Already have a buyer or seller?  Close the sale with DealNow.

How To Buy a Used Car In Illinois

Here are some helpful tips for buying a used car in Illinois.

Gather Documents

Certificate of Title

On the reverse side of the title complete the following:

  • Your name and address.
  • Your signature.
  • Seller’s signature.
  • Purchase price and date.
  • Odometer disclosure (for cars less than 10 years old).

Odometer Statement

Complete the odometer statement on the title. Cars less than 10 years old are exempt.

If there’s no room on the title, complete the Federal Odometer Disclosure Statement.

Bill of Sale

Although Illinois doesn’t require a bill of sale, it’s a good idea to have one. It can help things go smoothly with the registration and title application.

When you buy a car through PrivateAuto, the seller will have a bill of sale you can sign directly from the app.

Research the Title

The National Insurance Crimes Bureau website will help you verify the car:

  • Isn’t reported stolen.
  • Wasn’t declared a total loss in an insurance claim.

Mechanical Inspection

You’re buying the car as-is. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any hidden mechanical problems before you buy.

Work with an ASE Certified mechanic. A mechanic with this credential is skilled with most cars and light trucks.

Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report can show you the car’s maintenance and repair records, collision repair records, flood damage, and more.

When you buy through PrivateAuto, some sellers may provide a report from AutoCheck.

Registering the Car In Your Name

Illinois requires the seller to remove the license plates before finalizing the sale.

You’ll need to register for new plates and apply for a new title at an Illinois Secretary of State office.


When you buy a car in Illinois, PrivateAuto makes it easy. You get dealer-like services in the palm of your hand.

Search PrivateAuto Listings