Skip Navigation

VEHICLE SERVICES


FAQ

Customer Services/Dealer Licensing Division

Who is required to be licensed as a vehicle dealer?
Any person engaged in the business of selling or dealing in, on consignment or otherwise, five or more vehicles during the year, or who acts as an intermediary, agent or broker for any licensed dealer or vehicle purchaser, or who represents or advertises that he/she is engaged in or intends to engage in such a business.

What are the requirements to become a licensed vehicle dealer?
Requirements can be found in Illinois Vehicle Code (625ILCS 5/5-101) and the Illinois Administrative Code (Section 1020.10).

Are there any exceptions/exemptions for brokers or wholesalers?
No. They must meet the same requirements as other vehicle dealers.

What is the cost of a vehicle dealer license?
A license to sell new and/or used motor vehicles costs $1,000. Licensed dealers may purchase license plates to demonstrate their vehicles at a cost of $45 for a master set and $13.00 for each duplicate set.

What do investigators look for when conducting an inspection at my dealership?
A Secretary of State inspector will check to see if the established place of business requirement is met as required by the Illinois Administrative Code (Section 1020.10).

How long does the process take?
The processing of documentation and fees along with the Secretary of State investigation to issue a dealer license takes about two to four weeks.

Upon the sale of a dealership, can the license be transferred?
No. When there is a change of ownership, the new owner(s) must apply for their own dealer license.

How long do I have to be bonded as a vehicle dealer?
Vehicle dealers must be bonded for the first 36 consecutive months of business operations as long as they have not been delinquent or deficient in the transmittal of title and registration fees or taxes.

Do I have to renew the vehicle dealer license every year?
Yes. All licenses issued expire each December 31st.

Downstate Field Services Division

How much does a license plate renewal sticker cost?
A standard renewal sticker costs $101; a renewal sticker for a personalized plate costs $108; and a renewal sticker for a vanity plate costs $114.

How do I obtain another vehicle title?
You must apply for a duplicate title, which costs $95. A duplicate title for an off-road vehicle costs $30. Proof of ownership is required to obtain a duplicate title.

How much does it cost to title and register my vehicle in Illinois?
The total fee for a standard vehicle is $196 ($95 vehicle title + $101 registration/license plates).

If there are two names on the back of the title, do both parties have to sign title and registration applications?
Yes.

Is the Illinois title required to be notarized?
No.

Will I get a temporary license plate while waiting for my personalized or vanity plates?
No. You will be issued a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP) on a new vehicle purchase, which is valid for 90 days. The TRP must be displayed in place of the license plate on the back of the vehicle until receiving your vanity or personalized license plates. A license plate switch from a standard plate to a personalized or vanity plate does not require a TRP.

What Secretary of State facility is close to where I live so I can register my vehicle?
Facility Finder.

What is a remittance agent?
A remittance agent is an individual or company authorized by the Secretary of State's office to accept money from the public for vehicle title and registration fees. The remittance agent charges a handling fee for the services.

Are remittance agents authorized to issue a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP)?
Yes.

Are credit cards accepted for payment at facilities?
American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa are accepted at Secretary of State facilities. A bank processing fee is charged based on the total amount of the transaction.

Automation Technical Support Division

TThe Automation Technical Support Division compiled the following statistics frequently requested from the Vehicle Services Department concerning registrations in Illinois:
Number of vehicles registered in Illinois: approximately 10.4 million
Number of passenger registrations in Illinois: approximately 7.1 million
Number of B-truck registrations in Illinois: approximately 1.3 million
Number of motorcycle registrations in Illinois: approximately 240,000
Number of recreational vehicle registrations in Illinois: approximately 50,000
Number of recreational trailer registrations in Illinois: approximately 84,000
Number of TA trailer registrations in Illinois: approximately 400,000
Number of antique registrations in Illinois: approximately 24,000
Number of environmental registrations in Illinois: approximately 25,000
Number of persons with disabilities registrations in Illinois: approximately 66,000

Mandatory Insurance Division

What vehicles are affected?
Liability insurance is required for all motor vehicles that must display license plates and are being driven, including cars, vans, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trucks and buses. Trailers are not required to have liability insurance.

How can I comply with this law?
You are in compliance with the mandatory insurance law if you have vehicle liability insurance in the following minimum amounts:
$20,000 - injury or death of one person in an accident
$40,000 - injury or death of more than one person in an accident
$15,000 - damage to property of another person
You must always carry your insurance card in your vehicle and show it upon request by any law enforcement officer. Your insurance company will send you an insurance card, usually when your insurance policy is issued or renewed.

What is the questionnaire sampling process?
If the computer randomly picks your vehicle, you will receive a questionnaire form asking for the name of your insurance company and policy number. Your answers will be verified with the company you name. If you did not have insurance or fail to return the questionnaire with the requested information, your license plates will be suspended.

How could I receive a traffic citation for driving without liability coverage?
If you are stopped for a traffic violation or involved in an accident, a law enforcement officer may issue a traffic citation if you are unable to provide evidence of insurance. If convicted, your license plates will be suspended and you will face the following fines
a. minimum $500 fine for driving uninsured
b. minimum $1,000 fine for driving a vehicle while the license plates are suspended for a previous insurance violation

How long will my license plates be suspended? Do I have to pay a reinstatement fee?
The license plates of a first time offender are suspended until a $100 reinstatement fee and current evidence of insurance are provided. Repeat offenders are required to serve a four-month suspension period, pay the $100 reinstatement fee and provide current evidence of insurance before being eligible for reinstatement.

If my vehicle is suspended, can I drive other vehicles?
While the license plates are suspended no one may operate your vehicle; however, you may operate other vehicles that are insured.

Do I have to return my license plates if they are suspended?
No, the Secretary of State does not require the return of the license plates.

Where can I reinstate my license plates?
For an immediate reinstatement of your license plates, you can visit one of the Secretary of State facilities: Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago Central, Chicago North, Chicago South, Chicago West, Decatur, Granite City, Libertyville, Lombard, Moline/Silvis, Naperville, Quincy, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, Tilton, Waukegan and Woodstock.
If you are unable to visit one of the facilities, the restatement may be processed by mailing the fee and evidence of insurance to:
Secretary of State
Mandatory Insurance Division
501 S. 2nd St., Room 429
Springfield, Illinois 62756-7000.

What should I do if I am involved in an accident with an uninsured driver?
An accident report must be filed with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) if damages exceed $500 or if injuries resulted from the accident. The Safety Responsibility Law requires at-fault uninsured drivers to pay for damages they cause or face license plate and driver's license suspensions.
Administration of the Safety Responsibility Law is initiated in the Accident Records Section of IDOT. Inquiries may be directed to:
Illinois Department of Transportation
Accident Reports Section
3215 Executive Park Dr.
Springfield, IL 62766
217-782-4516

Can I request insurance information from the Secretary of State on other drivers and vehicles?
No, the Secretary of State's office does not maintain insurance information for all registered vehicles. Insurance information is available only from the driver involved in the accident or from the report filed with IDOT.

Automation Technical Support Division/Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Section

How do I request information on vehicle titles and registrations?
Complete a Secretary of State Information Request Form or contact:
Secretary of State
Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Section
501 S. Second St., Rm. 408
Springfield, IL 62756
217-785-3000

How much does vehicle information cost?
Title search - $5
Registration search - $5
Title & Registration - $10
Certified for Court $10.

What information is released when requesting vehicle information?
Non-exempt entities (not representing a law enforcement agency, governmental agency, financial institution, attorney, insurer, employer, automobile associated business) will not be provided with any personal identification information. Only vehicle information will be released.

How long does it take to receive vehicle information once the Secretary of State Information Request form has been submitted?
There is a 10-day delay in the release of information on an individual vehicle record for a non-exempt entity.

How do I apply for a certified copy of vehicle information for a court case?
Submit a completed Secretary of State Information Request Form or a letter requesting a certified copy. A $10 fee for each vehicle record requested.

Special Plates Division

What is the difference between a vanity and a personalized license plate?
Vanity plates contain up to 3 numbers only or 1 to 7 letters only. Personalized plates contain both letters and numbers. Vanity and Personalized License Plate Brochure.

What plate categories are available in vanity and personalized?
Passenger, B-truck, Motorcycle, America Remembers, Antique, Persons with Disabilities, Recreational Vehicle, Recreational Trailer, Antique Motorcycle, Education, Environmental, Illinois Route 66, Mammogram, Organ Donor, Pet Friendly, Prevent Violence, Police Memorial, Firefighter Memorial, Master Mason and Sporting Series..

Can I call the Secretary of State's office to inquire about vanity or personalized plate availability?
No. You can visit Pick-A-Plate to inquire about vanity and personalized plates availability. Requests may also be in writing or faxed to:
Secretary of State
Special Plates Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 524
Springfield, IL 62756
FAX: 217-558-4077

How long will it take to receive my vanity or personalized plates?
At least 60 to 90 days between once the application is mailed with the proper fees.

It has been more than 90 days since I sent in my application and money for special plates. What should I do?
If you haven't received your special plate within 90 days, visit your local Secretary of State facility and obtain an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190). They will submit the form to the Special Plates Division where another set of plates will be ordered for you at no additional fee.

I used to have a vanity/personalized plate several years ago. How can I get that plate back?
If it has been over one year since you allowed the plate to expire, send a written request to:
Secretary of State
Special Plates Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 524
Springfield, IL 62756

How many military plate categories are there and what are the eligibility requirements?
There are 31 military categories: Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Air Force Service Cross, Armed Forces Reserves, Bronze Star, Congressional Medal of Honor, Disabled Veteran, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Ex-Prisoner of War, Gold Star, Illinois National Guard, Iraq Campaign Medal, Korean Service, Korean War Veteran, Marine Corps, Navy Service Cross, Paratrooper, Pearl Harbor Survivor, POW/MIA Remembers, Purple Heart, Purple Heart Motorcycle, Retired Armed Forces, Silver Star, Universal Veteran, Universal Veteran Motorcycle, U.S. Army Veteran, U.S. Navy Veteran, Vietnam Veteran, West Point Bicentennial, Women Veterans, and World War II Veteran. Eligibility requirements vary for each plate. See License Plate Guide.

How do I apply for a Persons with Disabilities Parking Placard?
You may contact:
Secretary of State
Special Plates Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 539
Springfield, IL 62756
You also may visit your nearest Secretary of State facility or download and complete the Persons with Disabilities Certification for Plates or Parking Placard. Once your physician completes the form, return it to the above office. Secretary of State facilities may only issue temporary parking placards, good for up to six months. The Springfield office issues all permanent parking placards and license plates.

I have seen a plate with a red bird on it. What is it and how do I get it?
The plate with the red bird plate on it is the Environmental plate. This plate costs an additional $40 upon original issuance and has an annual environmental fee of $27 in addition to the renewal fee. A portion of the environmental fee goes toward improvement and preservation of Illinois state parks. License Plate Guide.

What are the guidelines for our organization to qualify for special event license plates?
An organization must be planning an event open to the public that promotes the interest of Illinois citizens to qualify for special event plates. Six months prior to the event a request containing a brief description and the beginning and ending dates of the event needs to be submitted to the Special Plates Division. The plate manufacturer bills the organization for the cost of the special event plates. A maximum of 200 sets of plates may be ordered.

I did not receive a pre-printed license plate renewal form. How do I renew my license plates?
The license plate registration renewal notice is sent out as a courtesy reminder, and it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that their annual license plate sticker is current. You may visit your local Secretary of State facility to renew your license plates, or submit a letter with your name, address, license plate number and a check payable to the Secretary of State for the correct renewal amount to:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. Second St., Rm. 011
Springfield, IL 62756-6666

How can I change my address on the vehicle registration?
Submit a letter indicating your license plate number, name, old address and new address to:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Records Processing Division
License Correction Section
501 S. 2nd. St., Rm. 624
Springfield, IL 62756
or you may use the online Address Change Form. There is no fee to change an address unless a corrected ID card is requested, which costs $3.00.

How do I apply for a replacement license plate(s)/sticker?
Submit an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) available at your local Secretary of State facility to:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. Second St., Rm. 011
Springfield, IL 62756-6666

You may also visit your local Secretary of State facility. Please have your current license number available.
The fees are as follows:
Replacement sticker - $20
Replacement plate (1 plates) with sticker - $26
Replacement plates (2 plates) with sticker - $29
Replacement single plate - $6
Replacement both plates - $9

Do I qualify for a discount on my registration under Benefit Access Program provisions?
Please visit the Illinois Department on Aging's Benefit Access Program website for eligibility requirements.

My pre-printed renewal form has the wrong vehicle information. How do I renew the registration?
Line out incorrect vehicle information on the renewal form, attach a copy of the Registration Identification Card as proof, and submit a check payable to the Secretary of State for the correct renewal amount and mail to:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. Second St., Rm.011
Springfield, IL 62756-6666
You may also visit your local Secretary of State facility to make the correction and renew your plates.

How do I apply for a duplicate registration card?
Submit a completed Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) to:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. Second St., Rm. 011
Springfield, IL 62756
You may also visit your local Secretary of State facility. The fee for a duplicate registration card is $3.

How do I apply for license plates?
You must submit a copy of the Illinois Certificate of Title for you vehicle in your name along with a completed Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) to the Secretary of State. The fee is determined by the license plate category or by the weight of the vehicle (License Plate Guide). Submit documents to:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. Second St., Rm. 011
Springfield, IL 62756
You may also visit your local Secretary of State facility.

Can I renew my registration using a credit card?
Yes. You may renew online or registration renewals with no incorrect information may be obtained using your American Express, Discover or MasterCard by calling 1-866-545-9609. A convenience fee will be added to your transaction if you use a credit card.

My registration sticker is expired. How can I renew and get a sticker fast?
You can renew online or go to your nearest Secretary of State facility. A number of financial institutions and currency exchanges also sell registration stickers. You will need to contact your local financial institution or currency exchange to see if they provide this service.

If I want to remove a name from a title due to divorce or death, how do I get title in my name?
To remove a name due to divorce, an affirmation from the individual releasing interest in the vehicle and license plate, or a complete copy of the divorce decree awarding the vehicle must be submitted with the Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190).
Note: Corrected title applications involving the removal of a name because of divorce or the death of a co-owner or for changing an owner's name because of marriage must be accompanied with a $15 title fee. Other changes maybe made at the same time providing divorce, death of a co-owner or marriage is the prevailing reason for the change.
To remove a name due to a deceased owner, a certified copy of the death certificate must be submitted along with the Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190). If the estate is being probated, a certified copy of letters of office, administration, testimony or court order must be submitted with the application. More information concerning Corrected Titles and the Deceased.
To remove a name due to a deceased owner, a certified copy of the death certificate must be submitted. If the estate is being probated, a certified copy of letters of administration or court order must be submitted with the application. For more information regarding estates, please contact:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. Second St., Rm. 011
Springfield, IL 62756-6666

Vehicle Titles Division

How do I apply for a Certificate of Title for my vehicle?
You will need to submit an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) along with the $95 title fee, applicable tax form, and a surrendered title or manufacturer's certificate of origin signed to you by the seller. Other supporting documents may be required.

How much does a Certificate of Title cost?
An original, duplicate or corrected title is $95. A Salvage Certificate is $4, and a Junking Certificate is issued at no cost.

How long does it take to issue a title?
About three to four weeks once the Secretary of State's office received the application.

Can I pick up the title in Springfield?
Illinois law requires that the Certificate of Title be mailed.

How do I apply for a duplicate or lost vehicle title?
An Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) and $95 fee must be submitted stating the reason for the duplicate title request. The original title must have been lost, stolen or mutilated. The application must indicate the exact vehicle identification number and the last license plate number.

When I am selling my vehicle to another person, do I have to have my title?
Yes, the Certificate of Title must be signed over on the back to the person purchasing the vehicle. Federal and state law requires that the title indicate the signed and printed names of all the sellers and buyers, certifying the odometer reading as the "actual mileage" on the vehicle's odometer, "in excess of the odometer's mechanical limitations "or "not the actual mileage".

If my vehicle was involved in an accident and my insurance company has paid a total loss, may I keep the vehicle?
If the vehicle is nine model years old or more, the insurance company may, by agreement, let the registered owner keep the vehicle. Otherwise, the insurance company owns the vehicle.

Is a person required to pay sales tax when purchasing a vehicle or being given a vehicle from a relative?
Yes, the RUT-50 sales tax form must be completed and submitted with the Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190). For applicable tax amounts, contact the Illinois Department of Revenue at 1-800-732-8866.

A vehicle was left on my property and I do not know the owner. Can I get title in my name?
No, you must contact your local law enforcement or a towing company to remove the vehicle.

How can I change my address on my vehicle registration?
Submit a letter with your name, previous address and new address and license plate number.
Secretary of State
Vehicle Records Processing Division
License Correction Section
501 S. Second St., Rm. 624
Springfield, IL 62756
You also may submit the online Address Change Form.
There is no fee to change an address unless a corrected Illinois Registration Identification Card is requested, which costs $3.

My registration record is in error. How do I correct it?
Please contact:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Records Processing Division
License Correction Section
501 S. Second St., Rm. 624
Springfield, IL 62756

Winchester Distribution Division

How do I get a sample license plate for a collection?
Download and print out the Sample License Plates Order Form and send it along with $4 per plate requested to:
Secretary of State
Winchester Distribution Division
Attn: Sample Plate Request
3701 Winchester Rd.
Springfield, IL 62707

Why is it necessary to have two plates on a vehicle in Illinois?
Law enforcement says that two plates are vital in motor vehicle identification for both traffic and crime control.

How do I obtain a special license plate?
Please contact:
Secretary of State
Special Plates Division,
201 S. Second St, Room 520
Springfield, IL 62756
217-785-0005

What are the types and uses of temporary permits, and how can they be obtained?
7/30 DAY INTRASTATE/INTERSTATE TRANSPORT PERMITS - A 7/30 –Day Intrastate/Interstate Transport Permit is a multiple permit for use as a non-resident, drive-away or intrastate permit. The permit allows out-of-state purchasers to operate newly purchased vehicles from the place of sale to a destination outside Illinois for 30 days. An intrastate/Interstate Transport Permit may also be issued for a non-registered first or second division vehicle for the purpose of moving it within the State of Illinois. Any second division vehicles operating on a Intrastate/Interstate Transport Permit may operate only on empty weight. Permits are available at Secretary of State facilities for $10 each.

The Secretary of State issues Intrastate/Interstate Transport Permits to licensed vehicle dealers, remittance agents and currency exchanges for $10 each. To purchase the permits, agents must complete and mail the 7/30-Day Vehicle Permit Application (VSD 193) along with the fees to the address on the application. Dealers selling vehicles to non-residents may issue permits and deliver vehicles at the dealer's Illinois place of business without incurring Illinois tax liability. Dealers are not authorized to transfer permits from one dealer to another. Each dealer is assigned numbered permits and is responsible for all permits issued to the dealership.

TEMPORARY REGISTRATION PERMIT (TRP) - A Temporary Registration Permit (TRP) to operate a newly acquired vehicle for which a valid registration application has been filed, along with the proper fees, is issued by Secretary of State facilities, licensed vehicle dealers, remittance agents and currency exchanges. An applicant must display a TRP in place of the license plate on the back of the vehicle until receiving Illinois license plates. A TRP expires 90 days after issuance. A TRP may be reissued if the license plates are not received before the expiration date of the permit; however, only a Secretary of State facility may issue a new TRP.

When submitting an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190), the number of the TRP issued must be indicated on the application. Secretary of State personnel, dealers, remittance agents and currency exchanges are responsible for the safekeeping and proper issuance of each numbered TRP registered to them, and records must be maintained by the agent for the current year and the three previous years. Additional TRPs may be obtained by ordering online thru the TRP website.

PROOF OF TEMPORARY REGISTRATION FOR PRIVATE PARTY PURCHASE - A person who purchases a vehicle from a private party without the services of a dealer or remittance agent may legally operate the vehicle for a 24-hour period with possession of the title for transit to an agent or a Secretary of State facility. An Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) will be filed by the Secretary of State and a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP) will be issued to be displayed in the same places as the rear license plate. In case of a vehicle purchased from a private party by an individual who has then applied for a title and registration without the service of a dealer, remittance agent or an agent of the Secretary of State's office; the vehicle may legally be operated if a copy of his/her completed, signed and verified* Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) is displayed in the lower-right corner of the front windshield. The application must be folded and placed on the windshield in a manner that does not restrict the driver's vision.

*To verify the application, the applicant states in writing above his/her signature that (1) the application being displayed is a copy; (2) the original was mailed to the Secretary of State's office, and (3) the date it was mailed to the Secretary of State's office.