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Illinois Graduated Driver’s License

Driving Records

Illinois’ Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program requires drivers ages 15-20 to work
their way to full driving privileges. There are three progressive stages beginning at
age 15 when a young driver obtains his/her learner’s permit. Young drivers must earn
the right to move from one phase to the next based on their driving behavior. Each
phase of the GDL process sets forth specific guidelines for teen drivers operating a
motor vehicle.

Permit Phase — Drivers Age 15

  • Nighttime driving restrictions — Sun.-Thurs., 10 p.m.-6 a.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.-6
    a.m. (local curfews may differ).
  • Permit must be held for a minimum of nine months.
  • Must practice driving a minimum of 50 hours, including 10 hours at night, supervised by a parent or adult age 21 or older with a valid driver’s license.
  • Must not acquire any driving or underage alcohol convictions or court supervisionsduring 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 must wear safety belts.
  • Wireless/cellphone use while driving is prohibited for drivers under age 19, except
    in the case of an emergency to contact a law enforcement agency, health-care
    provider or emergency services agency.
  • Texting while driving is prohibited.

Initial Licensing Phase — Drivers Ages 16-17

  • Nighttime driving restrictions — Sun.-Thurs., 10 p.m.-6 a.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.-6
    a.m. (local curfews may differ).
  • Must maintain a conviction-free driving record for six months prior to turning 18. A
    traffic conviction during the Initial Licensing Phase may extend restrictions beyond
    age 18.
  • All occupants must wear safety belts.
  • For the first 12 months of licensing, or until the driver turns 18, whichever occurs
    first, the number of passengers is limited to one person under age 20, unless the
    passenger(s) is a sibling, stepsibling, child or stepchild 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.
  • Wireless/cellphone use while driving is prohibited for drivers under age 19, except
    in the case of an emergency to contact a law enforcement agency, health-care
    provider or emergency services agency.
  • Texting while driving is prohibited.

Full Licensing Phase — Drivers Ages 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.
  • Wireless/cellphone use while driving is prohibited for drivers under age 19, except
    in the case of an emergency to contact a law enforcement agency, health-care
    provider or emergency services agency.
  • Texting while driving is prohibited.

For more information about the GDL program, please refer to the Illinois Graduated
Driver Licensing Program brochure at www.cyberdriveillinois.com. Brochures also are
available at your local Driver Services facility, high school driver education program or
a commercial driving school program.

Parental Responsibility

  • Parental Consent —Drivers ages 16-17 must have the written consent of a parent/legal guardian to obtain a driver’s license. The parent/legal guardian who gave
    initial consent may cancel the minor’s license at any time, for any reason, until the
    driver turns 18 by contacting the Secretary of State’s office. Driving privileges will not
    be reinstated until the parent/legal guardian who withdrew consent, once again provides consent or until the driver turns 18, whichever occurs first. The teen driver must
    reapply for a driver’s license, take all applicable exams and pay the appropriate fees.
  • Parent-Teen Driving Guide — In partnership with the Illinois Department of
    Transportation, the Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association,
    and the Illinois Parent Teacher Association, the Secretary of State’s office developed a Parent-Teen Driving Guide to assist parents in teaching their teen drivers the
    skills they need to know before they start driving on their own. The guide is available at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.
  • Parent-Teen Driving Contract — The Secretary of State’s office has created a
    voluntary Parent-Teen Driving Contract that establishes parameters and boundaries
    between parents and teens to enable young drivers to acquire safe driving habits
    and skills. The contract is available in the Parent-Teen Driving Guide or at www.
    cyberdriveillinois.com
    .
  • Parental Access to Teen’s Driving Record — The parent/legal guardian of a
    person under age 18 who holds an instruction permit or graduated driver’s license
    may access the minor’s driving record at no cost at www.cyberdriveillinois.com,
    using the PIN provided by the Secretary of State’s office.

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