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Guide to the Illinois DMV

illinois dmv guide

If you’re new to Illinois or have recently purchased a vehicle, here is a short guide to setting up your license and registration.

New Registration

Registration of your vehicle is required in Illinois within sixty days of becoming a resident.

To register your vehicle in Illinois, you will need:

  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of Illinois residency
  • The applicable tax form (Form RUT-50 Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction, if you purchased from a previous owner, and Form RUT-25 Vehicle Use Tax Transaction Return, if purchased from a dealer
  • Payment for the registration and tax fees ($101 to $114 for registration)
  • An application for vehicle transaction (Form VSD 190), available through the Electronic Registration and Title system

Vehicle Inspections

Illinois vehicles must complete an emissions test every two years, if the car is four model years old or older. Some vehicles are exempt from testing, check with your local Secretary of State (SOS) branch. You will receive a notice when it is time for your emissions test. Afterwards, the results will be entered into the SOS’s system electronically.

Registration Renewal

The Illinois SOS allows you to renew your vehicle registration online. You will have to enter your registration PIN, insurance info, and pay the $101 registration fee.You can also do this by phone, or by visiting an Illinois SOS office.

Titling

To title your vehicle, you must take the required documents to your county’s SOS office or submit them by mail. You have 30 days to transfer an out-of-state title. If you have bought a new car in Illinois, the dealer will submit titling information to the SOS for you. The required documents are:

  • The  Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (Form VSD 190).
  • Documents that verify your name, signature, address in Illinois, odometer reading, and a vehicle description
  • The vehicle title
  • The $95 title fee and applicable taxes

Driver’s License

If you are new to Illinois, you must relinquish your out-of-state license within 90 days of establishing residency. Your license will be valid for four years if you are between the ages of 21 and 80. You can get an Illinois driver’s license via the following steps:

  • Surrender your out-of-state license
  • Provide proof of Illinois residency (via a utility bill or pay stub, for example)
  • Provide proof of lawful U.S. presence (birth certificate, immigration document, for example)
  • Provide your Social Security number (or a letter of ineligibility)
  • Pass a vision exam and written permit test (holders of a valid license do not need to take a driving test)
  • Pay your license fee ($5 if you are 18 to 20 years old, $30 if you are 21 to 68 years old, $5 if you are 69 to 80 years old)

Auto Insurance Requirements

Illinois requires liability insurance for your vehicle. You must meet the following minimum coverage limits:

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury per accident
  • $20,000 per accident for property damage

You must also meet the minimum limits for uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage:

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 total per accident