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Is a foreign driver’s license valid in Illinois?

Illinois law states that “[a] nonresident who has in his immediate possession a valid license issued to him in his home state or country may operate a motor vehicle for which he is licensed for the period during which he is in this State.” 625 ILCS 5/6-102(2). This means that a foreign national visiting Illinois, who is not a resident of the State, but has a valid driver’s license from his or her home country is allowed to drive in Illinois with that driver’s license.

If the non-resident’s license is in a language other than English, it will be helpful to have it translated so that in case the non-resident is pulled over, a police officer will be able to understand the license.

An acceptable translation is usually included in an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). An IDP is not an international driver’s license, which would not be valid in Illinois. Also, an IDP is not valid on its own. A valid foreign driver’s license is still necessary.

If a foreign national becomes a resident of Illinois, it is necessary for him or her to obtain an Illinois Temporary Visitor Driver’s License within 90 days after becoming a resident of the State. See 625 ILCS 5/6-102(7).

For more information regarding the Illinois Temporary Visitor Driver’s License, click here to visit the Illinois Secretary of State website.

To speak to an attorney from the Klest Law Firm regarding a specific traffic violation call 866-264-7639.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

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