Car Registration in Illinois
If you live in Illinois, or are moving to Illinois, your vehicles must be registered with the Secretary of State's (SOS) office.
If your vehicle is currently registered in Illinois and you are looking for information on renewing your registration, please visit our guide on Registration Renewal in Illinois to find out what is needed to renew.
NOTE: Other vehicle types have different registration requirements, including custom-built cars and snowmobiles. Visit our page on Other Vehicle Registrations for details on special vehicles.
If you are new to the state, you have 30 days to get your vehicle licensed and titled after becoming an Illinois resident. You must also obtain Illinois auto insurance before registering your car.
To register your vehicle, go to your local Illinois Secretary of State office with:
- An Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190), available at your local SOS office or online through the Electronic Registration and Title system. If you choose to complete and print the form online, you have 7 days to submit it to the SOS office, along with all required documentation.
- Proof of Illinois residency.
- The original title and registration.
- A description of vehicle:
- Year, make, and model.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Date of purchase and whether it's new or used.
- The applicable tax form:
- Form RUT-50 Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction, if purchased from a previous owner.
- Form RUT-25 Vehicle Use Tax Transaction Return, if purchased from a car dealer.
- Payment for the vehicle registration and tax fees:
- Registration fees: $101.
- Title fees: $95.
- Tax fees: based on value of the vehicle.
NOTE: Per the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), you can apply for a registration reduction fee if you drive an electric vehicle. Learn more at the AFDC's Electric Vehicle (EV) Registration Fee Reduction.
You will be issued your license plates, or a temporary registration permit (TRP) if you are applying for personalized or vanity license plates.
Whenever you buy a vehicle in Illinois, get one as a gift, or inherit a vehicle, it needs to be registered within 20 days from the date of purchase.
If you are buying from a car dealer, they will take care of sending this information to the Secretary of State's (SOS) office. When you buy from a private individual, it is your responsibility to complete the paperwork.
To register your vehicle, you must first obtain auto insurance for it. Then go to your local SOS office and submit the following:
- An Application for Vehicle Transaction (VSD 190), available at your local SOS office or online through the Electronic Registration and Title system. If you complete and print the application online, you must bring it into the SOS office within 7 days.
- The vehicle's title, signed by the previous owner.
- Names and addresses of lienholders, if applicable.
- A completed Odometer Disclosure Statement for Title Transfers (Form VSD 333) signed by both you and the previous owner.
- A Tax Form RUT-50 Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction (you can obtain this form at the SOS office).
- Payment for the registration and tax fees:
- Vehicle registration fees: $101.
- Title fees: $95.
- Tax fees: based on value of the vehicle.
NOTE: Per the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), you can apply for a registration reduction fee if you drive an electric vehicle. Learn more at the AFDC's Electric Vehicle (EV) Registration Fee Reduction .
You may then pick up your new Illinois license plates. If you are applying for vanity/personalized plates, you'll be issued a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP). You may also transfer your license plates for an additional fee.
You can also send all the documentation and payments by mail to:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
ERT Section, Rm 424
501 S. 2nd St
Springfield, IL 62756
More information on completing vehicle title transactions can be found at our guide on Title Transfers in Illinois, which will help you properly transfer the title from one owner to another.
Members of the Armed Forces who are not residents of Illinois must maintain proper registration and insurance of their vehicles in their home state, or risk being pulled over and fined by the police.
If you decide to become an Illinois resident, follow the steps listed in the “New to Illinois?" section above.
Illinois residents in the military should follow the same procedures as described in the vehicle registration section above.
You will receive regular license plates at the SOS office when you register your vehicle. If you would like a specialty plate or personalized license plate, you can get one for an extra fee.
Ordering special license plates will take 60 to 90 days to arrive after the application is filed with the Secretary of State. In the meantime, you will receive a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP). The TRP is a cardboard license plate that must be attached where the rear license plate normally lives, and is valid for 90 days from the date of registration.
If you do not get your license plates before the TRP expires, simply submit another Application for Vehicle Transactions (Form VSD 190) at no extra charge. You will receive another TRP to use until your new license plates arrive.
You can also transfer your license plates from one vehicle to another for an additional $25 transfer fee. Make sure to note the transfer when filling out your Application for Vehicle Transactions.
Visit our guide on License Plates & Placards in Illinois for more information on all types of Illinois license plates.
There are a number of different fees that you may be required to pay depending on the type of vehicle, vehicle weight, or license plate you have. The most common types of Illinois vehicle registration fees are:
- Passenger vehicle: $101.
- B-Truck: $101.
- Motorcycle: $41.
Emissions testing is not required to register a vehicle in Illinois. Vehicles do need to get regular emissions tests, so you may want to find out if your new vehicle is due for emissions testing. You can go to the Title and Registration Status Inquiry page and submit your vehicle's VIN to find out if your vehicle needs an emissions test.
If you want more information about the emissions testing program, visit our guide on Smog & Emission Checks in Illinois.