New to Illinois

SUMMARY: New Illinois Residents

To establish residency in Illinois, you'll need to complete a number of tasks. These include registering your vehicle, completing a vehicle inspection, applying for an Illinois driver's license, and registering to vote. Use this guide to help you with the details of these services.

If you're new to Illinois, this guide will help you find information about everything from registering a vehicle, to getting a new Illinois driver's license.

Illinois State Departments

When most people think about motor vehicle and driver services they often think about the DMV. In Illinois, however, it is the Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) that administers driver and vehicle services within the state.

Other IL state agencies you may interact with include:

Just Moved?

Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.

Car Registration in Illinois

If you're bringing a car from out of state to IL, you have 30 days to register it with the Secretary of State (SOS) once you become a resident. For more information, visit our Car Registration in Illinois page.

Register a Special Vehicle

If you own a recreational vehicle (RV), an off-road vehicle, or any other type of special vehicle, the registration process may differ slightly from a standard car. For more information, please refer to our guide to Special Vehicles in Illinois.

Car Insurance in Illinois

Moving to a new state presents an excellent opportunity to get new insurance quotes and make sure you're paying for the right coverage for your situation. Visit our Car Insurance in Illinois page to get started.

Inspection Requirements

Depending on what area of Illinois you reside, you may need to have your car pass an emissions inspection before you can have it registered. To find out if your vehicle needs to comply, please visit our page on Illinois vehicle inspections.

IL Driver's Licenses & ID Cards

If you're an adult driver who is new to Illinois, you are allowed to drive you're your out-of-state driver's license for up to 90 days after establishing residency. After this time, you must apply for an Illinois driver's license.

To learn about the process of obtaining an Illinois driver's license, check out our Applying for a License in Illinois page.

NOTE: Applying for a commercial driver's license (CDL) in Illinois is a slightly different process.

If you're a teenager, you must make sure that any training you received in your previous state meets the graduated driver's licensing (GDL) requirements in Illinois. For more information, visit our Applying for a Teen Driver's License page.

Identification Cards

If you don't wish to drive in Illinois but need some form of ID, you can apply for an identification card from the SOS. Visit our page on Illinois Identification Cards for information and instructions.

Voter and Organ Donor Registration

During a move, there are many things to keep track of. One item often overlooked is updating your voter registration. If you don't register to vote in your new county on time, you won't be eligible to vote in the next election. You'll find out when and where you can do this on our Voter Registration in Illinois page.

Are you a registered organ donor in your previous state? If so, you'll need to re-register as a donor in Illinois. Your information isn't automatically updated on the organ donor registry. If you're not currently registered, visit our Organ Donation page for more information and to register.

Out-of-State Military Stationed in Illinois

If you're only in Illinois temporarily due to military obligations, visit our Drivers in the Military page for more information about using your out-of-state driver's license and car while in the state.

The information found on this page may also apply to your spouse and dependents.

DMV Office Locations and Resources

If you need to find the closest DMV office to you, use our handy office finder tool. Before you start driving on Illinois roads, you may want to read through the following manuals and make sure you're aware of all the rules of the road:

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