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Illinois Car Registration Renewal

Vehicle Registration Online Services Guide

How To Renew An Illinois Car Registration

Renewing car registrations in Illinois is a procedure that can be completed online, in person, by mail or by phone. The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) offers car registration renewal services through its various locations within the state. Note that online and phone-in renewal options are available only to drivers who have received the SOS renewal notice. During the process to renew car registrations in IL, auto owners may be required to complete any of these steps:

  • Fill out a renewal request.
  • Submit proof of identity.
  • Present evidence of liability insurance and vehicle inspection.
  • Pay IL car registration costs.

Learn how to renew car registrations in Illinois by reading the sections below.

When to Renew Your Illinois Car Registration

The Illinois vehicle registration renewal process must be completed on an annual basis, as the SOS issues year-long registration stickers. Car owners who fail to renew auto registrations in IL prior to their annual expiration date may be charged with certain penalty fees. Also, operating an unregistered vehicle is against state law.

The Vehicle Services Department of the SOS mails out a renewal notice several months prior to the registration's expiration date. Auto owners must initiate the process of renewing vehicle registrations at least a month prior to the date of expiration, since the SOS requires at least 30 days to manufacture new plates. Additionally, registration renewals are prioritized based on their expiration date. Drivers who submit their request in person, and those who are not applying for new plates, may receive their renewed stickers in a more expeditious manner.

Note: If you did not receive your renewal notice, contact the SOS in IL to receive more information about your upcoming renewal procedure. You can also submit a request to receive future SOS notifications by email.

How to Renew Your Illinois Car Registration

Drivers can complete the procedure to renew auto registrations in Illinois via several methods. Depending on whether or not you have received the SOS notice of renewal, you may be limited only to certain application methods. IL SOS offices process paper applications regardless of whether drivers are able to provide the information from the notice. Renewing car registrations in IL by phone and via the internet is a procedure that can be completed only if you are able to submit your registration ID and PIN number, contained in the SOS letter.

Note: The online car registration renewal option is further limited to applicants who meet certain eligibility requirements as well.

Online

The process to renew car registration online in Illinois is the fastest and most convenient method of registration renewal within the state. The IL Secretary of State's Office allows registration card holders to renew their license plates via the internet only if they:

  • Currently reside within the state.
  • Are able to provide their registration ID and PIN number, contained in the renewal notice.
  • Are able to provide information about their insurance agency and liability insurance policy.
  • Are not changing the type of license plates and/or the spacing within.
  • Do not have to update their vehicle information.

Note: If you did not receive your renewal notice, contact the state SOS to obtain your login information.

To complete the online auto registration renewal in IL, drivers must first log on to the system with their registration ID and PIN number. In order to verify the information present in the SOS database, applicants may also be required to enter certain personal data, such as their full name, date of birth and Social Security Number. After paying DMV registration fees with a valid VISA, MasterCard, Discover Card or American Express card, the order will be processed. The Vehicle Services Department mails out the new stickers within five to 10 business days.

By Mail and by Phone

When renewing car registrations in Illinois by mail, vehicle owners may be required to follow different steps depending on whether or not they have received an SOS renewal letter. Applicants who have received the renewal notice will be required to sign it, add a check payable to the IL SOS and return it to the address listed in the notice.

Drivers without a notice can still renew auto registrations in IL by mail with a letter that contains their personal data and specific information about their vehicle. Car owners will also be required to attach a copy of their current registration card and payment for the fees. After writing their mail-in application form for an IL vehicle registration renewal, drivers can send it to the SOS Vehicle Services Department in Springfield.

To renew DMV registrations by phone, contact the SOS Vehicle Services Department at their in-state or out-of-state number, provide your renewal ID and PIN number and supply your payment information. Drivers who do not have this information will be unable to renew their plates by phone.

Note: If the SOS letter of renewal contains incorrect vehicle information, you can make the necessary changes on the renewal notice itself prior to mailing it back to the Vehicle Services division.

In Person

To request a car registration renewal in Illinois in person, applicants will be required to visit a local Secretary of State facility and complete several steps, which may vary based on several factors. During their office visit, applicants may generally be required to:

  • Present an identification document, such as a state-issued driver's license.
  • Submit their renewal notice or last year's registration card.
  • Present proof of a valid car insurance policy (if required).
  • Pay the IL car registration fees.

When renewing auto registrations in IL in person, drivers also have the option to submit a name or/and an address change request to update their personal information within the SOS database.

Note: Acceptable forms of payment for the in-person procedure include cash, checks and credit cards.

Liability Insurance Requirements

Before initiating the process to renew vehicle registrations in Illinois, drivers must ensure that their vehicle liability insurance policy is still valid. Depending on the method chosen to apply for an IL vehicle registration renewal, car owners may be required to submit proof of valid car insurance coverage. Also, driving an uninsured vehicle is against state law.

Per state law, drivers renewing auto registrations in IL are required to obtain coverage in the minimum amount of: $25,000 for injury or death of an individual and $20,000 for property damages. By providing a legal signature on their DMV registration renewal form, applicants affirm that they will have the proper insurance coverage throughout their registration period.

Note: Failure to maintain the proper car insurance policy may lead to suspension of the offender's license plates. Drivers who are due to renew vehicle registrations in IL in such circumstances will first be required to reinstate their registration card by paying a certain penalty fee.

Vehicle Registration Fees in IL

During the Illinois DMV vehicle registration renewal, applicants will be required to pay several mandatory registration fees. The total amount of car registration costs in IL will vary based on factors such as the type of vehicle and the type of license plates that are ordered. For instance, the current renewal cost for standard truck and passenger plates is $101. Additionally, renewing personalized, vanity and specialty plates is a procedure that generally costs more than renewing standard tags.

During the process to renew auto registration online in IL, drivers will be required to pay an additional processing fee for the credit card transaction in the amount of 2.35 percent of the total payment costs.

Note: The types of accepted forms of payment will vary based on the type of application method that is used.

IL Vehicle Registration for Military Members

Members of the military renewing auto registrations in Illinois may be limited only to certain application methods. Active duty personnel stationed outside of the state, for instance, are unable to renew DMV registration online in IL, as the SOS mails out new registration stickers only to in-state addresses. In such circumstances, military members may be allowed to renew their registration card by mail. In any case, you can still submit your renewal request upon your return within the state through a local IL SOS branch.

When renewing military license plates, applicants will also be required to submit additional documentation as evidence of their military status. Due to this requirement, the online method to renew military plates may be unavailable for current or ex-military members who have not yet proved their status.

New Illinois Resident

New state residents can complete their first Illinois car registration renewal procedure a year after obtaining an original IL registry card. Applicants must request an IL car registration within 30 days of establishing state residency. When applying for their first auto registration in IL, new residents may be required to present their out-of-state documents.

The process to apply for an IL vehicle registration can be completed in person through a local Vehicle Services location in several steps:

  • Complete an Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD-190).
  • Submit your out-of-state title or other proof of ownership, if the title is unavailable, such as your previous registration card.
  • Provide paperwork that verifies your full name and IL address and your vehicle's information.
  • Submit proof of liability insurance and/or vehicle inspection (if required).
  • Pay the applicable IL vehicle registration costs.

Note: Drivers who lease their vehicles will have to submit additional documents.

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