Illinois does not recognize the International Driver’s License. However, you can use a driver’s license from a foreign country for up to 90 days. It must be valid and must not be expired.
After 90 days, if you plan on becoming a permanent Illinois resident, you have to get an Illinois driver’s license. If your foreign license expires before the 90-day period, you have to get an Illinois license as soon as possible.
You should gather documents and visit the Secretary of State's office soon after moving to Illinois. This way, you can get your Illinois license before the 90 days are up.
Students going to college in Illinois don’t need an Illinois license if they don’t plan on staying here.
Converting your foreign driver’s license to an Illinois license
If you are moving from another country, you will have to prove your identity to get an Illinois license. You need documents to show your:
- Date of birth;
- Social security number; and
- Illinois residency.
If you don’t have a social security number, you can still drive in Illinois if you get a Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License (TVDL).
A TVDL is not a general identification card. You can only use it for driving.
To get a TVDL, you must have a valid visa and show you have resided in Illinois for 12 months. You will also have to pass:
- A road test;
- A vision test; and
- A written test.