Driving in the U.S.

Drivers License/ID Card: Once you have a SSN, you can get an American Driver’s License or Identification (ID) card through the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles. Information about obtaining a Driver’s License or ID card is available online. Note: some counties have an agreement with the State of Illinois, so you may not need to take a driving test.

Getting a car:

  1. You must have an American Driver’s License.
  2. To get a bank loan for a vehicle in the U.S., you need a credit history. With a SSN and a U.S. drivers license, Argonne Abri Credit Union (on-site branch) may be able to help you obtain a loan for a vehicle. Or you might want to think about leasing a car, particularly if you are in the U.S. temporarily.
  3. You must have vehicle insurance. It’s the law in Illinois.
  4. When purchasing a vehicle, you must also obtain title and registration as part of the purchasing process.

Driving, insurance, and license information is available online through the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles.

Toll Roads and I-Pass: There are some Toll Roads in the Chicagoland area. They require payment with either coins or an I-Pass. Toll signs are posted prior to entrances of toll ramps and toll booths areas and indicate the need for exact change. It is strongly recommend that you use an I-Pass to pay for toll roads. It is 50% cheaper. You can order an I-Pass online or you can purchase one at Jewel-Osco.

Driving terrain and directions: The terrain in the Chicago area is flat. Streets and roads are laid out on a fairly uniform North-South-East-West grid system. Directions, even for local streets, are routinely given using these directional terms.