An Illinois car title is a legal document that serves as proof of motor vehicle ownership. Motorists must obtain a vehicle title before they may register a new or used vehicle in the state. Additionally, vehicle owners need to obtain a DMV car title and registration certificate before they may drive their cars on public roads. For this reason, vehicle owners must obtain a car title immediately after purchasing a new or used vehicle from a third-party seller or family member.

However, dealerships handle the IL auto title paperwork on behalf of buyers when motorists purchase a vehicle from a dealer rather than a private seller. To learn more about how to get car titles and the ways in which titles and registrations relate to one another, review the sections below.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in Illinois

Motor vehicle dealerships complete and submit IL car title applications whenever motorists purchase vehicles from a licensed dealer. However, drivers must obtain title for car certificates on their own if they purchase a vehicle from a private party, or acquire the vehicle from a relative.

To apply for a DMV certificate of car title in Illinois, applicants must submit all titling paperwork to a local Secretary of State (SOS) facility. Alternatively, car owners may submit all new car title paperwork to SOS by mail at the address below:

Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
ERT Section, Rm. 424
501 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62756

If you need to expedite your auto title application, you must mail your documentation to the SOS using an express delivery service. To expedite a certificate of title application, you must address the envelope to Rm. 629 rather than Rm. 424.

Otherwise, you may expedite a vehicle title application in person at an SOS facility. When you expedite a certificate of car title application, you must pay additional titling fees.

The Illinois Auto Title Application

To obtain an IL pink slip (or title), vehicle owners must complete an Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190). Drivers may obtain a title for a car by completing an application online using the Electronic Registration and Title (ERT) service, before printing the application and submitting it in person or mailing it to the SOS.

Alternatively, drivers may obtain a certificate of car title application in person at an SOS facility or they may request an application by telephone at 800-252-8980. When completing the application to get car titles, drivers must provide the following information:

  • The Illinois car title number.
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • The date and state of purchase. If purchasing a vehicle from Florida, South Carolina, Georgia or North Carolina, drivers must complete an SOS Natural Disaster Disclosure Statement (Form VSD 694).
  • The vehicle’s license plate type.

After completing and printing the new or used car title application, drivers must submit it to the SOS within seven days. Furthermore, you may apply for an Illinois certificate of car title and registration card simultaneously if you wish. To do so, you must select Title and Registration as the title type when completing the application using the ERT system.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in Illinois

To get a car title in IL, vehicle owners must submit additional information along with the Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190). When getting car titles, motorists must submit the following by mail or in person at an SOS branch:

  • The vehicle title (the seller must sign the pink slip over to the new owner) or the Manufacturer’s Certificate or Origin (the seller must sign the certificate over to the buyer).
  • An odometer reading (applicants must include this on the back of the certificate of car title).
  • Payment for vehicle use tax, if applicable.
  • Payment for titling and registration fees (if titling and registering a vehicle at the same time).
  • The number of the vehicle’s Temporary Registration Permit, if applicable.
  • Tax Form RUT-25 or RUT-50, if the vehicle does not have a DMV certificate of car title in Illinois, or state registration certificate. Applicants must complete RUT-25 if they purchase a vehicle from a dealer, or RUT-50 if they purchase the vehicle from a private party.

After submitting auto title documentation, it takes three to four weeks for motorists to get a car title in the mail.

What is an Illinois car registration?

Drivers cannot operate a motor vehicle until they obtain Illinois auto registration documentation, even after they apply for a title. During the car registration process, the SOS provides drivers with two license plates, which vehicle owners need to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. Vehicle registration documentation shows that drivers may legally operate a vehicle in the state.

However, drivers may apply for a new car registration and a vehicle title at the same time using the Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190). To apply for a DMV car registration and title certificate simultaneously, applicants must submit payment for registration, titling and license plate fees. Drivers need to obtain both motor vehicle registration documents before they may drive their vehicles.

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in Illinois?

Even though the SOS allows drivers to get car registration and title certificates at the same time, the two documents serve different purposes. New vehicle registration documents, for instance, allow drivers to operate their new or used vehicle throughout the state, while titles display proof of legal vehicle ownership.

Vehicle owners must get a car registration in Illinois whenever they purchase a new or used vehicle. Additionally, motorists must renew their IL car registration documents during the vehicle’s renewal period. However, drivers only need to obtain a car title when a vehicle changes ownership, or when owners move to a new state.

Car Title Costs in Illinois

The Illinois car title cost is $95 for most passenger vehicles. In the case of ATVs and off-highway motorcycles, the titling fee is $30.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.