646 666 9601 [email protected]

Learn about driving regulations and special initiatives aimed at keeping both senior drivers and Illinois’ highways safe.


While the Illinois Secretary of State’s plethora of laws and regulations apply to drivers of all ages and stages, the state imposes certain unique requirements and limits on senior drivers.

The Illinois state standards are discussed in further detail below, but many of them concentrate on detecting and dealing with elderly drivers who may have become risky. In particular, Illinois:

requires drivers 75 and older to renew their licenses in person, requires both a vision test and a road test for drivers 75 and older renewing in person, requires drivers 81 through 86 to renew their license every two years, and those 87 and older to renew annually, and accepts requests to conduct an unsafe driver investigation from physicians and members of law enforcement or the judicial system.

Legal Help CTA
Illinois License Renewal Procedures for Senior Citizens

Older drivers who want to renew their licenses must follow certain restrictions. Drivers above the age of 75 are not permitted to renew via mail.

Drivers between the ages of 21 and 80 are awarded licenses that are valid for four years and expire on their birthdays.

Those between the ages of 81 and 86 must renew their licenses every two years.

Drivers aged 87 and above must also renew their licenses every year.

The Illinois Secretary of State administers the Super Seniors Program, a voluntary mobile program that visits libraries, senior centers, and park districts to assist seniors ages 74 and under in renewing their licenses by providing Rules of the Road classroom instruction as well as a vision-screening exam.

Renewal requires a vision exam. Drivers may have a free test administered by licensing authorities, or they can have an exam conducted by a certified optometrist, ophthalmologist, or physician, who must submit a Vision Specialist Report and provide the exam within six months of the renewal request.

For drivers 75 and older, a written exam is required at every renewal.

For drivers 75 and older, a road test is required at every renewal.

License Restrictions That Might Exist

After conducting a driving test and discussing potential limits with the motorist, the Secretary of State may impose restrictions or conditions on his or her license.

The most prevalent limitation for senior drivers is the need for corrective lenses or glasses.

Residents of Illinois who live in low-population regions may also apply for a restricted license, which allows them to drive exclusively in certain locations. Contact a local driver’s licensing facility for further information.

In Illinois, how Do I Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation?

The Illinois Secretary of State, unlike other state licensing organizations, will only take reports concerning potentially risky drivers from police officers.

However, an Illinois statute requires physicians to remind patients of their own obligations to tell the Secretary of State of any medical issues that may induce a loss of consciousness or impair their ability to drive safely within 10 days of becoming aware of them.

Drivers who must record their medical issues must additionally complete a Medical Report Form when renewing their licenses.

Driver Improvement Programs in Illinois

Residents of Illinois may enhance driving abilities and confidence by enrolling in an education and training program designed exclusively for senior drivers. Rules of the Road Review Courses are local course offerings.

How to Restore a Driver’s License

Contact the local driver’s licensing facility for information on how to reinstate a suspended or revoked license in Illinois.

How to Obtain Parking Placards or License Plates for a Disabled Driver

If a certified physician, advanced practice nurse, optometrist, or physician’s assistant verifies the condition, parking permits and license plates may be granted.

Placards and license plates are also available to people who have:

serious heart disease or lung disease
a recognized illness or ailment that severely restricts the use of the lower extremities
The necessity for portable oxygen limits one’s capacity to walk without help or rest, or the loss of use of a hand or an arm.

To receive a disability placard or plate, follow these steps:

Fill out and sign the Persons with Disabilities Certification for Parking Placards/License Plates form.
Complete the Medical Eligibility Standards section of the certification with a licensed physician, advanced practice nurse, optometrist, or physician’s assistant.
Include a $29 charge.
Send the original application to the address specified on the form.

Learn More About Illinois Senior Driving Laws

The website of the Secretary of State contains information for Illinois drivers. The Senior Citizens page, which provides links to necessary paperwork and articles about driving and parking, is particularly interesting.

Legal Help CTA