An Illinois (IL) vehicle bill of sale is simply a document that proves that you either bought or sold an automobile. It is a legal document that you may need for other transactions, but it is also basically a receipt for a purchase.
While a vehicle bill of sale is not required to register a vehicle through the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, the document may be useful later if there is ever a dispute. Because a bill of sale is not a complicated document, it is worth the minor trouble to make sure you have one when buying or selling an automobile.
A bill of sale protects both buyers and sellers, providing documentation that can settle disputes if one party ever makes a claim that the deal was unfair or that the other party reneged on the terms of the agreement. As you go through life, you realize how vital it is to document all serious transactions to save hard feelings or even litigation later.
Illinois Vehicle Bill of Sale Requirements
Illinois Vehicle Bill of Sale Form: Because a bill of sale is not required, there is not a specific form you need to use. Download a simple, easy-to-use form online.
Notarization: There is no notarization requirement, but if you have access to a notary, it may lend more legitimacy to the document.
Witnesses: No witnesses are required.
Language Requirements: There is no requirement for a specific language.
Number of Copies: Keep a copy for yourself somewhere safe, make one for the other party, and turn in one when you register your vehicle.
Writing Requirements: There are no specific writing or ink requirements.
Registering a Vehicle at the Illinois DMV
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Secretary of State has closed some branches and offered many other services online. You can sign up online using a free account to use many of the services you will need to drive safely in Illinois.
Requirements can include but are not limited to the items below:
Illinois DMV Offices: If you need to contract business at a branch, you can search for the nearest location by using your zip code.
Days To Register at DMV: Illinois residents purchasing new vehicles have 20 days to register their vehicles.
Fees: Fees vary based on vehicle type and whether the driver wants to purchase a specialty plate.
Auto / Liability Insurance: All Illinois drivers are required to carry liability insurance in case they are ever in an accident. Minimum amounts are $25,000 bodily injury per person/$50,000 per accident, $20,000 in property damage liability, $25,000/$500,000 bodily injury for under and uninsured motorists, and $15,000 with a $250 deductible for under and uninsured property damage.
Sales / Excise Tax: All drivers must turn in an RUT-50 form, or Private Party Vehicle Use Tax Transaction. when acquiring a vehicle through a private party. The form figures the sales tax based on the vehicle’s value. When you purchase from a dealer, the dealer fills out and turns in an ST-556 Sales Transaction form. The current base rate is 6.25% but there are usually local taxes also.
Antique / Electric Vehicles: Vehicles at least 25 years old (and firefighting vehicles at least 20 years old) may be eligible for a special license plate. When registered as such, the vehicles can only be driven in exhibitions and other similar situations. There are various fees depending on what kind of plate you want and when you register. Electric vehicle plates have extra fees, including an extra $100 in place of gas tax and extra fees paid into the State Special Services Fund.
Explain and link to any forms or information the user may need. Forms can include but are not limited to the following:
- Driver’s License and Proof of Residence: You will have to surrender your out-of-state license in order to establish your residence in Illinois and obtain a state driver’s license. In order to obtain your license, you will need to provide the appropriate documents, pay the fees, pass written and/or driving tests, and have your photo taken.
- Application for certificate of title / registration form: The Illinois Secretary of State’s Electronic Registration and Title (ERT) System allows individuals to fill out the documents online, after which there are 7 days to bring the supporting documentation and fees to a local office.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) verification: There is no specific Illinois form to verify the VIN, although this is one of the items that will be checked when vehicles undergo their required safety testing.
- Odometer disclosure statement form: An odometer disclosure form is required after a vehicle sale and there are potentially harsh penalties if individuals try to commit fraud when filling out the form.
- Emissions certificate: This basic testing is one of the hurdles you will face before registering and titling your vehicle.
- Seller’s report of sale: Anyone who sells or releases title to a vehicle in Illinois must fill out the seller’s report of sale and Illinois Secretary of State Vehicle Services Department immediately. This is a requirement for sellers only.
- Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) sticker: The manufacturer’s suggested retail price may be used to prove a value for your vehicle.
- Military service exemption: There is no exemption for military service registration fees, but Army veterans are eligible to purchase a specialty veteran’s plate.
- Driver privilege reciprocity: Illinois has reciprocity with other states but does not recognize foreign driver’s licenses.
How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Car in Illinois
Writing a bill of sale is easy. Although you do not need to have one in Illinois, you can create one in a few minutes if you have the information handy.
Step 1: Download a vehicle bill of sale form online.
Step 2: Write the legal names and addresses of the buyer and seller.
Step 3: Identify the vehicle by make, model, purchase price, body type, color, and VIN. Your odometer should be on your dash but you will have to look harder to find your VIN, which is usually inside your driver’s door.
Step 4: Include any liens or loans that will hold up a later transfer of title.
Step 5: Although not required, using witnesses or a notary will make your document more official.
Step 6: Make a copy for yourself, the other party, and the Secretary of State with the title and registration application. Include any necessary fees.