What is the driving age in Illinois?

I’m moving to Chicago soon to go to college and I’m not sure if I should get a car or not. What is the legal driving age there?

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Answer provided by
Jacqulyn Graber
Answered on Apr 15, 2022
How exciting—studying in Chicago is going to be a great time! The driving age in Illinois is 15. The state uses a Graduated Driver License program to allow young drivers to begin practicing their skills early, and teens are eligible for their full licenses at the age of 18.
The very first phase of the Graduated Driver License program is the permit phase. In addition to being at least 15 years old, you must:
  • Have permission from a parent or guardian
  • Be enrolled in an approved driver’s education course
  • Pass vision and written tests
You must hold the learner’s permit for a minimum of nine months, but is valid for up to two years if you want extra time to practice. During this time, you must practice for at least 50 hours, including 10 hours at night.
Of course, there are plenty of driving restrictions that come with a learner’s permit. For example, you must be supervised by a licensed adult over the age of 21 and you cannot drive during certain times at night.
So long as you do not receive any driving violations, you can move onto the initial licensing phase at age 16. Your initial license will last for the first 12 months of licensing or until you turn 18—whichever comes first.
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