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How to Register a Vehicle in Illinois
Illinois law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Illinois Vehicle Services Department before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new Illinois residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Illinois. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail or telephone.
If you purchase a car, titling and registration must be done within 20 days of the purchase. If you are a new resident of Illinois, you need to do this within 30 days.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in Illinois for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- Get your vehicle inspected for emissions. Vehicle inspections must be performed at an inspection station or by an inspector that has been licensed by the Illinois Air Team (under the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency). Find out more about vehicle inspections in Illinois, or locate an inspection station near you. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
- Complete a vehicle title/registration form - form VSD -190. You can get the form by calling (217) 782-7132 or visiting your nearest Secretary of State VSD facility or by writing to:
Winchester Warehouse 3701 Winchester Road Springfield, Illinois 62707 ATTN: Forms Distribution
- Visit your Secretary of State VSD facility and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
- For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.
- A completed Form RUT-50 if you already reside in Illinois
- A completed Form RUT-25 (if you have purchased from an out of state dealer) or completed Form RUT-50 (purchase from another person) if you are a new resident.
- If a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP) has been issued that should be mentioned as well.
- For registering an out of state vehicle that has a lien, you will have to submit additional documents. Information regarding this can be found here.
TEMPORARY REGISTRATION PERMITS (TRP's)Temporary Registration Permits are issued to new vehicle owners who have applied for registration but have not received the license plates as yet. These permits are available at Secretary of State Facilities, licensed vehicle dealers, remittance agents and currency exchanges. They are valid for 90 days.
REGISTRATION FEESWhen registering your vehicle at the Secretary of State facilities, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:
- The registration fee, which is $78.
- Title application fee which is $65.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATIONOwners of motor vehicles in Illinois are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail or telephone. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.
- Information on Illinois's Electronic Registration and Title Program can be found here.
- If you are a non-resident active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a non-resident full-time student attending an Illinois college or university, you are not required to title or register your vehicle.
- The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration; however, there are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
- Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in Illinois.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.