Illinois Car Title Transfer and Registration

It is a legal requirement to complete a vehicle title transfer in Illinois when buying, selling or receiving a vehicle. The specifics of the process vary in accordance with the type of transfer taking place – this guide explains how to go about the most common types of LV vehicle transfer.

Selling or Buying a Vehicle in IL

There are subtle yet important differences in the title transfer process for sellers and buyers. Nevertheless, both parties have legal obligations to fulfil.

Purchasing a Vehicle From a Dealership

One of the biggest advantages of buying from a responsible dealership is that all the necessary admin and paperwork will be sorted by the dealer on the buyer’s behalf.

Purchasing a Vehicle Privately

For those purchasing vehicles privately, it is the responsibility of the buyer to take care of the title transfer and registering the details with the DMV.

The vehicle title must be obtained from the person selling the car and must be checked for:

  • The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Full completion of the ‘Assignment of Title’ part, which should document the date of the sale, the buyer’s name, the signature of the seller and the odometer reading

After this, it’s a case of applying for vehicle registration and a car title transfer, which involves providing the SOS with:

  • The vehicle title
  • A filled out Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction (Form RUT-50)
  • A completed Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190)
  • All required taxes and transfer fees

Payments and documents can be submitted:

  • At your local SOS office in person
  • By post to:
    • Secretary of State
    • Vehicle Services Department
    • 501 S. 2nd St, RM 014
    • Springfield, IL 62756

Vehicle Sales in IL

For those looking to sell a car, it is necessary to:

  • Provide the purchasing party with the title for the vehicle, being sure to fully fill out the ‘Assignment of Title’ section (as described above)
  • Take off the registration plates prior to giving the new owner the keys (plates can usually be transferred to your next vehicle)
  • A Seller’s Report of Sale (Form VSD 703) must be completed in order to relinquish all responsibility associated with the vehicle

If the title for the vehicle has been lost, damaged or destroyed, it will be necessary to apply for a duplicate copy before the sale can legally go ahead.

Inheriting, Donating and Gifting Vehicles

The rules are slightly different when it comes to vehicles that are given away or received without payment, but it is still necessary to complete a title transfer for the vehicle.

Vehicles Given as Gifts

When a vehicle is received or given away as a gift, the title transfer process must be completed in order to ensure that ownership of the vehicle is appropriately transferred. This is usually the same process as that of transferring a vehicle title as part of a standard private sale.

Get in touch with the IL SOS at (888) 261-7864 for full details on title transfers for gifted vehicles.

IL Vehicle Donations

Vehicle donations are comparatively rare, though often occur by way of gifts to charitable organizations. Once again, it is necessary to transfer the title of the vehicle to transfer ownership rights and responsibility, with the process being very similar to that of a standard sale.

The IL SOS can be contacted at (888) 261-7864 with any questions or concerns.

Vehicle Inheritance

In the instance of an owner of a vehicle who dies, the process for transferring the vehicle title differs in accordance with the number of listed owners.

Sole Ownership

If the deceased individual was the sole owner of the vehicle, it will become a part of their estate and be transferred to the new owner.

In the instance that probate applies to the estate, the recipient of the vehicle will require:

  • Certified administration letters or testamentary that document that legal representative of the estate
  • The title for the vehicle assigned to the new owner by the representative of the estate

The recipient of the car is then required to go about the same title transfer process as would apply to a private car sale.

In the instance of a vehicle with a value of less than $100,000 and without probate on the state, the recipient will require:

  • A copy of the deceased party’s will
  • Abstract or copy of the death certificate
  • A Small Estate Affidavit documenting the VIN, model, make and production year of the vehicle
  • The title for the vehicle (assignment is not necessary)

More than One Owner

In the case of joint ownership, the vehicle will become the other party’s sole possession in the event of the death of one of the owners. The new owner will have the option of transferring the car to someone else, or arranging the title transfer to keep it in their own name.

Vehicle Title Transfer Fees in IL

At the time of writing, the Secretary of State (SOS) for Illinois lists the most common vehicle title transfer fees and associated charges as follows:

  • Vehicle title transfers:
    • From the seller to the buyer – $95
    • When a vehicle is passed to a joint owner after one owner dies – $15
    • From a deceased owner to a different person – $95
    • Fee for express title transfer – $30 on top of all standard fees
  • Changes to vehicle titles:
    • Corrections to personal details following marriage, divorce or death – $15
    • All other changes – $95
  • Removal or addition of lien – $95
  • Vehicle title duplicate copies – $95

Vehicle Title Changes

It is a legal requirement to ensure that all necessary corrections to personal information are registered with the IL SOS at the earliest possible opportunity.

Examples include:

  • Any change to your primary address
  • Removal or addition of lien
  • Addition, removal or alternation of any names on the title

Changes to IL vehicle titles can be made:

  • By visiting your local SOS office and applying in person
  • Via post to:
    • Office of the Secretary of State
    • Vehicle Services Department
    • 501 S. 2nd St, RM 011
    • Springfield, IL 62756

For the fastest and easiest way of tackling every type of vehicle title transfer, head over to Transfer My Auto to generate a free checklist of documents based on your circumstances!

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