Retaking a driver's test

September 3, 2009 (CHICAGO) Not much has changed with the driving portion of the test. It's 15 to 20 minutes long and has a variety of turns and parking maneuvers. But one thing is different since high school.

"They actually did the course on the property in the back of the parking lot; they actually had a course set up where they had traffic lights and stop signals, and they had a little hill. And you did everything on the premises," said Michael Bauer, senior manager, Elston Ave. secretary of state facility.

After a quick check of the horn, turn signals and brake lights, they were on their way.

There was the uphill and downhill parking - remember that? A little more driving - why does 30 mph seem so slow? And then back in the parking lot for some parking maneuvers.

And just like that, it was over. Roz passed the test, however, at that facility, 35 percent fail the driving test on their first try. A lot of that can be attributed to nerves, and if the mistake isn't too bad, they can retest that same day.

Your Illinois driver's license is good for four years, or eight if you have a good driving record. And if you keep that record clean, you don't have to take the driving portion of the test again until age 75.

"At 75, it's every four years, and when you reach the age of 81, it's every two years; when you reach the age of 87, it's every year," said Ill. Secretary of State Jesse White.

The written portion of the test is 21 questions, 15 signs, all multiple choice and no time limit. If your driving record remains clear of any violations, you may never have to retake the written test.

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