• BUYING AND SELLING FAQS

Illinois Buying and Selling

If you are a resident of Illinois that is buying or selling a vehicle, you must be aware of your responsibilities.  What could be a confusing time, is made simple with the help of 4DMV.com as we detail exactly what your responsibilities are as a buyer and seller of a vehicle in an easy to understand language. 

Depending on whether you are buying or selling through a dealer, will depend on what is required of you. 

When buying or selling a vehicle in Illinois through an auto dealer:

  • The dealer will likely take care of the paperwork for you.  However, it will be your responsibility to follow up and make certain that all paperwork was filed correctly.

When buying or selling a vehicle in Illinois througha  third party:

  • It will be your responsibility to handle the paperwork.  If you are the buyer of a used vehicle then visit 4DMV.com’s section titled Used Car Buyers Guide which will give you tips and advice to ensure that you are making the best purchase in a used car.

Transferring Ownership

If you are transferring ownership of a vehicle, which means you are the seller of the vehicle, you must:

  1. Provide the buyer of the vehicle with the Title Certificate at the time of the sale, which will be signed by the buyer.
  2. Remove the license plates from your vehicle prior to the new owner taking ownership

If you are the buyer of a vehicle, transferring ownership will include:

  1.  Registering the car into your name promptly at the Secretary of State Driver Services office.
  2. Titling the car into your name within 20 dates of the purchase of the vehicle.

Used Car Buyers Beware

If you are considering the purchase of a used vehicle, then you must take extra precaution to ensure that you are making a purchase that is worth the value.  There are vehicles that have gone from salvaged vehicles to clean titles as well as vehicles that have given their owners many hardships.  So, how do you determine the value of the vehicle you are interested in and its past history?  You purchase a Vehicle History Report on the vehicle which will detail the vehicles past history including its:

  • Number of owners
  • Whether it has been salvaged
  • How many accidents it has been involved in
  • Its past repair and maintenance repairs
  • Its last recorded odometer reading
  • And, more

Rebuilt Cars

If a vehicle has been rebuilt, the title of the vehicle will state that it has been rebuilt.  What a rebuilt title means is that the vehicle has been brought out of the salvage title.  This can be confusing, as a “rebuilt” vehicle doesn’t actually mean that the car has been repaired but has had 33% or more of the damage repaired.

If you are considering the purchase of a rebuilt car, then do you homework and make sure that the vehicle is worth its value.

Vehicle History Reports

Wondering how you can protect yourself as a used car buyer?  Or perhaps give yourself the edge if you are a used car seller?  Well, a vehicle history report is exactly what you require.  Vehicle history reports detail all the information regarding your vehicle’s past history which include:

  • Number of owners
  • Whether it has been salvaged
  • How many accidents it has been involved in
  • Its past repair and maintenance repairs
  • Its last recorded odometer reading
  • And, more

Buying Tips

The Illinois Secretary of State Police will answer any of your questions regarding the buying or selling of a vehicle.  To contact the Secretary of State Police visit Cyber Drive Illinois

For other helpful information on buying and selling a vehicle view the state published pamphlet Buying and Selling a Vehicle.

Buying or Selling Without a Title

Well,  if you are a vehicle owner in Illinois do not even consider buying or selling a vehicle without a title.  It cannot be done!  All sellers of vehicles who have lost the title to the vehicle, must apply for a duplicate title prior to the vehicle’s sale. 

In order to apply for a duplicate title you must:

  • Complete the Application for Vehicle Transaction which is the form VSD-190 and will be found at your local SOS office
  • Check the box on the Application for Vehicle Transaction which indicates you are applying for a duplicate title
  • Write in the VIN- Vehicle Identification Number of the vehicle as well as its current odometer reading
  • Sign the Application for Vehicle Transaction and submit to:

o    Office of the Secretary of State

o    Vehicle Records Processing Division

o    501 South 2nd St., Room 424

o    Springfield, IL 62756-6666

If you are an out of state resident that is requesting a duplicate title, your vehicle must have a previous Illinois title.  If you are the buyer of a vehicle that does not hold a current title from someone within the state, the previous owner will need to apply for a replacement title prior to the sale of the vehicle.

Buying or Selling Without Registration

Prior to selling you vehicle, you must make certain that you are both legal and up to date, with the SOS office.  If you are the owner of a vehicle whose registration has expired, it is your responsibility to pay the late fees that are applicable and/or to renew the vehicle’s registration for the time which you own the vehicle.  Once you sell the vehicle this is no longer your responsibility.

If you are the car buyer, it is your responsibility to know the process involved to register your vehicle.  For more information on registering your vehicle visit:

  • 4DMV.com’s page titled Register you Vehicle

To obtain the proper documentation to register your vehicle visit the SOS office or call:

  • 800-252-8980

For a list of locations nearest you, visit 4DMV.com’s page titled Locations.

What is the Lemon Law?

If you are the buyer of a new vehicle in the state of Illinois, then the Lemon Law is definitely something which you should be aware of.  The Lemon Law protects you, as a buyer, of new vehicles for those unpleasant situations when you have purchased a lemon.  For more information on the Illinois Lemon Law, visit 4DMV.com’s section titled Lemon Law.

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