Getting your Illinois insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in Illinois. Whether you’re interested in selling property and casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, or any combination of those lines of authority, this article has the information you need to get started.
The Illinois Department of Insurance has a 5-step process on how to become an insurance agent in Illinois. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the Illinois insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your IL insurance license quickly and easily.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend using Kaplan’s online study packages, which come with a 93% pass rate.
How to Get Your Illinois Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in Illinois is easy! Just follow our step-by-step guide. Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can visit it again throughout this process.
Step 1. Which Insurance Licenses Do You Need?
The first step to getting your insurance license is choosing which licenses you need. The most common licenses new insurance agents get are the property & casualty license (P&C), life and health insurance license (L&H).
The types of insurance products and policies you’ll be selling will determine which licenses you need. Here are some examples of the types of policies you can market with each license:
- Property and Casualty Insurance License – Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Business Insurance, etc…
- Life and Health Insurance License – Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, Health Insurance, etc…
Most insurance agents and producers choose to get both P&C and L&H licenses, but if you plan on specializing in only one category then you don’t need every license.
Step 2. Illinois Insurance Pre-License Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, you must now take your Illinois insurance pre-license education courses.
Most folks choose to take their insurance pre-license course online. These courses are created specifically to give you the skills you need to pass the test. The types of licenses you choose (or your personal lines of authority) will determine which courses you take.
Each line of authority in Illinois requires twenty (20) hours of pre-license education. This means that if you wish to get a Property and Casualty license, you must take forty (40) hours of pre-licensing, and for Life, Accident, and Health you must also take forty (40) hours.
Illinois requires the 20 pre-license education hours to be in a physical classroom setting or live webinar.
You will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Keep this certificate, as you will need it when taking your exam.
Over 81% of our readers use Kaplan’s online courses — which come with a 93% pass rate — when preparing for their insurance license exam(s). For comprehensive study packages, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 3. Illinois Insurance License Exam
The next step after completing all of your pre-license coursework is to take the insurance exam. You will take one exam for each line of insurance you wish to carry. Life, Accident, & Health (LA&H) and Property & Casualty (P&C) are a total of four lines. Pearson Vue in Illinois offers these four exams in two “back to back” exams, so you will essentially take four tests, but if you pass them on your first try, you will only have to sit for exams twice. This option does not shorten the exams, but it does allow you to save the fee for one exam sitting.
You must pass your exams within one year of completing your pre-license education course. Illinois offers what is called “partial pass” for these exams. This means that if you take one of the exams and pass one part, but not the other, you will receive a waiver for the parts that you have passed on the next attempt at the exam. If you pass one part on an exam, you have ninety (90) days to pass the other part of the exam.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching you. For people who haven’t tested in a situation like this should be aware of this fact, and work on taming their nerves prior to sitting for the exam.
The fee for each attempt of the exams is $103 for each “back to back producer exam” (P&C and LA&H). When you show up you must have two (2) forms of ID, including a photo ID, and the original pre-license education certificate. Each “back to back” exam will be four (4) parts. An outline of each exam is available on this Pearson VUE PDF.
You must score a “70” on each exam to pass. More information about testing and scoring in the Pearson VUE Illinois Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook.
Check out our Insurance Exam Guide. It’s extremely in-depth, and will hopefully help you pass the first time.
Looking for a guide to passing the insurance exam in Illinois? Check out our Illinois Insurance License Exam article.
Insurance license tests are intentionally difficult, but not impossible by any means. You should study to the point of comfortability with the information before you attempt the test. Failing the exam isn’t the end of the world, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the fee each time you attempt the test.
StateRequirement recommends that you study for one exam at a time, then after passing, starting on your next line. The exams are difficult enough on their own without confusing information from one line to another. Check out our review of the Kaplan Insurance Course.
You may register to take your exams and find more information on the Pearson VUE Illinois website.
Step 4. Illinois Insurance License Application
Once you have completed your exams, you are now ready to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you have passed the exam for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.
You must wait five (5) days after passing your test to apply for your license.
The fee for an online application is $180 plus a $5 service fee for a total of $185. When adding lines of authority to your license, you will only pay the $5 service fee, not the full $185 each time. Paper applications are not accepted.
Fill out your online application on the NIPR Illinois web page.
Step 5. Application Review
Once you have submitted your application and have filled all the other requirements, your license application will be reviewed by the state. Your background check from the application will also be reviewed.
If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued within three (3) days. If there are any items from your background check that need to be reviewed, it may slow down the process of issuance. If this is the case, the state may contact you to provide context to the issues that they have run into.
You should receive an email informing you of your license acceptance. If three (3) days pass after submitting your application and you haven’t received an email, contact the Illinois Insurance License Office at 217-782-4515.
You’ve done the work, put in the time and effort, and now hold the key to your own success! We’re proud of you. Take five (5) minutes and celebrate.
After Getting Your Illinois Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in Illinois. A common question we hear is, “I have my insurance license, now what?” Here are a few things you can do or need to know:
- Get a job in the insurance field. Check out StateRequirement’s Insurance Jobs board
- If you’re going to sell advanced life insurance products, you’ll need to have the proper securities licenses. Series 6, Series 7, and Series 63 are the most common among insurance agents, but you’ll need to begin with the SIE (Securities Industry Essentials) exam. Find out which licenses you need with our Securities Licensing Guide
- Every two years, you’ll need to renew your insurance license. Check out our guides on Illinois Insurance License Renewal and Illinois Insurance Continuing Education for more details
- Learn how to market yourself as an insurance agent: Have a look at our Insurance Agent Marketing article
- Interested in learning how successful life insurance agents operate? Check out our How Do Life Insurance Companies Make Money article
Illinois Department of Insurance Contact Information
Illinois Department of Insurance
320 West Washington Street
Springfield, Illinois 62767-0001
Phone: (217) 782-4515
Fax: (217) 782-5020
License Search: Illinois Insurance License Search and Lookup
Illinois Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in Illinois?
In Illinois, an insurance license normally lasts for two years. After this time is up, licensees will need to renew their licenses by the indicated expiration date in order to continue their practice without any interruptions. Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: Illinois Insurance License Renewal.
How long does it take to get an insurance license in Illinois?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for the actual state licensing exam. Some people study for as little as one week and feel comfortable taking the exam. We recommend you take whatever amount of time you need to feel comfortable with the material. Check out our guide: How to Pass the Insurance Exam.
How much does the Illinois insurance license cost?
While the cost of an insurance license in Illinois can vary depending on the specific insurance course you choose, it will generally be around $375 to take this course, submit an application, and sit the exam at a test center. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, you’ll need to add $103 to the exam provider for each subsequent attempt.
How do I get a life insurance license in Illinois?
Applicants need to complete a state-approved pre-licensing course, pass the life insurance state exam, and submit an application if they want to secure a life insurance license in Illinois. We break down the licensing process in more detail in our Illinois Insurance License article.
How do I get a property and casualty license in Illinois?
After completing the required pre-licensing education and obtaining a passing grade on the property and casualty insurance exam, applicants will often need to submit their application through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). The licensing process is the same for an insurance agent and an insurance producer license.
Do I need business insurance in Illinois?
If you are operating a business based in Illinois, you probably need business insurance to protect your assets and operate safely. In addition to policies like workers’ compensation insurance, which is mandatory for most business entities with employees, it’s advisable to have some basic insurance product knowledge of other policies so you can protect yourself fully.