1. Gather your documents and the fee or fee waiver
To apply for a state ID or driver's license, you will need to bring various documents and the fee or fee waiver to a Secretary of State facility near you. Read on to learn more.
I am applying for a state ID for the first-time
If you're applying for an Illinois state ID for the first time, you will need proof of your:
- Written signature,
- Date of birth,
- Social Security number, and
- Address, or a Homeless status certification.
To see what documents you might be able to use, see Document requirements to obtain a driver's license/state ID card. For information on getting a new or replacement Social Security card, see Get a new or replacement Social Security card.
I have had an ID before and needed a replacement
If you've had an Illinois state ID before and needed a replacement, you will need proof of your:
- Written signature, and
- Date of birth, Social Security number, or address.
To see what documents you might be able to use, see Document requirements to obtain a driver's license/state ID card.
The price for a state ID depends on your age or the group you belong to. Use this chart to figure out how much a state ID costs:
|Age or group you belong to||Fee|
|Under age 18||$10|
|Ages 65 and older||Free|
|Persons with a disability||Free|
|Persons experiencing homelessness||Free|
|Persons formerly incarcerated by the Department of Corrections or Department of Juvenile Justice||Free|
If you are a person experiencing homelessness
If you are homeless, you can get a state ID card for free. The law says you are homeless if you:
- Do not have a place where you can sleep regularly;
- Usually sleep somewhere not designed for sleeping such as a park, car, train station, camping ground, or abandoned building;
- Live in a place that is supposed to be used only temporarily, such as a shelter, or a motel or hotel;
- Are just now leaving the shelter or other temporary places such as a motel or hotel;
- Are at immediate risk of losing the housing you own, rent, or live in, and don't know where you will go next. You are at immediate risk of losing your housing if a court order from an eviction action says you must leave within 14 days, or if you can't pay to stay at the motel or hotel for more than 14 days. Other evidence that you are at immediate risk of losing your housing can include statements by you or your family members; or
- Are a youth or a homeless family with children who move around a lot, have not lived in permanent housing for a long time, and will likely continue to have unstable housing.
To show that you are experiencing homelessness, complete the Homeless status certification.
You will also need to show documents to prove your legal name, age, date of birth, Social Security number, and signature. The documents you will need depend on whether it is your first time applying. To see what documents you will need, see Document requirements to obtain a driver's license/state ID card.
If you are over the age of 65
You can get a free state ID card that does not expire.
If you are a person with a disability
If you have a disability, you can get a free state ID card that is valid for 10 years. To learn more, see Identification cards for people with disabilities. To apply, use the Application for a person with a disability ID card.
If you are a person who was incarcerated
If you were incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections or Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, you could get an ID card for free when you're released. To do so, you will need to go to a Secretary of State facility within 30 days of your release. Bring documents with you to prove your legal name, date of birth, signature, and Social Security number.
To find a Secretary of State facility near you, visit the Secretary of State website.
Driver's licenses are similar to state ID cards in that they have your picture, address, birthdate, and describe what you look like. They might also say your blood type and whether you are an organ donor.
To apply for a driver's license, you need to visit a Secretary of State Facility. You may also need to take driving tests. To find a Secretary of State Facility near you, visit the Secretary of State website.
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The price for a driver's license depends on your age or the type of license you want to get. Use this chart to figure out how much a driver's license costs:
|Age and license type||Fee|
|Basic license, ages 18-20||$5|
|Basic license, ages 21-68||$30|
|Basic license, ages 69-80||$5|
|Basic license, ages 81-86||$2|
|Basic license, ages 87 or older||Free|
|Temporary visitor driver's license||$30|
Updated: May 2018