What Do I Need for an Illinois Title Transfer?

In order to initiate an Illinois vehicle title transfer, you need to obtain the vehicle title from the vehicle’s seller and have them sign it over to you. You are required to visit your local Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) office with the vehicle title, bill of sale (if applicable), and a completed application form, as well as payment for all required fees and taxes.

Smog Certification/Vehicle Inspection in Illinois

As a resident of Illinois, your vehicle is subject to mandatory smog checks if you live in any of the following counties:

  • Cook
  • Dupage
  • Lake
  • Kane
  • Kendall
  • McHenry
  • Will
  • Madison
  • Monroe
  • St Clair

All zip codes assigned to Cook, Dupage, and Lake counties must have emissions tests performed on their vehicles. As long as your vehicle is registered within the required Illinois emissions testing location, the following vehicles are required to begin emissions tests after they are 4 model years old and undergo testing every 2 years:

  • Most gasoline-powered passenger vehicles model year 1996 and newer
  • Heavy-duty trucks model year 2007 and newer (must weigh 8,501 to 14,000 pounds

When it’s time for your vehicle to have an emission test performed, you will receive a notice.

Smog Check Exemptions in Illinois

There are different smog check exemptions in the state of Illinois. Within the testable counties listed above, these vehicles are exempt from emissions testing:

  • Vehicles model year:
    • 1967 or older
    • 1995 or older if compliant with the IL Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law as of February 1, 2007
  • Diesel-powered vehicles
  • Electric vehicles
  • Motorcycles, including:
    • Motor-driven cycles
    • Motorized pedal-cycles
  • Antique vehicles
  • Custom vehicles
  • Street rods
  • Farm and husbandry vehicles
  • Parade and ceremonial purposes vehicles that are operated on a not-for-profit bases by:
    • Veterans
    • Civic organizations
    • Fraternal organizations
  • Vehicles that are operated only for amateur or professional sports activities
  • Vehicles with a junking certificate
  • Government-owned war vehicles
  • Any vehicle that is registered in a different state and compliant with that state’s emissions laws

Double-check to determine if your vehicle meets any of the above-stated criteria.

How to Transfer Your Vehicle Title in Illinois?

There are specific laws in the state of Illinois that determine the steps you need to take when transferring a vehicle title. These specific tasks vary based on whether you purchased the vehicle from a dealer, you purchased the vehicle from a private party, or you’re selling the vehicle.

Buying a Vehicle in Illinois

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, the dealership will handle the vehicle title transfer and vehicle registration paperwork for you. As far as private vehicle sales are concerned, you are responsible for initiating the IL SOS vehicle title transfer process. When you receive the vehicle title from the seller, make sure it has:

  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The “Assignment of Title” section completed, including:
    • The odometer reading
    • The date of the purchase
    • Your name
    • The seller’s signature

You also need to apply for a vehicle title transfer and vehicle registration by submitting the following documents and payment to your local IL SOS office:

  • The vehicle’s title
  • The Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) Form (Form VSD 190) This form must be completed online. Click here.
  • A completed Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction Form (Form RUT-50) This form is only available at IL SOS offices.
  • Payment for applicable Illinois taxes and fees

You can submit the above-mentioned documents and fees in person at your local IL SOS office or by mail to:

Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. 2nd St, RM 014
Springfield, IL 62756

Selling a Vehicle

If you’re selling your vehicle privately, you are required to:

  • Provide the vehicle’s buyer with the “Assignment of Title” section completed, including:
    • The odometer reading
    • The date of sale
    • The buyer’s name
    • Your signature

Make sure you remove the license plates before giving the vehicle to the buyer. You may be able to transfer the vehicle’s plates to your new vehicle. You are also required to complete a Seller’s Report of Sale Form (Form VSD 703). This report of sale form released you from being responsible for the vehicle.

Keep in mind, if you don’t have the vehicle’s title, you are required to apply for a duplicate vehicle title in order to successfully to transfer the ownership of the vehicle to the buyer.

How to Transfer a Car Title When the Owner is Deceased?

The vehicle title transfer process is necessary for beneficiaries who wish to keep the vehicle of the deceased individual. Joint-owners of the vehicle, beneficiaries, and surviving spouses have the authority to legally transfer the title of a vehicle to another person after the owner has passed away.

The process for transferring a vehicle’s title depends on whether the vehicle’s title was in the individual’s name as the descendant or whether there was a joint ownership. If the vehicle’s title was only in the descendant’s name, you are responsible for determining if the estate is being probated.

The legal process that administers the estate of a deceased individual according to their will is known as probate. This legal process occurs if there is no beneficiary or living spouse listed on the will.

If the vehicle is part of a probated estate, you need to follow these steps to successfully transfer the vehicle title of a deceased individual:

Contact Probate Court and Attorney

The title of a vehicle can’t be transferred until the probate process is complete. In this situation, the executor or administrator of the deceased person needs to contact Probate Court or an attorney to receive further instructions on how to proceed in the probate process. When the probate process is complete, the heir will receive the vehicle. The executor can then choose to sell the vehicle if they were given the vehicle.

Gather the Required Documents

You need to make sure you have all the following documents in order to transfer a vehicle’s title in Illinois:

  • Order from Probate Court to transfer the vehicle
  • Certificate of title
  • Odometer disclosure statement
  • Death certificate
  • Transfer fee

Visit the Title Office

Beneficiaries of the vehicle or the administrator of the deceased individual’s estate can visit the title office with the above-stated documentation to initiate the Idaho vehicle title transfer.

How to Transfer a Vehicle Title Without Probate

In Illinois, the deceased person’s property can’t exceed a specific amount and a certain amount of time needs to pass since the person has passed away before the Idaho vehicle title transfer process can be initiated.

When there is no probate involved, the joint-owner, spouse, administrator, or beneficiary may only need to submit the death certificate and the vehicle’s title to the title office, and the vehicle’s title can be retitled. There is no court order or attorney required for this process.

Transferring a Title After a Lease Buyout

After you pay off your vehicle, you are required to obtain this documentation in order to transfer the vehicle’s title:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Application form
  • Bill of sale
  • Odometer disclosure statement (located on the back of the vehicle’s title)

The vehicle’s current title is accepted as your application form when you complete the section of the vehicle title titled “Application for Title and Registration”.

How to Transfer Ownership of a Vehicle Without a Title in Illinois?

If you have lost your vehicle’s title, or it has been stolen or damaged, you must request a duplicate vehicle title by completing an Application for Vehicle Transaction. This form is available at your local Illinois SOS office.

Residents of Illinois are required to pay a $95 fee for a duplicate vehicle title. If you require expedited services, you must pay an additional $30 to receive a duplicate vehicle title within one business day.

If you require a lien removal from your duplicate vehicle title, you can do so by submitting an official lien contract letter stating the debt was paid in full or by submitting a court order stating the lien was paid in full.

Can I Gift a Car to a Family Member?

Yes! You can gift a vehicle to a relative. In order to gift a vehicle to a family member, you will follow the same steps as a standard vehicle title transfer process, except for the fee tax that is a set amount. The vehicle title transfer process is handled by the Illinois Secretary of State offices.

You need to obtain a VSD-190 vehicle title transfer form and the RUT-50 tax form. They must be filled out completely before they will be accepted. These forms are available at the Secretary of State offices. You can also request these forms over the phone by calling 800-252-8980.

Residents of Illinois must record the current odometer reading on the odometer line of the vehicle title. The current owner of the vehicle needs to sign the vehicle’s title and have their relative sign the title as the new owner. You also need to make sure the VIN provided on the vehicle title matches the VIN on the vehicle. The VIN is located on the inside of the driver’s door of the vehicle.

You must visit the Secretary of State office in person to complete the required paperwork and pay the necessary fees. There is a $95 title transfer fee and a signed title fee of $15. You can also mail these forms to:

Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. Second St.
Room 014
Springfield, IL 62756

Transferring a Vehicle Title When You Have an Out-of-State Title

Residents of Illinois have 30 days to transfer their out-of-state vehicle title and register their vehicle with the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) when they move to Illinois.

In order to apply for an Illinois vehicle title and vehicle registration, you must have:

  • The Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (Form VSD 190)
  • Documentation that verifies:
    • All vehicle owner’s names and signatures
    • Your address in Illinois
    • The vehicle’s odometer reading
    • A description of the vehicle
    • The names and addresses of the lien holders (if applicable)
  • The vehicle’s title
    • If you have a lien that is held by an out-of-state lien holder, you are required to submit a copy of the loan agreement and a copy of:
      • The vehicle’s title
      • The certificate of origin
      • The current registration or the bill of sale
  • A tax form (available at an IL SOS office) If your vehicle has been registered for less than 3 months, you need:
    • Form RUT-50 (if you purchased the vehicle from a private seller
    • Form RUT-25 and a bill of sale if you purchased the vehicle from a dealer
  • Payment for all applicable fees (including the $50 vehicle title fee, registration fees, and tax fees)

If you are leasing a vehicle, you are responsible for submitting:

  • The lease purchase agreement
  • The current out-of-state vehicle registration
  • Certificate of origin
  • Bill of sale

If you are submitting these documents in person, visit an IL SOS office. If you choose to mail these documents, mail them to:

Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
502 S. 2nd St RM 014
Springfield, IL 62756

Requesting a Duplicate Vehicle Title in Illinois

You need to request a duplicate vehicle title if you have lost or damaged your vehicle title, or it was stolen. You can request a duplicate vehicle title from the Illinois SOS. To apply for a duplicate Illinois vehicle title, you must submit:

  • The Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (Form VSD 190)
  • The vehicle’s title (if you have it)
  • The duplicate vehicle title fee of $50

Submit the completed application in person at an Illinois Secretary of State office or by mail to:

Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
502 S. 2nd St RM 014
Springfield, IL 62756

How Much Does a Title Transfer Cost in Illinois?

In the state of Illinois, vehicle title fees are due at the time of transfer. Title fees in this state are $95. If you are coming from a different state, you have 30 days to officially transfer your vehicle title. If you have inherited or purchased a vehicle, you are required to register your vehicle within 20 days. If you are required to register your vehicle at the time of transfer, the fee is $101 for a standard passenger vehicle.

If you are selling your vehicle, you can transfer your license plates for an additional fee of $25. If vehicle title corrections need to be made to your Illinois vehicle title, such as changing ownership or removing an owner, there is a $15 fee to make these changes.

Where Can I Go to Transfer a Vehicle Title in Illinois?

There are different Illinois SOS locations you can visit to transfer a vehicle’s title.

Granite City Driver Services SOS
1810 Edison Ave
Granite City, IL 62040
(618) 877-2451

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday (Closed)
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday (8 AM to 5:30 PM)
Saturday (7:30 AM to 12 PM)

Department of Motor Vehicles – Pinckneyville Office
404 S 1st St
Pinckneyville, IL 62274
(618) 357-8261

Monday, Saturday & Sunday (Closed)
Tuesday (8 AM to 5:30 PM)
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday (8 AM to 5 PM)

How to Fill Out the Illinois Title and Title Transfer Forms

You need to make sure you fill out each required section of the Illinois vehicle title and vehicle title transfer forms. Make sure you create a bill of sale that provides information regarding the vehicle, such as its model, make, year, and color of the vehicle. You also need to make sure you include the vehicle’s VIN.

If you chose to sell a vehicle instead of gifting it to someone, you need to add the sales tax to the vehicle’s total price. An odometer reading must be provided in the “transfer of title by seller” section of the vehicle’s title. The buyer of the vehicle must sign the vehicle title in the provided spaces in order to be valid and processed.

Keep in mind, you may be required to provide additional documents, such as proof of a valid Illinois auto insurance policy that has the state’s minimum insurance coverage requirements and a valid government-issued photo ID. If you don’t have a government-issued photo ID, a foreign passport is another acceptable document for ID verification.

My Car Title Was Signed But Never Transferred. What Do I Do?

A vehicle’s title can be signed but never transferred. In this situation, the seller of the vehicle didn’t transfer ownership or register the vehicle in their name.

An open title is a vehicle title that has not been transferred. With an open vehicle title, the vehicle’s seller is not legally responsible for the vehicle because their name is not listed on the vehicle’s title.

If the vehicle buyer loses the title, the vehicle title will remain temporarily open. This problem can easily be solved by applying for a duplicate Illinois vehicle title. The seller of the vehicle or individual listed on the vehicle’s title is responsible for requesting a duplicate title. Once the title is filled out, the vehicle title can be signed over for the buyer to put in their name.

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