Register Car in Illinois
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Need license plates for your vehicle? Below you'll find the entire scoop on how to register your car with Illinois' Secretary of State (SOS).
You'll need to register your vehicle if you recently:
- Bought it new or used.
- Received it as a gift..
- Moved to Illinois.
The registration and titling processes are closely related. If you take ownership of a car, you're required to title and register it within 20 days of the purchase date. If you just moved to the state, you have 30 days to register and title your vehicle.
Even though you don't need to provide proof of car insurance when you register your car, you can't legally drive without it. If you haven't yet fulfilled this requirement, you can find providers (and look for the cheapest rates) by visiting our Insurance Center.
If you buy from a dealership, the dealer should handle the registration and titling for you. Otherwise, you'll need to gather the following documents:
- A completed Application for Vehicle Title and Registration (Form VSD-190). Pick one up at any SOS location, or call (800) 252-8980.
- A properly assigned title (see our Title Transfers page). Make sure the information on the application matches the information listed on the title.
- A completed Form RUT-50
- A completed Tax Form RUT-25 (dealer purchase) or Form RUT-50 (private party purchase), if you recently moved to the state.
- Proper identification.
NOTE: If you reside in an area requiring a smog check, you'll be mailed, after registering, an emissions test notice.
If you're registering an out-of-state vehicle with an existing lien or a lease, consult the state's new resident brochure for additional documentation requirements.
Your registration, with standard plates, costs $101. Personalized or specialty plates carry additional charges.
Bring all documents and proper payment to any SOS office.
Or, mail the paperwork and fee payment to:
- Secretary of State
- Vehicle Services Department
- 501 S. Second St., Room 014
- Springfield, IL 62756
If you register in person and opt for a standard plate, the SOS will issue your license plates on the spot.
If you opt for a specialized plate, the SOS will mail your plates to you.
Although you may have taken care of your paperwork requirements, you can still take some steps to make your ride safer and more enjoyable.
Begin when you purchase a roadside assistance program and auto emergency kit. You never know what situation you'll find yourself in once you hit the road, and having both of these will help you deal with whatever arises.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.