When can you register your vehicles?

New Resident - You have 30 days from the date you move to this state to register your motor vehicle, tractor, motorcycle or trailer and get an Illinois license plate. Register your vehicle at the local Secretary of State (SOS) office where you live.

Illinois Resident - You have 20 days from the date of purchase or acquisition of a motor vehicle, tractor, motorcycle, or trailer to register. You should register your vehicle at the local Secretary of State (SOS) office where you live.

Penalties - If you fail to register your vehicle within 30 days from the purchase or acquisition date of the vehicle, you may be subject to fines if law enforcement pulls you over.

Before You Register

You need the following before you can register your vehicle:

  • Proof of auto insurance.
  • Proof of Illinois residency.
  • A completed Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) VSD 190 form.
  • A vehicle safety inspection.  Note: you'll need to show your auto insurance proof at the inspection station.
  • Proof that you own the vehicle such as previous registration or title from another state
  • A filled out Form 13-U Application for Texas Certificate of Title.
  • Form RUT-50 Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction, if purchased from a previous owner.
  • Form RUT-25 Vehicle Use Tax Transaction Return, if purchased from a car dealer.

Does my car need an emissions test?

Not all cars need an emissions test and not all regions of Illinois require an emissions test.  Generally, if your vehicle is 1996 and newer and gasoline powered, it will be subject to testing after it's four years old.  Diesel powered and exclusively electrically powered vehicles are not required to test.  You can read more about these requirements on the Illinois EPA site.  You can also get an up-to-date list of exemptions here on the EPA site.

Where do you register your vehicle?

You may register your vehicle at your localSecretaryy of State (SOS) office in the county where you live.  Bring the information described and forms described in the previous section.  Also be prepared to pay a base fee of $196 and Use Taxes.  There may be additional fees depending on vehicle type and your county.

You should receive plates and a vehicle registration sticker from the SOS office.

What vehicles are exempt from registration in Illinois?

Anything that is driven (cars, trucks, RV's, motorcycles, mopeds, motorized bicycles) or anything that is pulled (RT's, pop-ups, 5th wheels, trailers of all kinds and sizes) on the roads is titled and licensed.  Off-road motorcycles and ATVs are titled but are not registered. Pop-up campers and all other kinds of campers that are pulled behind a vehicle are both titled and registered. Slide-in campers or pop-up campers that are affixed to the vehicle or part of the vehicle are neither titled or registered.