Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit?
What is the difference between a county road and any other road?
The different road systems in Illinois are divided up such that the state routes are the major routes connecting larger cities and other major routes. A county highway typically connects the smaller communities to a State Route, another community or another county highway. The township roads are the rural, local, usually less traveled, roads that connect the residents to the other systems. Municipalities are responsible for all streets inside their municipal limits that are not a state or county highway.
Who is responsible for the culvert underneath my driveway?
The agency that has jurisdiction of the road that the driveway is on has control over the driveway and the culvert. On a county-maintained roadway, this means that the property owner must obtain a permit to have an entrance onto the county road and must pay to have the driveway built and the initial culvert put in place. Once the driveway is established, it becomes the property of Stephenson County Highway and is our responsibility to maintain the culvert.
Who maintains my driveway surface?
It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the driveway surface.
How do I obtain permission to have a driveway installed?
You must contact the agency that has jurisdiction of the road from which you wish to obtain an entrance off of. If the road is a county road, you are required to obtain a written entrance permit from the County Highway Department. This permit will give you the size of culvert you will need as well as approve the location. There is a cost of $30 for an entrance permit to cover the cost of site inspection and technical review of the permit application.
Do I need a permit to move large loads?
If the load that you are moving is not easily divisible and exceeds any dimension or weight as allowed by Illinois statutes, you must obtain a written permit from each individual road jurisdiction upon which whose roads you will be traveling. That means that if you are traveling on a county road, a township road and a state highway, you are required to obtain three separate permits.
How do I obtain a permit to move a large load?
To obtain a permit to move a large load that is not easily divisible on a county-maintained road, contact the County Highway Department. The fee associated with the permit will vary depending on the size of load and the number of trips to be made. If you are uncertain if you need a permit or from whom you need to obtain permits, contact us for assistance.
What happens if I do not obtain the proper permits?
If you fail to obtain the proper permits, you may be liable for fines and must obtain an after-the-fact permit, which carries double the fees.
My son has a stop sign in his room. Is that OK?
In the State of Illinois it is illegal for anyone not directly involved in highway maintenance or the signage industry to have in their possession any sign that is designed to be used on the highways. If caught with a sign, such as a stop sign, you may be fined and/or sentenced to jail.

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