Buying and Selling FAQs in Illinois

I've just moved to Illinois from Canada. How do I get Illinois license plates for my car?

You'll need to visit your local Secretary of State office to title and register your vehicle with the state. Submit a copy of your Canadian vehicle registration and proper ID to get an Illinois title.

I'm thinking of purchasing and importing a car from overseas. What paperwork will I need in order to register it in Illinois?

You'll need to have all the signed Customs and Border Patrol forms from the transaction, a bill of sale, and the manufacturer's certificate of origin (if the vehicle is new) or the current title signed over to you. Any documents that are printed in a foreign language must be translated. For more information about imports, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

I'd like to buy a car in Missouri. How do I register it in Illinois?

You'll need to visit your local Secretary of State office to title register your vehicle with Illinois using a Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190). You'll need to provide the current certificate of title signed over to you and a bill of sale.

If you wish to transfer your license plates from your old vehicle to this one, you'll need to bring copies of your current registration papers, too. Sales tax and license fees will be due at this time.

For more information, please contact the Illinois Secretary of State.

I haven't received the license plates for my new car in the mail yet. Can I get a temporary tag?

Yes, you can get a temporary registration permit (TRP) from local vehicle dealers, currency exchange offices, participating financial institutions, and your local Secretary of State office. This tag should be placed in the same spot as the rear license plate on your vehicle, and it is valid for 90 days.

I want to sell my car, but I can't find the title. Do I have to have it to sell my vehicle?

Yes, you need the title so you can sign it over to the new owner and record the odometer reading at the time of sale. You can apply for a duplicate/replacement title through the Illinois Secretary of State. Please visit our Replacing a Lost Title in Illinois page for more information.

I'm selling a vehicle to a family member. How do I handle the transaction?

You'll need to have the title, sales tax form, and other paperwork (which varies according to the situation). You can process the transaction at your local Secretary of State office, or by mailing the paperwork to the Secretary of State's main office.

See our Title Transfers in Illinois page for complete details.

I bought a hybrid car recently. Can I get a tax credit?

Unfortunately, no. This tax credit offer expired on December 31, 2010. However if you purchase an Electric Plug-in Vehicle (EV), you may be eligible for a rebate or tax credit on top of the savings of no more trips to the gas pump!

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