How to Transfer an Illinois Vehicle Title?

Illinois Title Transfer
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A title transfer is required to show and prove ownership whenever a vehicle is sold or bought in the state of Illinois.

The title transfer process happens by default when buying through a dealership. Private sales require a little extra legwork (the focus of this page).

Need to transfer a title in Illinois? Keep reading and follow along.

How Do You Transfer a Vehicle Title in Illinois?

Dealers handle the title transfer process, so what likely brought you to this page is either buying or selling a vehicle in a private sale. The title transfer process in a private sale is quite simple if both parties are present and the paperwork is ready.

It’s recommended you request a duplicate title if you’re having trouble locating the original or if it’s been damaged beyond use. You must get the vehicle registered, or else you cannot legally drive.

What Documents Are Needed to Transfer an Illinois Car Title?

Documents Needed

When you buy a vehicle in Illinois, you can easily complete the process by bringing the necessary documents to IL SOS. These documents include the vehicle’s title, the bill of sale, your identification, and proof of residence, such as an electric bill under your name.

In-person vehicle transfer process:

  1. Get the Certificate of Title
    1. (Seller) Sale price
    2. (Seller) Odometer disclosure
    3. (Seller) Seller’s Report of Sale (VSD 703)
    4. Your name
    5. Seller’s signature
    6. Vehicle’s VIN
  2. File the Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190)
  3. Declare applicable taxes and fees:
    1. File the Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction (RUT-50)
    2. Paid sales tax
    3. Lien release (if applicable)
  4. Show your personal documents:
    1. Proof of ID
    2. Proof of insurance
  5. Pay the vehicle transfer taxes and fees.

Those selling will largely follow this process, placing the burden of registration on the buyer. Always file a bill of sale for tax/legal reasons. The IL SOS recommends both parties complete this process on location, making the process easy and quick.

You can also mail these forms and fees to:

Secretary of State

Vehicle Services Department

501 S. 2nd St, RM 014

Springfield, IL 62756

Dealerships, Out-of-State, Inherited, and Gifted Vehicles

You should try to begin the transfer process ASAP to avoid any issues with the vehicle, like forgetting it’s unregistered, being caught driving it, and getting a suspended license. Luckily, this process is about the same as private registration – with a few exceptions.

Buying from Dealerships

Dealerships will process your title & registration – often free, but sometimes with a cost.

You may choose to submit paperwork (Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin, Bill of Sale, Proof of Payment) and the VSD 190 and RUT-50. You’ll show your ID and make payments, too.

Out-of-state Vehicle

Got the vehicle’s title? You’ll need to bring these when transferring:

  • Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190)
  • Proof of ID and residency
  • Vehicle title
  • RUT-50 tax form (if applicable)
  • Bill of Sale
  • Vehicle Odometer
  • Any Lientholders

Pay the title registration fees and any extras as you would during vehicle registration. You may complete this process by mail, too, using the address listed above.

How Do You Transfer a Vehicle Title in Illinois to a Family Member?

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.

How Do You Transfer an Illinois Vehicle Title When the Title Holder Dies?

The vehicle title transfer process is a necessary step for individuals who wish to retain ownership of a deceased person’s vehicle. Joint owners, beneficiaries, and surviving spouses have the legal authority to transfer the vehicle’s title to another person after the owner’s death.

The process of transferring a vehicle’s title depends on whether the vehicle was solely owned by the deceased individual or if there was joint ownership. If the vehicle was solely owned by the deceased, you are responsible for determining whether probate is required for the estate.

Probate is the legal process that administers the estate of a deceased individual according to their will. This process is necessary if there is no listed beneficiary or living spouse on the will.

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

Probate Court

To transfer a vehicle’s title after the owner’s death, the executor or administrator must complete the probate process. They can seek guidance from the Probate Court or legal counsel. After probate is done, the heir can take possession of the vehicle. The executor can also choose to sell it if they have ownership.

Gather All Documents

You must have the following documents to transfer a vehicle’s title in Illinois:

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

Visit the Local DMV Office

Beneficiaries or the administrator of the deceased’s estate can transfer the Illinois vehicle title with the stated documentation at the title office.

How to Transfer 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 Gifted or Donated Vehicles

This process is largely the same, following a title transfer and registration fees.

  • A gifted vehicle requires a typical title transfer process
  • An inherited vehicle requires a title transfer, an applicable will, a death certificate, or an attorney affidavit.

Typical fees and taxes apply to gifted, donated, and inherited vehicles.

Illinois Title Fees and Taxes

There are no escaping fees and taxes when transferring and registering a vehicle. Luckily, the fees aren’t too expensive. Fees can include:

  • Title Transfer (Private Sale): $95
  • Corrected Title (Marriage, Death, Divorce): $15
  • Lien Add/Removal: $95
  • Duplicate Title: $95

It’s best to chat with your local IL DMV office for your exact case and needs. Or, refer to the IL SOS website for a complete breakdown of what you’ll pay.

Illinois Emissions Testing

While Illinois does not mandate statewide emissions testing, it is required in certain counties. Here is a list of the counties where emissions testing is mandatory:

Will CountySt Clair CountyMonroe CountyMadison County
McHenry CountyKendall CountyKane CountyLake County
Dupage CountyMadison County


Now that you know the steps to transfer an Illinois vehicle title, it’s time to get started. To sum up, ensure that all of the paperwork has been completed properly and make sure to include all relevant documents like the odometer disclosure statement, ownership document, lien release form, power of attorney form, notices of debtor’s death form, as well as payment for all applicable fees.

Now that you know the steps to transfer an Illinois vehicle title, it’s time to get started. To sum up, ensure that all of the paperwork has been completed properly and make sure to include all relevant documents like the odometer disclosure statement, ownership document, lien release form, power of attorney form, notices of debtor’s death form, as well as payment for all applicable fees.