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How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in Illinois

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Like most other motor vehicles, custom-built and antique vehicles must be properly registered and titled in the state of Illinois. However, the process of registering an antique or custom-built vehicle is different from registering a regular vehicle. If you have brought an antique or custom-built vehicle into Illinois for a first time registration, or if you have custom-assembled a vehicle in the State, you will be referred to a Vehicle Services Department office near you.


  • In Illinois, an antique vehicle is called a custom vehicle and is defined as any motor vehicle that was manufactured at least twenty-five years ago but not prior to 1948 or a replica of such a vehicle and not used as a primary mode of daily transportation. A Street Rod is any motor vehicle that was manufactured prior to 1948 or has been assembled or completely reconstructed resembling a vehicle manufactured prior to 1948, using new or used parts.
  • The State defines a custom-built vehicle as a Specially Constructed Vehicle which has been altered from the original vehicle by removal of essential parts, or one that is manufactured by an individual not recognized for constructing vehicles.


You will have to visit a Vehicle Services Department office near you to register your antique or custom-built Vehicle. When registering a custom-built or antique vehicle, you will need to bring the following materials to the VSD office:

  1. A completed and notarized Title Application, when obtaining a title for a new, custom-built vehicle.
  2. The Certificate of Title or manufacturer's certificate of origin, for antique or custom vehicles that have already been titled
  3. Certificate of origin for engine and chassis and VIN for the vehicle.
  4. An Inspector's Report by the Secretary of State Police Department certifying that the vehicle is safe to take on the road.
  5. All Bills of Sale for parts used have to be produced at the time of inspection.
  6. For specially constructed vehicles, you also need to submit four photos of the completed vehicle (front, rear, and both side views), along with the chassis title and all bills of sale (or other ownership documents) for all essential parts of the vehicles, as well as the certificate of title if constructed from a kit.

Note: You can also register your antique or custom-built vehicle by mail. You need to gather all the required paperwork mentioned above and along with the appropriate fees, mail it to:

Illinois Secretary of State 
Attn: Custom Vehicle / Street Rod
Michael J. Howlett Bldg.
501 S. 2nd St., Rm. 698
Springfield, IL 62756


When registering an antique or custom-built vehicle, you will be required to pay the appropriate titling and registration fees. For mailed applications, the only mode of payment accepted is via check.


Your custom-built or antique vehicle's registration will clearly indicate when it will expire. The process for renewing the registration on a custom or antique vehicle is the same as renewing the registration on a regular motor vehicle.


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