In Illinois, you can buy a car from a private seller or a dealer. When buying the car from a dealer, they will handle the required paperwork on your behalf. But when you buy it from a private seller, you will need to handle the required paperwork yourself. So, you need the required paperwork from the seller in order to get the car registered and titled with the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State (SOS). Continue reading this article to get more information about the paperwork required when buying a car in Illinois.

Paperwork for Illinois Car Buyers

As a buyer, you must obtain several documents from the seller and submit them to the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) in order to register and title the car in your name. These documents include:

  • The vehicle title certificate (which must include your name, signature and address), the seller’s signature, vehicle purchase price and date and odometer reading.
  • A bill of sale, if there is no odometer reading and purchase price at the back of the title.
  • The appropriate tax form, available from Secretary of State offices: If you purchase the vehicle from a private seller, you need to submit Form RUT-50 (Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction). If you buy a vehicle from an out-of-state dealer, you will need to submit Form RUT-25 (Vehicle Use Tax Transaction Return). If you buy a vehicle from an Illinois dealer, they will process all the required forms in your behalf.

Missing Title

If the vehicle title is lost or missing, the seller must apply for a duplicate copy before selling the car to you. You need a title in your file as it serves as the proof of vehicle ownership if questions arise challenging the legality of ownership.

Illinois Title Transfer and Vehicle Registration

To register and transfer title to your name, you must do so by mail or in person within 7 days from the date of vehicle purchase. To do so in person, visit the nearest Illinois SOS office. To do so by mail, send the required paperwork to the: SOS Department of Vehicle Services ERT Section, Room 424 501 S. 2nd Street Springfield, Illinois 62756

Title and Registration Paperwork

You will need to take or mail Form VSD 190 (Application for Vehicle Transaction) to the Illinois SOS. The application can be:

  • Completed at an Illinois Secretary of State office.
  • Completed and printed through the Illinois Secretary of State ERT system.

You application should be accompanied by the following:

  • The odometer reading.
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Your signature.

You will also need:

  • A bill of sale, if required.
  • The vehicle title completed and signed.
  • The appropriate tax form.
  • Payment for fees and taxes: $95 for the title. $101 passenger vehicle registration fee. Sales tax and use tax.

Once you submit all of the required paperwork and fees, you will be issued with a new license plate for your vehicle.

Transfer Your Registration

If you want to transfer your old license plates and registration, you can also bring your current vehicle registration papers in person to the Illinois Secretary of State office. The registration and vehicle registration transfer fees are:

  • $95 title fee.
  • $25 registration transfer fee.
  • Any applicable sales tax or use tax.

Vehicle History Report

A Vehicle History Report is not required when registering and titling your car. However, this report is important for you since it provides useful information about a vehicle that you are buying. Some of the information in this report includes:

  • Past accidents.
  • Odometer estimate.
  • Damage from accidents, floods etc.

Odometer Fraud in Illinois

Odometer fraud is common in Illinois. Many sellers tamper with the vehicle’s odometer reading to make the vehicle appear as if it has covered fewer miles. To avoid becoming a victim of odometer fraud, hire a qualified technician to inspect the vehicle before purchase. You can also get the correct odometer reading of the vehicle you want to purchase in a vehicle history report. Also make sure the seller’s identification documents match the name on the title certificate. Review the odometer reading on the vehicle’s title.