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Added Jul 04 2014

Sorry, I know this isn't specific to Portage Park, but I thought someone might be able to help...

I bought a car yesterday, from a dealer in Wisconsin. Anyone know what I need to do? I'm pretty sure that the dealer is submitting the title to IL and they gave me a temporary plate.

When do I go to the DMV and get it registered to me (and pay the taxes?) Do I go over to the DMV on Monday--with the sale papers? Or do I wait until the Title comes in the mail and then go over there? (Assuming its going to come in the mail??)

What do I do about my city sticker? Do I have to get a new one? (They stuck the old one on the new car.)

And can I put my old plates (from the car I traded in) onto the new car? Or is that a big no-no? (Until its properly transferred.) I'm worried someone's going to steal the temporary plate. (And if I can't put my plates on, can I put the temporary plate in the back window? Or is that a no-no too?

Help please! I looked at cyberdriveillinois, but its not clear to me.

  • ` kenji

    We don't call it the "DMV" in Illinois. It's the SOS, Secretary of State.

    New car or used? If you bought a used car and paid in full you should have a title in hand.

    Grab all your paperwork and head over to Elston Ave. on Monday. The first desk you walk up to upon entering for "vehicle services" will assist you and tell you exactly what to do. Point of it is to get correct information direct from the source, and you may have to come back later with more info or paperwork.

    Don't trust any info you get here on Everyblock as to what to do. You could end up with tickets that would be really costly.

    Go to Gale Street for city services too and ask them what you need to do about a city sticker. Get info from them.

    Allot yourself 2 hours for Elston Ave and probably 30 minutes at Gale St. Could be much quicker.

  • Thanks! I did pay cash, but I didn't get a title. I'll ask the dealer about that tomorrow. I did get the receipt, a purchase contract and a Wisconsin Title and License Plate Application. The dealer guy told me he was going to file the papers with IL and I should wait until I hear from IL. But I'm not sure I want to trust what he said. I'll head over to Elston with what I have from the dealer on Monday.

  • Okay found the info on the city sticker. And found the Gale Street location. Looks like I'll head over there, after Elston.

  • A&K

    The title takes a few weeks to get unless it was a private seller. If it was a dealer they will mail it to you. Then you have to take the title with bill of sale in to the secretary of states office to get an IL title. With the bill of sale you should be able to get plates and city sticker. Temp plate can go in the window. I don't believe anyone will steal it but it has happened before.

  • ` kenji

    Don't listen to everyblock advice. Did I mention that?

  • 1) Go to the people who are responsible for compliance, not EB. Which means:
    2) Call your car insurance company before you visit any government office. You can't operate a car in Illinois without insurance on it. Until you have that taken care of, leave that car parked. Off the street. On private land.
    4) Then as others advise, first to the Secty of State on Elston and then City of Chicago on Gale Street. Take your Wisconsin papers both places. Expect to peel off the city sticker again and turn it in when you buy a new one.

    (You might be billed by the City not only for the sticker but for a sales tax as well).

  • Portage Park Ryan Portage Park is where I call home.

    It's a $20 replacement for a city sticker only if you have already purchased an up-to-date sticker before purchasing the vehicle.

  • I already have insurance--I called my company before I even left the dealer in Wisconsin. I'm all squared away with that. I would not drive back from Wisconsin without insurance. (Or anywhere for that matter.) 99% sure I would have been covered by my existing insurance anyway, but didn't want to risk it. (I'm covered when I drive other vehicles.)

    I have to park it on the street, I don't have a garage. I'm good with the temporary plate until I'm able to get this all figured out. The temporary plate is not illegal. I believe its good for 60 days or 90 days or something like that. I'd have to look at it and see what it says.

    I guess I'll be heading over to the DMV on Monday. I cannot wait. That is my favorite place. ;-)

  • ` kenji

    SOS. Not DMV.

  • DMV, SOS...same thing in my mind. Maybe SOS is more appropriate though. That's surely what I'll be thinking when I'm over there.

  • That_Guy

    DMV comes from too many tv shows and movies set in other states. Like district attorney. We don't have those here.

  • ` kenji

    We have State's Attorneys? Daley was once head of the office, right? Anita Alvarez is now the head?

  • That_Guy

    Yup. And AUSAs for Feds.

  • I grew up in Wisconsin, so that's what I used to call it and it just stuck with me. Kinda like bubblers and soda.

  • ` kenji

    Who says "bubblers"? It's Pop and Soda:

  • Cheese heads call drinking fountains "bubblers."

  • ` kenji


    I forgot about Kohler.

  • trip to the SOS aka DMV later...and as an FYI to someone else who may be in the same situation...

    There is nothing I can do until I get the title for my car. Apparently that will be mailed to me. (Not sure if it will be a WI title or an IL title.)

    I'm not allowed to put my plates on the vehicle until they are properly transferred. (So I have to keep using the temporary tag.)

    My temporary tag expires in 30 days...and I'm supposed to pay tax within 30 days. So I'll be crossing my fingers it comes before then. They said to call the Dealer if I get close to the 30 days and still haven't seen anything.

    I drove by the City Sticker place and there was a line outside. I kept going. I'll do that a different day.

  • Looks like the info that A&K provided was correct.

  • Portage Porker 25 Year Portage Park Resident

    Back in 2004 we bought a brand new car from CarMax in Kenosha. (Paid in full, trade-in plus cash) They took care of everything, collected Illinois sales tax instead of Wisconsin, and in a few weeks we got an Illinois tittle in the mail. The plates were transferred from the trade-in, so we didn't have to worry about that. I don't recall if they also collected the Crook County taxes or if we had to pay that later. If I were you I would just call the dealer and ask them what to expect.

  • More help needed please.

    Background: Car owner lived in IL and had an IL title. He brought the car to WI and traded it in. I went to WI a few days later and purchased the car. The car is still showing in the IL system as being titled to the owner and not the dealer.

    Today the dealer sends me the IL title that the original owner used when he traded in the vehicle. It's signed by the seller (owner) and dealer (buyer.) Along with the title, the dealer sent me a Power of Attorney document and the original copy of the WI title application that says "DMV" original on it. (This application is the one that I signed in WI and that I assumed they were sending in to WI.)

    Is the title that the original owner and the dealer signed something I can use to title the car? Or should the dealer have given me a copy of the title that had their name on there as the seller? (I'm assuming its the latter, but don't know.)

    I've got a call into the dealer now, but this is turning out to be more complicated than I thought. Anyone know of a service that will help walk me through all this? (I'd gladly pay someone to deal with this headache.)

  • Take that title to Illinois Secretary of State office. I think they can take it as proof of the trail of ownership and will issue you a new one. Probably the title has the Illinois owner on the front at the bottom and the Wisconsin dealer on the back at the top? You might be putting your name in the next spot below the Wisconsin dealer, but the State of Illinois might be inclined to issue a new title with your name at the bottom on the front. There is a general desire on the part of most buyers and sellers not to have too many transactions on the current version of the title paper.

  • I'm an idiot. Thanks to what you said.. I looked at the reverse side and they put my information on there.

    Thanks so much! I'll take that over to the SOS office and give it a try!

  • Wanted to post in case this helps someone down the road...

    Filled out the paperwork for the vehicle transfer and taxes online last night. (I think that saved a lot of time when I got there.) Printed that out and took it with me.

    First stop Revenue. You have to take the RUT25 form over to IL Dept of Revenue and pay your state taxes. Had to also have a copy of the bill of sale (and I think title) for this.

    Second stop Audit: Had to have the paid document that I just got from Revenue, the Title, the Power of Attorney for the title and the VSD190 form for this. The person who signed for the dealer didn't have "agent" after her name on the POA document, but after checking around, it thankfully went through. Said it will take 3 weeks to get a new title.

    Third stop Cashier: Had to have the approved VSD190 document and the old license plate registration for this. Gave them a check. Part 1 done--plates okay to use on the new car. Tried to buy a new sticker for the license plates because it expires next month. No dice because the old car had an emissions test hold. Over to Special Services I go.

    Fourth stop Special Services: Told them the situation, gave them a copy of the title transfer doc and registration card that the cashier gave me and they called Springfield and got the registration changes forced through the system. Printed me a new registration card with the correct (new) info.

    Fifth stop Cashier: Gave them the new registration card and a check. Got a sticker.

    All done with the State of IL! I was in and out in about 30 minutes which I thought was surprising since I had so many different stops to make. I don't think I waited more than a couple minutes to be helped in any area. Everyone was really helpful and told me which area to go to next.

    Have to go tackle the City Sticker later today.

  • Portage Porker 25 Year Portage Park Resident

    The improvements at SOS are nothing short of amazing! In the old days it would have taken you 8 hours and several arguments to get all that done.

  • @Portage Porker, I would agree. Its nothing like I remember it to be. People were pleasant and helpful. The lines moved quickly and they seemed like they wanted to help you resolve any issues that came along. Each time I went to the next desk I expected a road block or an argument, but nope. All went really smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised.

  • No luck with transferring the City of Chicago sticker yet. I went over to the Gale Street place again today. For the 2nd time, the line is out the door and down the block and there appears to be no parking anywhere and there are long lines of cars trying to get down the street to even try to find parking. From what I read online, I'm not able to transfer a City Sticker at a Currency Exchange. Anyone else know a different way to do this?

  • Oh...saw that today was the last day to buy stickers. I thought it was yesterday. That must be why. I'll try again tomorrow or Friday.

  • Portage Porker 25 Year Portage Park Resident

    The system went down yesterday so they extended it one more day.

  • Strike 3 for transferring the City Sticker. Its unbelievably difficult to do. It should not be like this.

    I was determined to get the sticker today. According to the City of Chicago website I needed to bring the vehicle registration, original sticker peeled off, and the receipt. Check--got all those things together. Get there and the line is *still* out the door. Decided to tough it out and get it over with.

    Waited 45 minutes to get to the counter. Thankfully it was cool outside. Got to the counter and am told I need the Bill of Sale for the vehicle or I'll have to pay a $60 fine. I'm livid. No where does it say to bring that. Not even on the signs INSIDE the building where it says what you need to transfer a sticker. Argued more, showed them my sticker, which I bought on time and the new registration. Got no where. I told them they need to put this information somewhere and not assume people just somehow magically know what they need.

    I contemplated just paying the $60 to avoid the nightmare of having to go back. But I just couldn't give the City more money for having such a lousy process.

    I haven't decided if I want to brave going back over there this afternoon.

    And in case anyone is wondering, you have 30 days from when you purchase a vehicle to get the sticker transferred. Or you have to pay $60. Oh and be sure to bring your bill of sale.

  • Portage Park Ryan Portage Park is where I call home.

    I paid $20 for a replacement after I bought my car in March. Went to the Currency Exchange at Montrose and Central and was out in 10 min.

  • @Portage Park Ryan, I didn't realize you could go to a Currency Exchange for a transfer. The City of Chicago website only lists the three City Clerk offices as places you can go. I'll try a Currency Exchange next. That would be much easier. Thanks!

  • At SOS do they collect only IL state tax or also the Chicago city tax and Cook County tax on new vehicles?

  • Just saw this conversation, and so adding my experience. bought car from WI.
    1) buy (pay in full, or loan etc) from dealer
    2) they will give temp license plate at dealer.
    3) call insurance at the dealer, and add your vehicle (VIN). (make sure to purchase GAP insurance if it is relatively new, and above depreciation)
    4) return to your home town (city) w/ temp license plate, visit DMV. pay local city(municipal) tax + registration fee + license. (bring signed paid documents, etc; or else you will pay higher local city sales tax based on NADA guides etc price that doesn't reflect all the discounts or deals you got.)
    You pay to the SOS but you do it at DMV. so don't confuse people.


    Your title will be mailed to you few days/weeks later from the dealer.

    FYI, every time you visit DMV, they may give different story. :-)
    - the SOS/DMV regulations are ambiguous, so sometimes state troops don't always know the detail. but...
    "Don't use old plate to the purchased car." (use temp license plate)

    - pay at DMV for tax, registration etc; then when your title arrives visit again to report to state on your name/record. (bring proof of insurance too; so just bring all the files associated with the car. even the sticker price tag.)

    - at least worked for me that way; again, visit any DMV that is easy to work with... etc... away from city with fewer people, they are friendlier and will make anything workable. after all, you pay tax, fees, etc and register - that's the whole point.

    - if you have to visit a busy downtown city DMV, get prepared to get all the details as they demand. :-)

  • I am going to be buying a used car from Wisconsin soon (hopefully!)

    Do I need to get the used car emissions tested before going over to Elston? I don't want to go to Elston and be turned away because I didn't do that first.

    This site seems to say the emissions test is first, but I'd love to hear feedback. I want to do this right the first time!


    If you are registering a motor vehicle in Illinois for the first time, you must complete the following steps:

    Get your vehicle inspected for emissions. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.

    In Illinois, there is an Electronic Registration and Title (ERT) System through which you can complete and print an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190). If you want to complete the registration process, you need to take your completed application, the required documentation and payment to your local Secretary of State facility within seven days.

    In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.

    For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.

    A completed Form RUT-50 if you already reside in Illinois

    A completed Form RUT-25 (if you have purchased from an out of state dealer) or completed Form RUT-50 (purchase from another person) if you are a new resident.

    If a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP) has been issued that should be mentioned as well.

  • I agree with Kenji. Go to Elston Street. Get the information from the source rather than people on EB. We bought a car from Wisconsin too. Went to Elston. They will walk you through exactly what you need to do to title it in Illinois with or without the title.

    One tip I will give: don't wait until you get you regular plates to pay for your registration tags. Perhaps you have 30 days? Not sure. We made the mistake of assuming we needed to wait until we had our permanent license plates in hand and could not use the temp plate. We ended up having to pay a penalty. I know I'm going against my advice by providing this advice. Just trying to save you some bucks.

  • @Melissa, I didn't have to get my emissions done first, but I bought my car from a dealer in WI and it was a few years ago. Things may have changed since then. The people at Elston were pretty helpful, so you could stop by and ask once you're purchased the car.

  • Chi-Girl, thanks! I test drove the car here in Chicago, and woke up with horrible neck pain the next day!! So I didn't end up buying the car after all. I'm back to the drawing board when it comes to finding a car, but at least I didn't have to go up to Wisconsin for nothing!

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