ILLINOIS — Some senior citizens in Illinois may be able to wait a little longer before taking the mandatory driving test.

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is pushing to keep the age requirement at 79 on a permanent basis.

A temporary law that boosted the age from 75 is set to expire on Sunday, September 30. The modification was approved in Springfield during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Statistics show that seniors are among the safest drivers of any age category,” Giannoulias said in a statement Wednesday.  “This change would make Illinois driving standards for senior drivers more consistent compared to other states while keeping Illinois as one of the strictest states for license renewals.”

The statement from Secretary of State’s office stated there are more than 9.1 million licensed drivers in Illinois. Of those, approximately 280,000 individuals are between the ages of 75 and 78, or 3% of the driving population – who would be impacted by the permanent implementation of this legislation.

Current Illinois law would remain unchanged when it comes to renewing drivers for other age groups. Those details include:

  • All drivers below the age of 81 must renew their licenses every four years.
  • Drivers aged 79 and 80 must take a vision and driving test (if their four-year renewal is up during this time period).
  • Drivers aged 81 to 86 must take a vision and driving test every two years.
  • Drivers aged 87 and older must take a vision and driving test every year.