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Illinois Public Driving Records

Driver records are handled a bit differently in Illinois. The Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) is the agency in charge of them. This government agency is like the Department of Motor Vehicles (Illinois DMV) in other states. They follow strict Driver Privacy Protection Laws (DPPL) in regard to these records.

The Illinois SOS offers a few different ways to get reports. They have set up a dedicated online portal so individuals can request a driver abstract easily. They also have a downloadable form someone can use to order one through the mail. Requestors can also visit a Driver Services facility in person to obtain one.

If requested by the individual named in the record, the report will contain personal information such as name, address, driver's license number, social security number, date of birth, and medical information. No personal information will be contained in a report supplied to a person other than listed within it. All reports will contain infractions, driver license status, any driver license revocations and suspensions, civil and criminal offenses, traffic citations, and accidents. These reports will also show the license expiration date, issue date, and license class, plus any endorsements.

How to Request an Illinois Driving Report

The Illinois Secretary of State offers three ways for you to get a copy of your Illinois motor vehicle history report. Companies, however, are restricted to two methods.

For individuals, they can visit any Driver Services facility and fill out a form and pay the fee for a copy instantly. They may also use the online abstract tool to request one and pay with a credit card. They could also download the application form and mail it in with their payment (with a check or money order). Anyone paying with a credit card or debit card will have to pay an additional $1 fee.

Someone ordering a report for anyone other than themselves can visit a Driver Services facility in person or use the online abstract tool to order one. However, they must have notarized permission from the party listed. The SOS will alert the subject of the report ten days before they send out the record, so they have the chance to refuse permission. When requesting, they will need the person's full name, date of birth, driver's license number, and gender.

When ordering by mail, the user must send the completed application and payment to the Secretary of State, Driver Analysis Section, 2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy., Springfield, IL 62723.

IL Driver Record Cost

Regardless of who requests the report, the cost for each copy will be $12. These are certified copies. The town of Springfield charges an additional 50 cents per photocopy and $2 for certification. Online they accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.

Driving Laws in the State

Residents of the state must be 18 or older to get an Illinois driver's license. Someone 16 or 17 can apply but only with a parent or guardian's permission after completing a safe driver course and logging more than 50 hours of supervised driving.

Illinois uses a point system (demerits) for traffic violations and moving violations. If a person incurs too many in a short amount of time, they will lose their license for a period of time or indefinitely.

Distracted driving is a law that the state takes very seriously. Anyone over the age of 19 is allowed to use a Bluetooth device for phone calls and voice-activated actions while driving. However, drivers cannot use a headset while driving.

The state also has strict laws regarding safety belt usage and airbags along with child safety seats.

Speeding is another serious infraction within the state. Unless otherwise posted, the speed limits follow these guidelines:

  • Interstates and tollways — 70 mph
  • Highways with four lanes — 65 mph
  • Other highways and rural areas — 55 mph
  • City/town areas — 30 mph
  • Alleys — 15 mph
  • School zones — 20 mph (on school days between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. when children are present, and signs are posted)

The right of way laws require that a driver must yield the right of way to other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians:

  • When making a right turn on a red light after a complete stop
  • After coming to a complete stop at an intersection where there is a stop sign or flashing red signal. If there is no stop line, stop before the crosswalk. If there is no crosswalk or stop line, stop at a place where all approaching traffic can be seen
  • When making a left turn on a red light after a stop from a one-way street to another one-way street with traffic moving to the left. (See Figure A on page 27.)
  • When more than one driver reaches a four-way stop intersection. The first driver to stop should be the first to go. When two vehicles on different roadways arrive at a four-way stop intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left should yield to the vehicle on the right. (See Figure B on page 27.)
  • When entering an intersection with a flashing yellow arrow
  • When two vehicles on different roadways reach an uncontrolled intersection at the same time. The vehicle on the left should yield to the vehicle on the right
  • When making a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic. If drivers enter an intersection while the light is green, they may finish the turn even though the light turns red
  • When approaching a MERGE sign with through traffic. A driver must increase or decrease speed to avoid a crash
  • When approaching a YIELD sign. A driver should slow down or stop to avoid a crash
  • Even after the light turns green when there are vehicles in the intersection
  • When emerging from an alley, building, private road, or driveway after coming to a complete stop. (See Figure C on page 27.)
  • To cross-traffic when on the terminating highway of a "T" intersection with no traffic control signs or signals. (See Figure D on page 27.)
  • When approaching emergency vehicles using audible and visual signals

Some common point violations are:

  • No CDL (commercial license) in possession - 50
  • Texting or cellphone use in commercial vehicle - 20
  • Disobeying an officer - 10
  • Disregard traffic light or signal - 20
  • Failure to report collision - 25 (50 points if injury)
  • Failure to notify of property damage - 15
  • Open container - 25
  • Reckless driving - 55
  • Screeching tires - 10
  • Excess speed for conditions - 10
  • Speeding 1 to 10 miles per hour over limit - 5
  • Speeding 11 to 14 miles per hour over limit - 15
  • Speeding 15 to 25 miles per hour over limit - 20
  • Speeding more than 25 miles per hour over limit - 50
  • Speeding in school or work zone - 20
  • Driving too slow - 5 (20 if on tollway)
  • Speeding on a bridge - 10
  • Improper passing - 20
  • Wrong way on a one-way street - 5
  • Tailgating - 25
  • Improper turn- 10
  • Improper U-turn - 15
  • Improper signal or failure to yield - 15
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian - 20
  • Broken headlight, taillight, or other equipment - 5
  • Use of video or phone that results in injury - 30

Different Types of Driving Reports in the State

The state offers only one type of driver report called a Driver Abstract. 

Driver Abstract Report

A driver abstract contains personal information about the driver (supplied to the SOS when applying for their license). PII will only show on reports given to the actual individual. Others will receive a report with only infractions, accidents, points, license status, revocations, and suspensions.

Criminal Driving Offenses

Criminal driving offenses in the state are very serious and may include steep fines and jail or prison time for punishment. Offenders may be ordered to take a safe driving course or attend other programs before getting their license back.

Reckless driving is one very serious offense in the state and may include excessive speeding, disregard for traffic lights and signs, erratic lane changes, and inattentive driving actions such as texting while driving.

Other criminal driving offenses include vehicular manslaughter, DUI/DWI, hit and run accident, driving without a valid license, fleeing a peace officer, and driving without auto insurance.

Civil Driving Offenses

On the other hand, civil driving offenses are far less severe and usually will be handled by a warning (citation) or a ticket/fine. Some examples would be:

  • Not stopping at a red light or stop sign
  • Broken taillight
  • Expired registration or inspection sticker
  • Parking in a no-parking zone
  • Speeding (not excessively) over the speed limit
  • Tailgating
  • Illegal U-Turn or turn
  • Failure to yield

State Driving Records Statistics

According to Top Driver, Illinois car crashes have increased despite the pandemic and quarantine orders. Some driver statistics include:

  • In Chicago, there has been a 14% increase in speeding, part of a dangerous trend of dangerous driving during the coronavirus pandemic
  • The majority of crash fatalities in Illinois happen on city streets, accounting for 192 deaths as of July 28, 2020. It may come as a surprise, but interstate crash fatalities are not nearly as numerous: Interstate - 90 fatalities, State/US Routes - 142 fatalities, County-Township - 101 fatalities

The types of automobile-related fatalities include:

  • Pedestrians: 75
  • Motorcyclists: 58
  • Involving Semi-Trucks: 56
  • In Work Zones: 15
  • Pedalcyclist: 11
  • 83 fatalities were caused by unlicensed drivers
  • Seat belts were not used or were used improperly by 119 people involved in fatalities

Driving Records Search Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.

Who Can Get a Copy of My Motor Vehicle Record?

The state takes DPPA laws very seriously, and only one of the listed entities on the application may get a copy of your driving record. These include law enforcement, insurance companies, employers (with your permission), a parent or guardian, your legal representative, immediate family member, vehicle dealership, and yourself. Although some information is contained in public records and may be found in a background check, personal information will be protected.

Can I Order a state MVR Online?

Yes. They have set up a nice online services system where you can quickly and easily obtain a copy of your own driving record. When ordering, you must have your driver's license number, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number. You must also supply the issue date and expiration date on your license and the class, and your weight (as listed on the license). When paying online expect to pay an additional payment processor fee of $1.

How do I Find an In-Person Location for a Copy?

The Secretary of State has put together a web page where you can search for the nearest location of a Driver Services facility where you can request a copy there.

What if I Need a Report for Someone Other Than Myself?

When requesting a copy for someone other than yourself, you must either visit a Driver Services facility in person or use the application by mail. You must have the person's information, but the report will contain no PII. It will also take ten days, during which the person will be notified of your request.

Does Illinois Use a Points System for Traffic Violations?

Yes. The state uses a very aggressive point system for driving violations, and too many on your license will mean you will lose the right to drive.

How Much Does a Driving Record Cost?

The fee for a driving abstract, regardless of how you obtain it, is $12.

Helpful State Driving Record Links

Below are some helpful state driving record links.

Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.