International students can drive in the U.S. under some circumstances. For full details please see the State of Illinois' website.
If you do not have a drivers license in your home country you can obtain a:
- driver's license in the State of Illinois which requires a Social Security Number (SSN)
- or a temporary visitor driver's license which does not require a SSN
If you have a drivers license in your home country then the following applies to you.
(625 ILCS 5/6-102) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-102)
Sec. 6-102. What persons are exempt. The following persons are exempt from the requirements of Section 6-101 and are not required to have an Illinois drivers license or permit if one or more of the following qualifying exemptions are met and apply:
- Any employee of the United States Government or any member of the Armed Forces of the United States, while operating a motor vehicle owned by or leased to the United States Government and being operated on official business need not be licensed;
- A nonresident who has in his immediate possession a valid license issued to him in his home state or country may operate a motor vehicle for which he is licensed for the period during which he is in this State;
- A nonresident and his spouse and children living with him who is a student at a college or university in Illinois who have a valid license issued by their home State.
- see the rest of the code here http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K6-102
You should carry a copy of "The Rules of the Road" with this passage highlighted in case you are pulled over.
If you have any questions or issues with this information you must contact the nearest drivers facility and be clear about which classification you fall into.