants full driving privileges during a period of suspension for drivers age 21
and over. The license may only be issued to a person suspended for three moving
violations in a 12-month period and cannot be issued for more than three months.
- Restricted Local Driver’s License — Issued to drivers who live in communities
with less than 3,500 residents and drive only within certain areas of the community.