Illinois Driver’s License Process


What a student needs to do to get a license before the age of 18

Illinois Driver’s license requirements are as follows:

  1. Thirty (30) hours of classroom instruction scheduled in 15 2-hour class segments.
  2. BTW Choices from below:
    1. Six (6) hours of behind the wheel (BTW) instruction and six (6) hours of observation (OBS) with our instructors who are fully insured, licensed, certified, and endorsed by the Office of the Secretary of State.
    2. EIght (8) hours of behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction with our instructors

8 Steps to get your Illinois Driver’s License

Step 1: Enroll

Students can enroll in any class in which they are 15 years old by the final day of class.

When registration is complete, you will receive two separate emails. One is an automatic registration confirmation email from our web site with the student’s info to review. The second one is generated when our staff ACTIVATES your student (typically within 1 business day of registration). This second email will contain your students’ credentials to be used to sign into our website. Please check your spam and junk for this email and make sure you are receiving emails from us as this is our primary method of communication.

Step 2: Required Documents

Illinois driver’s education requires two (2) forms for all students. Both must be completed and submitted (student can bring these in on the first day of class) for the student to receive their permit application from us.

  1. The Parent/Student Contract which is your contract with Joyce’s Driving School. A virtual version will be signed when regsitering , but we also need the student to bring a signed hard copy in on the first day of class.
  2. One of the following is also required:
    1. A Driver’s Education Approval Form signed by the high school serves as proof for eight (8) passing grades in the last two semesters (Most Common)
    2. A Home School Drivers Education Form
    3. A Driver Education Waiver Form signed by the School District Superintendant (Very Uncommon)

Step 3: Start Your Illinois Driver’s License Class

We look forward to seeing you on the first day of class. If you cannot make it to the first day, do not worry. It is ok to miss some classes and we will address that policy below.  Students DO NOT need a learners permit before the first day of class.

Step 4: Get Learner’s Permit

To get an Illinois license your teen must first get a learners permit. To obtain a learner’s permit, your teen must pass a Rules of the Road test at the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. To prepare for this, they must read the Rules of the Road book (available online) We cover this information during the first 4 classes.

Before going for the permit test the student will need a permit application from us.  When they have an application, they can go take the written exam at the Illinois Secretary of State office whenever they feel comfortable with the material they will be tested on.

Take a look at our Illinois Secretary of State links for a list of required documents.  The permit is a legal document that requires a student to prove who they are, similar to when we receive a license from the state.  This permit needs t be with them at all times whent hey are driving.

Illinois Secretary of State is also requiring APPOINTMENTS for PERMIT TESTS.  Please go to to schedule an appointment for your student to take the written test to receive a permit.

When you get your permit, remove the top part from the paper, fold it in half, put it in the envelop the state provides and tuck it between your cell phone and your phone case.  This way, you have your permit with you all of the time.

Step 5: Schedule Behind-the-Wheel (BTW) Sessions

Once your teen has obtained his/her permit, paid all class fees, and completed at least 2 classes at Joyce’s Driving School, they can start to schedule their behind-the-wheel (BTW) portion of their Teen Program.

Teens DO NOT have to complete the classroom portion of our program before driving with us!

We encourage you to start scheduling the first BTW session when they get their permit. Then, schedule one each month, or after 3-4 hours of practice with parents or guardians, to complete the program in a timely manner.

You will book a BTW appointment in the student portal. Login to your Student Portal to view our BTW calendars to familiarize yourself with our instructors’ schedules.

During your BTW sessions your teen will learn, among many other things, the

  • Rules of the road
  • Left and right turns
  • Decision making
  • Emergency situations
  • Defensive driving
  • Reversing and backing up around a corner
  • Basic driving skills
  • Parking on hills
  • Right of way
  • Merging and lane changing
  • Driving defensively and most important – Driving with Confidence and a Positive Attitude!

Step 6: Complete all State Requirements

Your teen will be required to meet ALL these standards to take their final Illinois driver’s license road test:

  • Successfully complete 15 classroom sessions.
  • Successfully complete a BTW package of choice
  • 50 hours of documented driving outside of Joyce’s program (10 of which must be a night)
  • Be a minimum age of 16
  • Have had their drivers permit for a minimum of 9 months

Step 7: Get Your Illinois Driver’s License

Now that your teen has completed all of the State of Illinois’ drivers license requirements, what does your teen need to do to get their license? Once your teen has completed the requirements and all fees due to Joyce’s Driving School have been paid, we will send notification to the Secretary of State. We will also send you a completion email with a link to the Secretary of State website. You can check here to confirm that the Secretary of State has processed the student’s paperwork in their system and that the student is eligible to take the road test.  Students who have a valid permit will not need to take the written test again, only the road test.

Once your teen has received this Certificate of Completion letter, they will need to take the following items to the Illinois Secretary of State Facility:

  1. Certificate of Completion Letter and Affidavit (not necessary, but handy)
  2. 50-hour driving log.
  3. Click here and look at our Illinois Secretary of State Links for a list of required documents
  4. Properly working vehicle with lights, horns, etc.
  5. Insurance certificate for vehicle used in road test.

Step 8: Get High School Credit for this Course

You will receive a certificate of completion from the Secretary of State for their Illinois license. Make a copy of this certificate for your teens high school and file it in a safe place for a few years. Some insurance companies are starting to ask for a copy, so do not throw it away until your teen is 18 years old. We cannot get you a replacement if you happen to lose this certificate!