What to expect during the Illinois driving exam.

What to Expect During the Illinois Driving Exam

Any new driver may be required to take a driving exam in a vehicle representing the same size
and weight classification as the driver’s license for which they are applying. All drivers must take a written exam every eight years, except those having no traffic convictions. New drivers age 75 and older and any driver turning 75 or older who is renewing his/her driver’s license must take a driving exam in a representative vehicle. Here are a few things to expect from the Illinois driving exam.

What is the Purpose of a Graduated Driver License Program?

Teenage drivers have the highest crash risk per mile traveled, compared with drivers in other age groups. Young drivers tend to overestimate their driving abilities and underestimate the dangers on the road. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws reduce this risk by making sure teens gradually build up driving experience under lower-risk conditions as they mature and develop skills. That means limiting nighttime driving, restricting teen passengers and making sure teens get lots of supervised practice. Graduated licensing has reduced teen crashes 10-30% on average.

To take a driving exam, the vehicle you provide must:


  1. Be a properly licensed vehicle equipped for the driver’s license classification you are
  2. Comply with Secretary of State vehicle condition standards.
  3. Be properly insured. Proof of insurance must be provided prior to the exam.
  4. Display valid front and rear Illinois license plates and a valid registration sticker. If
    the vehicle is registered outside of Illinois, it must meet the registration requirements
    of the respective state.
  5. Be driven to the facility by a driver who has a valid driver’s license/permit.

During the Illinois driving exam, the driver and the examiner must wear safety belts, as required by law. You will automatically fail the exam if you violate any traffic law or commit any dangerous activities while taking the exam.

You will be graded on your ability to perform the following driving tasks and maneuvers:


  • Start the vehicle by checking the vehicle controls, including the parking brake and mirrors.
  • Make all adjustments to seats, safety belts, mirrors, and other equipment before you move your vehicle.
  • Back the vehicle approximately 50 feet at a slow speed, straight and smoothly.
  • Turn your head to the right and watch to the rear as you back.
  • Turn-about using an alley on the left side of the street. Turn your left signal on before turning into the alley. Back the car out of the alley and stay on your side of the street.
  • Park uphill on the side of the road.
  • Start uphill from a parked position.
  • Park downhill on the side of the road.
  • Start downhill from a parked position.
  • Control your vehicle by obeying all traffic signs, controls devices, right-of-ways, lane markings and proper use of turn signals.

What You Can Expect from Top Driver

Top Driver’s in-vehicle lessons are scheduled for 1 hour. These lessons may begin and end a Top Driver Education Center or at your home if you live in one of our home pick-up service areas. Remember that students are required to have their Instructional Permit in their possession each and every time they operate a motor vehicle.

Lesson plans are designed to be flexible based on the comfort and skill level of each student. Top Driver’s goal is not to place students in situations they are not ready for, nor to limit their development as they advance. The best thing that you can do on the first drive is to be honest with the instructor about what you do not know. This will allow the instructor to develop a plan that will work best for you. If the instructor asks you to perform a turn or park somewhere you are not comfortable, calmly voice how you feel. The instructor can help you learn the steps to perform the skill with ease.

Whether you are in the market to select a reputable driving school for your teen or are looking for online adult driving school options, Top Driver has something for everyone! Interested in learning more from Top Driver? Find a classroom near you in Illinois and Michigan!

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