Drive in Illinois: What Documents Do I need ?

In the United States, Driver’s License is not issued by federal government, but by each individual state. That means that there is not a national Driver’s license as many countries have. Therefore, the rules of roads and requirements to apply for a Driver’s license might be slightly different from state to state. 


In Illinois, you can drive with one of the following documents:  

1)    Valid Illinois Driver’s License,

2)    Valid Driver’s license from your home country, 

3)    International Driver’s License,  

4)    Temporary visitors Driver’s License, 

5)    A Probationary License, 

6)    Instructional Permit,

7)    Restricted Driving Permit or Monitoring Device Drive Permit


International Drivers

Most of international visitors can drive with a valid Driver’s license from their home country in the United States (e.g. Tourists renting a car). However, if you are moving permanently to Illinois, you should apply for a Valid Illinois Drive License. While you get ready for your Driver’s license tests, you may use your out-of-state/ or Home Country Driver’s license (for only 3 months).  

If you are a student, you can drive with your home country license/or international Drive license, but you must be enrolled as a student at the University or College in Illinois.

This rule also applies for your spouse and childrenliving with you as long as they have a valid Driver’s license from their home country/or an International Driver’s license while driving in Illinois AND as long as you (their spouse) are enrolled as a student/ or a scholar at a University or College in Illinois. You can find more information about this law in this website. 

Be aware that if you are a local resident or a temporary resident for taxes purposes, (e.g., graduate students who will be in Illinois for more than 2 years) you should apply for a permanent Driver’s license in Illinois. In this case, you will have 90 days to apply.   


The Driver’s license in The United States is also used as your major official document for many Americans, and thus international visitors. You can travel within the country using only your Drive License. 

For more information visit the website.


·       International Driver’s License

·       Permanent vs. Temporary Visitors Driver’s License

·       How do I apply for an Illinois Driver’s License?

·       Driver’s Quick Tips !

·       Driver’s License Office Location and Hours

·       Local Transportation Options in Urbana-Champaign 

·       Driver’s license Tests and Costs


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