CDL Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to obtain an Illinois CDL when I’m coming from another state?
You must surrender your out-of-state commercial driver’s license. You will be required to successfully pass a vision test, written tests, and in-truck exam (pre-trip inspection, skills & road test). Proper identification must be presented so we can verify your full name, date of birth, social security number, Illinois residency and written signature. Find the Documents you will need in order to apply.
A vision test is required at every renewal. A written test is required every other renewal. However, if you have a clean driving record (no tickets, accidents, suspension, etc.), the written test may be waived. The hazardous materials endorsement written test must be successfully completed each time you renew your CDL. A road test is only required for individuals 75 years of age and older.
If an individual is not currently suspended, cancelled, revoked or disqualified in this or any other state, he or she may apply for a license.
Any person who drives a bus chartered for the sole purpose of transporting students regularly enrolled in grade 12 or below to or from interscholastic athletic or interscholastic or school sponsored activities. For further information please contact the Safe Ride section at 217-782-7674.
The Office of the Secretary of State does not issue Medical Cards or administer that program. For further information regarding an IDOT Medical Card, please contact the Illinois Department of Transportation at (217) 785-1181.
If you fail a test (written or skills) three times, you must wait 30 days before you are eligible to re-take that test. You need to pay new permit fee again.
If you fail a test (written or skills) six times, you must wait 90 days before you are eligible to re-take that test.
If you fail a test (written or skills) nine times, you must wait one year before you are eligible to re-take that test.
If an individual fails the road test six times, before being allowed to take the road test a seventh time the applicant is required to submit a medical report from a medical specialist indicating he/she is mentally and physically able to safely operate a motor vehicle
Yes, if your vehicle is equipped with a clutch, you are required to demonstrate you can safely and properly use the clutch.
Contact the Illinois Department of Transportation at (217) 785-1181.
The Office of the Secretary of State does not administer or enforce the federal regulation requiring the use of log books. For further information, please contact the Illinois Department of Transportation at (217) 785-1181.
When you leave the state and surrender your license or start the process to apply for an out-of-state license, your Illinois license become invalid. Once you return to this state, you must apply for a new license and pay all the applicable fees. This includes passing all written and road exams.
The Commercial Driver’s License Study Guide is available online in our Publications section. The document is large, approximately 200 pages. Any of our Driver Services facilities located throughout the state have copies you may obtain at no charge. This publication, which is only printed in English, is designed to provide you with all the information you will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license. If you are unable to visit our facilities or retrieve the PDF version, you may submit a written request to 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, Illinois 62723 or email our office (link to Contact Page) and provide us with your mailing address so we may send you a copy.