covid and sos

SOS Guidelines for Testing During COVID-19

IL-SOS COVID Temporary Closure Dec. 4 - Jan 4

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, many of the Secretary of State facilities will remain closed for in-person transactions until Monday January 4, 2021. During the closure, 18 facilities throughout Illinois will remain open for CDL testing for essential workers. These facilities, with the exception of three Chicago facilities, will also be available for first time drivers to take vision, written and road tests. First time driver’s license applicants, including 16-year olds, may visit specified facilities to obtain their driver’s license. Students who meet the GDL requirements, which includes completion of the 30 hours of classroom, six hours of behind the wheel training, CDTP waiver and the nine month permit holding period, may proceed to any of the facilities listed below to complete the licensing process. Students must present all required documents to the facility in order to have the licensing process completed. Students are required to show proof of date of birth, a Social Security card, proof of address and the instruction permit. Applicants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no additional fee required for the licensing process because the $20 permit fee covers the license issuance. During this difficult time, these facilities are only open for CDL and first time drivers.

Seventeen CDL (Commercial Driver License) facilities will remain open for CDL/first time drivers written and road exams. These CDL facilities include:

Bradley, 1111 Blatt St.; Charleston, 1010 E. St.; Danville/Tilton, #5 Southgate; DeKalb, 1360 Oakwood St.; Marion, 1905 Rendleman St.; Mascoutah, 9221 Beller Dr.; Moline/Silvis, 2001 Fifth St., Ste. #10; Olney, 1302 S. West St.; Peoria, 3311 N. Sterling Ave., #12; Princeton, 225 Backbone Rd. East; Quincy, 2512 Locust St.; Rantoul, 421 S. Murray Rd.; Rockford, 4734 Baxter Rd.; Salem, 1375 W. Whittaker St.; and Springfield, 2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy., Chicago North, 5401 N. Elston Ave; Chicago South, 9901 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Chicago North and Chicago South facilities will be open for new drivers only Tuesday through Friday from7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The other facilities listed above will operate under normal hours.

CDL (Commercial Driver License) facilities will remain open for ONLY CDL written and road exams. These CDL facilities include:

Elk Grove Village, 650 Roppolo Dr.; South Holland, 41 W. 162nd St.; and West Chicago, 1280 Powis Rd.

“Commercial truck drivers provide essential services by ensuring goods can be transported safely and efficiently throughout the state and country during this pandemic,” Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said.

CDL driving tests are by appointment only by calling 217-785-3013. These facilities listed above will operate at normal hours.

Secretary White also announced seven facilities will be offering drive-thru services ONLY for license plate sticker transactions. These facilities were selected due to the configuration of the buildings allowing for drive-thru transactions. The seven drive-through facilities are:

Chicago North, 5401 N. Elston Ave.; Chicago West, 5301 W. Lexington St.; Rockford-Central, 3720 E. State St.; Macomb, 466 Deer Rd.; Springfield, Dirksen 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway; Danville/Tilton, #5 Southgate; and Chicago South (opens Nov. 19), 9901 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

At this time only, instruction permits may be mailed to Brian Tamblin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at 2701 S Dirksen Pkwy, Rm 235, Springfield, IL 62723 (Dirksen Pkwy facility) for processing. All required tests must be completed with the certified instructors at their school. The same guidelines for testing and processing, which were allowed during the spring, are allowed during this temporary closure. If a vision screening cannot be conducted, the student must wait until ILSOS reopens on 1/5/2021. During the closure, vision screenings may be conducted by the instructor or by having an optometrist or ophthalmologist complete a vision specialist report form, which can be found at School eye exams will not be accepted during this brief closure.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been the only government agency open statewide offering in person transactions,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “We have remained committed to serving the public. Protecting the health and safety of our residents is my top priority, and this is the guiding principle of our decision-making.” All other Secretary of State departments are open to serve the public. Check for more information. During this difficult time, Secretary White thanks all the instructors for their efforts in providing the highest standards of traffic safety to ensure our newest, youngest drivers are prepared to enjoy safe and responsible driving.

If instructors have any questions regarding these emergency procedures, please contact Brian Tamblin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-782-2952. Stay safe and healthy!

IL-SOS COVID-19 Update 9/26

IHSCDEA & Secretary of State are here to give you some baseline information to help in this time of uncertainty:

Remote Learning/Blended/In-Person Base Line:

Providing 30 hours of classroom instruction is required:

● What does this mean?

○ Providing instruction is suggested through:

■ Google Meet, Teams Meeting, Zoom, etc...

■ Recorded lessons, videos, projects, etc…

○ Teachers:

■ You know your curriculum and what time parameters suit a particular lesson, project, video, etc..

■ Instructional time could look like this but your school is unique and you will make it work for you: (Gillespie High School example)

■ I will approach it by providing instruction or instructions for the days activities:

2nd Hour: (I am also including lab days which students come to campus on Wednesdays)

● Monday and Thursday: 10 – 11 a.m. (1 hour)

● Tuesday and Friday: 1:30 – 2 p.m. (30 minutes)

● Wednesday: 8 – 9 a.m. (1 hour)

“Start with a plan and adjust the plan!” Brian Tamblin

Written Test:

● Online In-person is the best case scenario

○ Parking lot, gym, library, football stadium bleachers, etc.

○ Small groups (10 persons is ideal)

○ Option (2) Brian provided us with the verbal test we can give through a online platform if in-person is not an option

“Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right.” Henry Ford

Vision Screening:

○ Vision screening machines can be obtained from local SOS office or if your nursing staff have one that does peripheral vision

○ Vision screening In-person is best case scenario

■ Create a mitigation plan that is approved by administration and local IDPH

■ Work with nursing staff to be on hand to assist in proper sanitization

○ Option (2) Certified vision report from doctor

Behind the Wheel:

6 Hours of instruction is still required.

● Work with administration and local IDPH to create a mitigation plan.

● Follow IDPH guidelines:

Driver’s Education Behind-the-Wheel Instruction

In order to provide behind-the-wheel training to students in driver’s education in compliance

with all Secretary of State and IDPH safety requirements, the following procedures must be


• Allow only two students and one instructor per vehicle.

• Face coverings must be worn, unless medically contraindicated.

• Prohibit eating and drinking in the vehicle.

• Open the windows whenever possible.

• Do not make any stops during the training that are not applicable to driver’s education to

reduce the amount of time in the vehicle.

• Complete hand hygiene with soap and water or hand sanitizer, as appropriate, before and

after driving and, at the minimum, upon completion. Hand sanitizer should be placed in

each vehicle.

• Clean and disinfect the steering wheel, door handles, seatbelt fastener, controls/dials that

the driver would come in contact with, keys, etc. in between each behind-the-wheel


• Conduct regular routine cleaning and disinfecting of the seats.

ISBE guidance:

● The classroom portion of a driver education program may be completed through remote or blended learning.

● In order to provide behind-the-wheel training to students in driver’s education, schools must be in compliance with all Secretary of State and IDPH safety requirements. See the ISBE and IDPH Joint Guidance for Starting the 2020-21 School Year

End of Summer COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, the Secretary of State’s office has been unable to process instruction permits. The Driver Services department has discussed several methods to solve the problem of conducting the vision and written (knowledge) testing required to issue these permits. In compliance with mandated distance learning and social distancing, we have come up with options to help get the permit process started at this time. Below you will find multiple options for administration of the written exam and options for acquiring eye exam results. Both the vision screening and written exam must be completed before the SOS is able to issue a permit; however, even if a district is unable to provide documentation of a vision exam, we encourage you to administer the written test through your e-learning platforms. Any portion of the permit process that can be completed at this time will help to speed the permit issuance process when the facilities reopen to the public.

If all documentation can be obtained and used on the application, the instructors will need to follow the procedures for mailing the applications to the Driver Service department in Springfield, where all permits will be issued. Once the permits are processed, the department will return all permits to the school instructors for distribution to the students so they can begin to practice driving. Please see below for acceptable procedures at this time.

COVID-19 State Written Test Procedures

Option 1: An oral exam may be given through distance learning for the written (knowledge) exam. Please follow the steps below:

Step 1

Use the DEI application to set up a class if you have not done so. Have the students fill out their application information before the test date. Do not allow them to continue to the online test. If they do take the test, you are to delete their information and the student will need have to retake the examination.

Step 2

Set up a date and time for students to log onto the platform you currently use to perform distance learning and live chat, such as Zoom. Send the attached answers only sheet to each student in the class.

Step 3

When every student is online and clear communication has been established, proceed to administer the oral exam. Read each question and answer and ask the students to mark the answer they choose on the answer sheet. No talking among students is allowed.

Step 4

When test is complete, have the students email you the answer sheets. Grade the tests.

Step 5

If the students pass, enter the P in the DEI application by clicking the small box “I confirm I have given the paper test.” This will allow you to enter the test result manually.

Step 6

You must retain all answer sheets and the written exam provided to the students. Mail completed score sheets to Brian

Tamblin at 2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy., Springfield, IL 62704. (These should be included with the applications. Please see

further instructions below.)

COVID-19 Online Written (Knowledge) Exam Procedures

Option 2: The written (knowledge) test will be allowed to be administered online if a district meets certain criteria. This

option can be used if you have the capability to monitor students’ computer screens. An example of a program that can

do this is GoGuardian. This is already installed by many school districts. It is recommended to ask parents to supervise

their child while the test is taken to ensure the student does not use any external source to answer the test. Follow the

steps below:

Step 1

Set up a class on the DEI application. Send the access code to the students through the distance-learning platform your

district utilizes. Have them complete the application information.

Step 2

Have the students proceed to the written (knowledge) test.

Step 3

Monitor the students’ progress while they are taking the test. Once complete, the result should appear next to their

entries on the class list in DEI.

COVID-19 Acceptable Eye Exam Test

Option 1: The department will accept the results of an eye exam that has been administered by an eye doctor in the last

12 months; however, the parent must consent to the release of the results of the eye exam to the department. If

consent is provided, the parent should supply a copy of the exam to be included with the application for the permit.

Option 2: Some schools may have the results of an eye exam in students’ files. With parental consent, the instructor may

use the results of that eye exam on the permit application. Just as though you were completing the vision screening in a

classroom setting, you will need to check the box for glasses or contacts if either is worn by the student. Vision

perception (VP), vision acuity (VA) and peripheral readings must be included. If the school file has these readings, you

can enter them into the test result area on DEI for each student. A copy of the eye exam from the student’s file must be

attached to the application (parental consent is required).

Final Application:

When testing is complete and you are ready to print the applications, set a packet pickup day in the school parking lot.

Have the applications ready to be signed by the parent and the student. Have the parents ready with the $20 check to

hand to you and attach to the application (paper clip is fine). Maintain social distancing and adhere to Illinois

Department of Public Health.

Please take the applications to the nearest driver service facility for processing. If the

facility closest to you is closed, please contact Brian Tamblin or Donna Bilski to coordinate with

another facility for processing.

This process serves a dual purpose, as students will begin the 9 month permit holding period and they will not have to

visit a SOS facility. I have total faith in all the instructors that together we can make this happen. The SOS appreciates

everything the teachers do for producing safe drivers in Illinois. If you have any questions about this process, please

email Brian Tamblin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Stay safe and stay healthy!