Driving in Illinois

To drive legally in Illinois, you must have a valid driver’s license. In order to apply for an Illinois driver’s license, you have to go to a driver services facility, where you are required to pass a written test, an eye exam and a driving test, also known as behind-the-wheel test. You are allowed three attempts to pass any of the tests within a year.

View driver services facilities in the Fermilab area.

Driver’s licenses (acceptable identification)

View acceptable forms for identification to apply for a drivers license.

Mandatory insurance

Auto insurance
The law requires that every car operated in Illinois is covered by liability insurance. This type of insurance covers the property damage and/or injuries you may cause in an accident. Depending on your insurance policy, your insurance may also pay if the accident was caused by a member of your family living with you or a person using your vehicle with your permission. In addition to the liability insurance, several other coverages are available, such as

  • personal injury protection (covering medical expenses resulting from an accident for you and others riding in your car)
  • collision (covering repairs of damage to your car caused by an accident regardless of the responsibility)
  • comprehensive physical damage (pays for damages to your car resulting from theft, fire, hail, or vandalism) or
  • uninsured motorist (covering costs related to injuries or property damage to you or your family members and guests in your car caused by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver).

An auto policy may include all different types listed above. In Illinois, only the Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability are mandatory, with limits of $20,000 to any one person for bodily injury, $40,000 total and $15,000 total for property injury. Be aware that these limits are very low and may not be enough to fully cover the actual damages caused by an accident.

You are not allowed to operate a car without proper insurance. Thus, before driving your new car home from the seller or the dealer, you must have insurance coverage! To arrange coverage, simply call the insurance company you chose and provide them with the required information on your identity and the car itself. They can fax you a temporary insurance card that you must keep in your car along with the registration card.