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A certificate of title issued by the state of Illinois is a document that proves legal ownership of a vehicle. A title must be obtained when an individual purchases a new vehicle. A title transfer must also be completed when a used vehicle is sold or gifted, or when a vehicle changes hands as a result of the death of the vehicle's owner.
OBTAINING A TITLE FOR A NEW VEHICLE:
For new vehicles, the licensed dealer that sold the vehicle typically will accept and submit the required titling information and fees on behalf of the buyer. However, buyers wishing to handle the titling independently can do so. Those interested in applying for a new title without the dealer's assistance should refer to the How to Apply for Title and Registration page and the Title and Registration Frequently Asked Questions page on the Secretary of State Vehicle Services Department (VSD) website.
TRANSFERRING A TITLE ON A USED VEHICLE:
Sale/Purchase or Gift of a Used Vehicle
When you purchase a used vehicle, or obtain one as a gift, the title must be legally transferred into your name. This is done by obtaining the following documents, and submitting them along with the appropriate fees to the local VSD facility:
- The current title, with the assignment completed by the seller or donor (signing the title over to you). The title must include the federal odometer disclosure, if the vehicle is less than ten years old.
- A completed Application for Vehicle Transaction(s). The application form is available at a VSD facility or can be obtained by calling 1-800-252-8980.
- A completed tax form (Tax Form RUT-25 if vehicle is purchased from a dealer or Tax Form RUT-50 if vehicle is purchased from an individual). These forms can also be obtained at a VSD facility or by calling 1-800-252-8980.
Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the following fees:
- $95 title fee.
- Vehicle use tax based on the purchase price (if it is $15,000 or greater) or the model year (if the purchase price is less than $15,000).
Contact your local VSD facility to calculate the correct amount due.
If paying by check, the title fees should be made payable to Illinois Secretary of State, and the tax payment should be made payable to Illinois Department of Revenue.
Transfer of Title Following Death of Vehicle Owner
In the event of the death of the vehicle owner, the title is often transferred to the heirs or someone else identified in the owner's will. The procedures and fees for this type of transfer are similar to those outlined above. In addition, it is important to determine how the estate of the deceased has been settled by the heir(s).
In cases when there is no will or joint ownership of property, the heirs may need to complete a Small Estate Affidavit or an Attorney's Affidavit, depending on the value of the property, and provide a copy of the death certificate along with the relevant forms.
For more information on title transfers following the death of a vehicle owner, refer to the Illinois VSD website or contact the local VSD facility.
Appropriate title transfer documents and fees should be submitted to the local VSD facility or can be mailed to:
Secretary of State Vehicle Services Department 501 S. 2nd. St., Room 014 Springfield, IL 62756
- Contact the local VSD facility if you wish to add, remove or change a name on a vehicle title for reason other than those discussed above.
- If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title.
- A valid title provides proof of ownership of the vehicle. However, remember that a title transfer does not entitle the new owner(s) to legally operate the vehicle. For this, refer to the appropriate registration information.