Illinois Vehicle Registration: Complete Guide
Illinois vehicle registration and transferring ownership aren’t particularly complicated. Just make sure you have all the necessary documents showing your ownership of the vehicle. Checking a car’s history is also a must to make sure the used car you are buying has no legal issues. Some important information you can get from a vehicle history report are the past ownership history, odometer readings, liens on the vehicle, accident history and title status.
The state of Illinois requires its residents to register their motor vehicles through the Illinois Secretary of State’s (SOS) office to legally drive on public roadways. If you purchased your car from a dealer, they will take care of sending the documents to the SOS office. If you bought your vehicle from a private seller, you must register the vehicle in person.
Check out all the information you need here at VINCheck.info if you want to:
- register your car as a new resident
- register an out-of-state vehicle
- re-register a salvage vehicle
- change your address or name on your car registration documents.
- renew or replace your registration
How to Register your Vehicle as a New Illinois Resident
After you have established your status as an Illinois resident, you have 30 days to get your vehicle license and title. Before registering your vehicle, you should first secure Illinois auto insurance. Visit the local office of the Illinois Secretary of State and bring along the following:
- An Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190) which can be obtained at the local SOS office or via the Electronic Registration and Title system. Bear in mind that if you opt to complete the form online, you will have 7 days to print and submit it to the local SOS office.
- Proof that you are an Illinois resident
- Original title and registration of the vehicle
- Description of the vehicle, including:
- Year, make, and model of the vehicle
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Date of purchase
- Tax forms depending on whether you bought the vehicle from a private seller (Form RUT-50 Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction) or from a car dealer (Form RUT-25 Vehicle Use Tax Transaction Return)
- Payment of registration and tax fees
NOTE: If you have an electric vehicle, you may apply for a registration reduction fee as per the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC).
How to Register an Out-of-State Vehicle in Illinois
For Illinois residents that have a vehicle with an out-of-state title, they must first perform a title transfer before applying to register their vehicle in Illinois. They must first establish residency, then apply for a transfer of the title of the out-of-state vehicle.
The main documents required for an out-of-state title transfer in Illinois are similar to those that are required to be submitted during the regular titling process:
- Completed application for vehicle transaction
- The out-of-state title of the vehicle or other proof of ownership
- Valid IDs
- Description of the vehicle, including year, make, model, VIN, and odometer reading.
- A bill of sale is sometime required, so have it ready in any case.
Depending on your circumstances, additional documents may be required aside from those mentioned above. Contact your local SOS office to inquire about any additional paperwork regarding your specific situation.
How to Re-register a Salvaged Vehicle in Illinois
A “salvaged” title is given to a vehicle that has been damaged to the point that the cost of repairing it will be more than its actual market value. Vehicles with “salvaged” titles cannot be registered in the state of Illinois. If you’re the owner of a salvaged vehicle and you want to have it registered, you must first have it rebuilt and then duly inspected by state officials.
- Bring your rebuilt vehicle to the Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) Safety Testing lane to have it inspected.
- Find out the location of the Secretary of State Police Inspection Station that services your county. Contact that office and make an appointment to have your rebuilt vehicle inspected.
- The licensed rebuilder that rebuilt your vehicle should drive your vehicle to the inspection station for your appointment. Regulations of the Secretary of State police maintain that the rebuilt vehicle must not be driven until it has been registered or the owner has acquired a permit from either the Secretary of State Driver Services facility or the Secretary of State police.·
- Bring the following documents to the inspection appointment:
- The salvage certificate of the vehicle
- The completed application
- A salvage affirmation describing all the rebuilding work done on the vehicle
- The Illinois DOT inspection report
- Your valid driver’s license
- All bills for the essential parts that have been replaced during the rebuilding of the vehicle
- Bring two checks made out to the Secretary of State. These checks will need to pay for the inspection and the new title of the vehicle.
How Do I Change My Address with Illinois DMV?
In Illinois, it is required by law that motorists notify the Illinois Secretary of State’s office within 10 days of an address change. You can change your vehicle’s registration address online, in person, or by mail.
- Visit the IL Secretary of State Address Change website.
- Select “Upgrade your Vehicle Registration” section
- Select what type of address change you want
- Verified address change
- Unverified address change
- Address change with renewal
- Provide either a PIN number, registration ID information or vehicle information.
- Provide your new address.
Write a letter to the Secretary of State Vehicle Processing Division which includes your name, your new address, your old address and you license plate number.
Mail the letter to:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Records Processing Division
License Correction Section
501 S. 2nd Street, Rm 624
Springfield, IL 62756
Go to your local Secretary of State office and they will update your vehicle’s registration.
How to Transfer a Vehicle Between Family Members
Title transfers are handled through the Illinois Secretary of State offices, either by going to a branch office or mailing the required forms and payment of fees to the main branch.
Here’s what you need:
- Completed Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) form (VSD 190)
- Completed Tax Form RUT-50
- Vehicle title
- Current odometer reading
- VIN number
- Payment of fees
Military Vehicle Registration in Illinois
The state of Illinois provides several benefits for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.
Processing of vehicle registration and fees are similar for Illinois residents and service members. However, if you are a service member, you will be eligible for a military license plate. In order to get a military plate, you will need to submit a DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty). If this is not available, you may also submit a record of your military service certified by a government agency.
For non-resident military personnel, Illinois honors out-of-state driver’s licenses and vehicle registration for service members stationed within the state.
While Illinois does not offer a veteran-specific vehicle registration benefit, they do offer a discount on license plate fees to those 65 and older, or totally disabled persons 16 and older, including military veterans. The discount is offered through the state’s Benefit Access Program, and allows aged or disabled citizens to purchase a new plate or renewal tag for $24. You must be an Illinois resident at the time of application, and meet the following income requirements:
- One-person household: $27,610
- Two-person household: $26,625
- Three-person household: $45,657
You must have been determined totally and permanently disabled by one of the following:
- The Social Security Administration
- The Veterans Administration
- Civil Service
- Railroad Retirement
Or have a:
- Class 2 disability card from the Illinois Secretary of State
- Completed Attachment A Physician’s Statement
Illinois Vehicle Registration Renewal
The Secretary of State from Illinois will send out a renewal notice and application for your vehicle before the registration expires. You can renew your vehicle registration via online, by phone, by mail or in person.
How to Renew Your Illinois Vehicle Registration in Person
Visit your local Secretary of State facility, currency exchange or participating bank. Bring your renewal notice and payment.
How to Renew Your Illinois Vehicle Registration Online
- Go to Illinois SOS website
- Enter the following info:
- Registration ID and PIN located on your current registration card.
- Insurance Company Name, Policy Number and Expiration Date for the vehicle of the license plate you are renewing.
- Use a VISA, MasterCard, Discover Card or American Express for payment.
How to Renew Your Illinois Vehicle Registration By Phone
Call 866-545-9609. You will need your Registration ID and PIN located on the renewal notice you received.
Illinois Vehicle Registration Fees
The total fee for a standard vehicle is $251 ($150 vehicle title + $101 registration/license plates).
A standard renewal sticker costs $101; a renewal sticker for a personalized plate costs $108; and a renewal sticker for a vanity plate costs $114.
Fees for replacement license plate(s)/sticker:
Replacement sticker – $20
Replacement plate (1 plates) with sticker – $26
Replacement plates (2 plates) with sticker – $29
Replacement single plate – $6
Replacement both plates – $9