How Much Are License Plates In Illinois?

License plate fees vary depending on the type of plates you choose. The cost of a standard license plate in Illinois is $151, which is included in the registration fee.
If you want personalized plates, they’ll cost up to $245. Additional taxes and fees apply to both new and renewal registrations.
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What Is The Process For Getting Illinois Plates?

In Illinois, vehicles are required to have both rear and front plates.

(Every US state requires a rear license plate. Some states require a rear plate only, while other states require 2 license plates.)

Here are the steps for getting a new license plate from the Illinois Secretary of State (Illinois SOS).

1. Get an Illinois vehicle registration. Before you can get Illinois license plates, your vehicle must be registered with the Illinois SOS office. To register your vehicle, you must complete the necessary paperwork and pay the appropriate fees.
2. Acquire proof of Illinois auto insurance. To get new license plates, you will need to provide proof of auto insurance that meets the state's minimum requirements. Get fast car insurance here.
3. Select a design for your license plate. In Illinois, you can select from a variety of license plate designs. You can view and select from the available designs on the Illinois Secretary of State's website.
4. Complete the necessary paperwork. To receive your plates, you must submit an application for vehicle transactions and a registration renewal for your license plates. Additionally, you must present proof of auto insurance and a copy of your vehicle registration.
5. Visit the office of the Secretary of State. After completing the necessary paperwork and gathering the required documents, you must visit the Illinois Secretary of State office to complete the process. Bring your driver's license or another form of government-issued identification.
6. Pay the necessary fees. When you visit the office of the Secretary of State, you must pay the applicable fees for your plates. These fees may include registration fees, license plate fees, and additional costs. If you’ve recently bought a used car in Illinois, you’ll need to pay Illinois sales tax.
7. Receive your license plates in the mail. After completing all required steps and paying all applicable fees, you will be issued Illinois license plates. As soon as possible, you should attach the plates to your vehicle to ensure compliance with state law.

The Cost of License Plates In Illinois

There are many different types of license plates: passenger license plates, commercial vehicle plates, special license plates, trailer plates, and motorcycle plates.
License plates measure 6 by 12 inches and are rectangular (motorcycle license plates are smaller, measuring 4 by 7 inches). They are made of aluminum, which is durable and resistant to rust.

The Illinois license plate has six characters (across the 50 states, license plates have anywhere from six to eight characters).

How Much Are Standard License Plates In Illinois?

A set of standard Illinois license plates costs $151.

Passenger vehicles, commercial motor vehicles, motorcycles, permanent trailers, trailer coaches, and park trailers are eligible for a standard Illinois license plate.

Standard license plates are issued in any of the following scenarios:

Purchase of a new vehicle
Replacing damaged, stolen or lost license plates
The replacement of special interest license plates with standard plates

Illinois Specialty Plates

1. Military plates to honor military service and veterans.
U.S. Army
U.S. Navy
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Coast Guard
National Guard

2. Collegiate plates to show affiliation with Illinois universities and colleges, such as:
University of Illinois
Southern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University
Illinois State University

3. Sports team plates feature logos of professional sports teams, including:
Chicago Bears
Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Bulls
Chicago White Soxa
Chicago Cubs

4. Organ and tissue donor plates promote organ and tissue donation awareness with the "Life Goes On" message.

5. Firefighter plates recognize active and retired firefighters.

6. Police memorial plates demonstrate support of the Illinois Police Memorial Foundation and honor fallen officers.

7. Prevent violence plates promote awareness and raise funds for violence prevention programs.

8. Autism awareness plates promote autism awareness and support related programs.

9. Environmental plates feature designs that promote environmental conservation, such as:

10. Breast cancer awareness plates support breast cancer research and awareness efforts.

11. Pet friendly plates help raise funds for spay/neuter programs and promote responsible pet ownership.

12. Share the road plates encourage awareness and safety for bicyclists on Illinois roads.

Illinois Personalized and Vanity Plates

Personalized and vanity plates are slightly different. Vanity plates contain up to 3 numbers or up to 7 letters, while personalized plates can contain a combination of letters and numbers.

To apply for personalized or vanity plates, you will need to fill out and submit the Illinois License Plates Request Form.

Personalized Plates Cost

Illinois personalized license plates have an initial fee of $198, which consists of:

1. Registration fee of $151
2. Personalization fee of $47

If you're switching from standard to personalized plates, there will be a $76 “upgrade” fee.

You can find out if your desired personalization is allowed and available by visiting the SOS website.

Vanity Plates Cost

Illinois vanity license plates cost $245, of which $151 goes towards registration and $94 goes towards the plates.

If you're switching to vanity plates from regular plates, the fee will be $123.

Disability License Plates Fee

The cost of a disability plate in Illinois is the same as a standard license plate, $151.

To apply for disabled license plates, you will need to do the following:
Submit the persons with disabilities certification, signed by a licensed doctor.
Apply in person or mail the proper documentation to:

Secretary of State
501 S. 2nd St.
Howlett Building, Rm. 541
Springfield, Illinois 62756

Military License Plates Fee

The military plates are available to any Illinois resident who has served or is currently serving in the U.S. Army. The cost of a military plate in Illinois is the same as a standard license plate, $151.

To apply for disabled license plates, you will need to submit the following:

A copy of DD214 or a letter of verification from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs or the federal government showing the applicant's service record.
Apply in person or mail the proper documentation to:

Secretary of State
501 S. 2nd St.
Howlett Building, Room 541
Springfield, IL 62756

Transferring a Car Title

To complete the Illinois vehicle title transfer form, you will need to provide the following info:

Vehicle title signed you and the previous owner of the vehicle (seller)
Bill of sale
Odometer disclosure statement
Completed application for vehicle transaction (Form VSD 190)
Proof of private party vehicle tax transaction (Tax Form RUT-50)
You can also mail the above mentioned documents to this address:

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

To avoid paying a late fee or penalties, make sure you register the car right after transferring the title.

See our guide to transferring an Illinois car title for more detailed info on the process.

Register Your Vehicle with the Illinois SOS

To apply for an Illinois license plate, you must have a valid vehicle registration card from the Illinois SOS. In Illinois, you can register your vehicle in person. To make things more efficient, title transfer and car registration are done simultaneously.

An initial registration must take place in person at a local SOS office at the time of titling by submitting the following:

Proof of auto insurance (Don’t have insurance? Get a fast, free quote!)
Proof of Illinois residency
A completed application for vehicle transaction (Form VSD-190)
A vehicle safety inspection.
Certificate of origin
A tax form RUT-50
Payment for the registration and tax fees:
Vehicle registration per year fees: $151
Title fees: $50
Illinois car sales tax of 7.25% of the purchase price of the vehicle, plus applicable local sales taxes depending on your city and county of residence.

On the Illinois SOS website, you can find useful information about how to register your car and how to apply for a license plate.

How to Order License Plates

You can order license plates in Illinois by mail, online, or in person at a SOS office. Here are the steps for ordering license plates in Illinois:

1. Choose the type of license plate you want. Standard plates, personalized plates, vanity plates, disability plates, military plates, and specialty plates are all available in Illinois.
2. Gather any paperwork or documentation that is required. Depending on the type of license plate, you may be required to provide additional paperwork or documentation.
3. Decide how to order your license plates. You can order license plates online, in person at a Secretary of State facility, or by mail.
4. Provide the necessary information and payment. When ordering license plates, you must provide your vehicle registration information, proof of insurance, and any necessary paperwork or documentation. You will also be required to pay any applicable fees and taxes.
5. Wait for your new plates to arrive. The time it takes to process license plate orders varies depending on the type of plate and the method of ordering. The Illinois Secretary of State's website allows you to track the status of your license plate order.

How Much Does It Cost To Register a Car In Illinois From Out Of State?

To register a car from another state in Illinois, bring the following to your local SOS office:

An Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD-190)
Proof of Illinois residency
The vehicle title and registration
Proof of ownership

Read our guide to purchasing a vehicle long distance if you're thinking about buying an out-of-state car.

Illinois SOS Registration Renewal Fee

A standard vehicle registration renewal sticker costs $151. A renewal sticker for a personalized plate costs $158; a renewal sticker for vanity plates costs $164.
Each state has different requirements for how often license plates need to be renewed. Illinois drivers are required to renew their registration annually.

Being late on registration renewal can lead to late additional fees, fines, and other problems when pulled over for a traffic stop. To avoid this, it is important to pay careful attention to the registration expiration date.

License Plate Replacement Fees

In some cases, the Illinois SOS may require you to change your license plates. If your license plate is lost or stolen, contact the SOS office to have it replaced with new numbers and letters.

The replacement license plate fee is $6 for a single plate and $9 for a pair, while the replacement sticker is $20. If a single plate and plate sticker are required, the fee is $26. If both plates and stickers are required, the fee is $29.

To replace a damaged or unreadable plate, you need to submit the following to the Illinois SOS license plate agency:

Completed application for vehicle transactions ( Form VSD-190)
Payment for the license replacement fee

If your license plate was stolen, you’ll need to report the theft to law enforcement and apply for a replacement.

Illinois Temporary Registration Permits

If you recently purchased a vehicle and have submitted an application for registration but have not yet received your new license plates, you may be eligible for a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP). Distributors of TRPs include the offices of the Secretary of State, licensed auto dealers, money transfer services, and banks.

It costs $27 for a temporary permit that is valid for 90 days. When new license plates are received, you need to take the temporary license plates off.

How To Check If a Car Has Illinois Back Fees?

Before you buy a used car in Illinois, find out if it has any hidden fees. If it does, you could be responsible for them.

The first step is to obtain the vehicle identification number from the seller. With the VIN, you can contact your closest Illinois SOS location and request a title search. The Illinois SOS will be able to tell you if there are any unpaid fees associated with the car, such as a vehicle registration fee or a parking ticket.

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Colorado License Plates FAQ

Which license plates do motor-driven cycles need?

Motorcycles are required to have license plates in Illinois. Motorcycle plates are smaller than regular license plates and can be displayed in either a vertical or horizontal orientation.

What are some important facts about Illinois vehicle registration?

Are registration costs different in each county?

Is there a private party vehicle tax?