Illinois is very similar to other states when it comes to the motorcycle licensing process. The general trend in states is to require only a basic drivers license and completion of a state motorcycle training course. Illinois follows these same basic licensing requirements. Upon successful completion of an Illinois Department of Transportation approved motorcycle training school, residents may obtain an Illinois motorcycle license.
The first thing that all license applicants should do is download an Illinois motorcycle and book for state driving rules. You may access the “Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual” at cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x140.pdf. The current “Illinois Rules of the Road” standard drivers license manual is also available online at cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/rules_of_the_road/rrtoc.html.
Whether you have to take the Illinois motorcycle test or not, studying or reviewing these manuals will give you a firm grasp of the Illinois driving rules and licensing requirements before you attend your motorcycle training. If you are one of the applicants that does need to take the test, then keep in mind that you will have to take both the basic and motorcycle Illinois driving tests. Thus, you will need to study both manuals to get an Illinois motorcycle license.
Note: Those who have never held a motorcycle license and do not currently have an Illinois driver’s license must take the written basic and motorcycle test and the Illinois motorcycle driving test. These are the applicants who need to study the Illinois motorcycle manual and the “Rules of the Road” Illinois driving manual.
Find an approved Illinois motorcycle training course in your area. Look at the map on the Illinois Department of Transportation website at dot.il.gov/cycle2.html. Scroll over one of the highlighted areas in the map to get contact details for the nearest training site. These Illinois motorcycle courses are held at various colleges and universities in the state of Illinois.
Call and enroll. You need a regular Illinois driver’s license or learner’s permit to enroll. When you enroll in Illinois motorcycle training, you will receive 20 hours of both classroom and driving instruction for the basic course and 8 hours for the advanced course. Completion of this course is required if you are 16 or 17. But you still want to attend if you are at least 18 because you get a waiver of both the written and driving Illinois motorcycle tests.
Once you have completed your Illinois motorcycle license training, you can head to the an Illinois Secretary of State driver facility (driver’s license office). The Secretary has an online directory of Illinois driver’s license centers at cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/facilities/home.html. You will take the written and driving motorcycle tests if you are 16 or 17. If you are at least 18 and have not completed your training course, then you will also have to take both Illinois motorcycle tests. Otherwise, you get a waiver on both tests.
Take and complete all necessary Illinois tests. Get your Illinois motorcycle license from the local Illinois Secretary of State driver facility.
Illinois Secretary of State Motorcycle License Requirements