License Plates & Placards in Illinois
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When you register your car for the first time, you will be issued two standard license plates. The registration for standard plates costs $79 per year to renew for cars and trucks weighing 8,000 pounds or less.
You can instead order personalized license plates with your own message. These are also known as vanity plates. These plates cost $94 in addition to the normal registration fees. You can even personalize certain specialty license plates.
Specialty license plates benefit a particular cause or organization. Sometimes only members of an organization may apply for its plates. Other specialty plates are available to anyone who's willing to pay a little extra to support a charitable cause. Most of these plates require an additional annual fee. Some of them can be personalized.
Illinois offers a wide range of specialty license plates. Some of these, such as the Pearl Harbor Survivor plate or the Master Mason plate, require the applicant to issue a formal affirmation that they qualify for the license plate.
Information and application forms for each type of specialty plate are available online. The following special-interest license plates are available:
- Affirmation for Gold Star
- Affirmation for Pearl Harbor Survivor
- Amateur Radio
- America Remembers
- Antique Vehicle
- Illinois Alpha Kappa Alpha
- Illinois Alpha Phi Alpha
- Illinois Hospice
- Illinois Route 66
- Master Mason
- Organ Donor
- Park District Youth
- Persons with Disabilities
- Pet Friendly
- Police Memorial
- Prevent Violence
- Sporting Series
Disabled Driver License Plates
Drivers with disabilities can apply for a special license plate or transferrable placard. This will allow you to use the blue-painted, specially marked disabled parking spaces. Disabled plate requests must be signed by a doctor or other authorized health professional.
These pamphlets and forms issued by the Illinois Secretary of State are useful for persons with disabilities.
- Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities
- Persons with Disabilities Certification for Plates or Parking Placard (appliction form}
- Persons with Disabilities Parking Chart
To be eligible for antique plates, your vehicle must be at least 25 years old, and look the same as it did when it was manufactured. Vehicles that are exact replicas of the original model are also acceptable. The vehicle must be as safe to drive as it was originally.
To apply for the plates, you'll need to complete a verification form, as well as the Application for Title/Registration form. The latter is available at Secretary of State offices, by calling (800) 252-8980, or by mail.
- Secretary of State Non-Standard Plates Section
- 501 S. Second St., Room 541
- Springfield, IL 62756
The plates have a five-year registration. The basic first year fee is $30, and the fee is reduced by $6 each following year. You can personalize the plates for an additional fee, and by completing the personalized/vanity plate application.
When these plates are on the vehicle, you may only drive to and from antique exhibitions and demonstrations, or to obtain repair work.
If you have the vehicle's original model-year plates, you may display them as long as the antique plates and registration are inside the vehicle.
The state offers a helpful brochure containing detailed information on antique plates.
The state does not require Illinois residents to return their license plates after relocating to another state. Learn more on our IL License Plate Surrender page.
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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