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How to Register a Vehicle in Illinois

Vehicle Registration Online Services Guide

Illinois law requires that motor vehicle owners 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 and either in person, online, 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, the process is described below in the following links.

Vehicle Registration Renewal

Guide to Illinois vehicle registration renewal. What is required for renewing your vehicle registration in IL, where and when to renew your vehicle, fees, mailing address, forms, etc

Illinois Vehicle Registration Replacement

IL Vehicle registration replacement information for lost, stolen or damaged vehicle registrations. Step-by-step guide to getting a new copy of your vehicle registration.

Illinois Vehicle Code

The Illinois Vehicle Code contains all of state’s the traffic laws regarding driver licensing and vehicle registration.

Illinois Car Registration Plates

This article is an overview of license / car registration plates. It covers the regulations for displaying and mainting your plates as well as information on vanity, disability and vintage vehicle plates.

Illinois Custom Car Registrations

There are different procedures for registering a custom or vintage car in Illinois, this information can be found here.


If you are registering a motor vehicle in Illinois for the first time, you must complete the following steps:

  1. 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.
  2. In Illinois, there is an Electronic Registration and Title (ERT) System through which you can complete and print an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190). If you want to complete the registration process, you need to take your completed application, the required documentation and payment to your local Secretary of State facility within seven days. You also may submit your paperwork and payment (check or money order only) by mail to the following address:

    Secretary of State 
    Vehicle Services Department 
    ERT Section, Rm. 424 
    If Expedited Title: Rm. 629
    501 S. Second St. 
    Springfield, IL. 62756
  1. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
  2. 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.
  3. A completed Form RUT-50 if you already reside in Illinois
  4. 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.
  5. If a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP) has been issued that should be mentioned as well.
  6. 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 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.


When registering your vehicle at the Secretary of State facilities, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:

  1. The registration fee, which is $101.
  2. Title application fee, which is $95.

There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the Secretary of State VSD facility for the specific requirements.


Owners 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.


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