covid and sos

SOS Guidelines for Testing During COVID-19

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!