Paperwork Required to Sell a Vehicle in Illinois
There are many reasons you might want to sell a vehicle. Perhaps you’ve just purchased or leased a new one, or maybe you’ve downsized and just want to make some extra money on a vehicle you no longer need. Perhaps you’re a hobbyist who enjoys restoring older vehicles, increasing their value, and selling them for more than you paid for them. In any case, selling a vehicle is not as simple as just handing over the vehicle in exchange for money, as most other private sales take place. Rather, there are a few different requirements that must be met by law in order to sell a vehicle, and most of those requirements come in the form of paperwork. It is important to understand that these requirements differ by state. Let’s take a look at the paperwork and requirements for selling a vehicle in Illinois.
The first step to selling a vehicle in Illinois
The first thing you’ll want to do when selling a vehicle in Illinois is to make sure all of the license plates on the vehicle have been removed. After all, you don’t want to potentially be responsible for the actions of another driver in the event of recklessness or unlawfulness, and Illinois law (and every other state law) requires that the license plates and title be registered in the same name as the owner of the vehicle. You don’t want your buyer being responsible for removing those.
Outside of that, it’s important to establish mutual contact information with the buyer, so that the two of you can stay in communication throughout the remainder of the transaction process.
As mentioned, the vehicle must be titled in the same name as the person who owns it, so you’ll need to provide the buyer with a completed title that you both will need to fill out. Once that’s complete, you’ll also need to make sure that the Notice of Sale form (usually attached to the bottom of the title) is also completed. Then, remove that section and put it in the post, addressed to the IL Secretary of State.
You’ll then want to prepare for the purchaser a receipt for the purchase, or Bill of Sale. It’s important that you make a copy of this receipt so that you have one for your own records.
In addition to the above documentation, you may want to provide the person buying your vehicle with reports based on the vehicle’s history. While this report is not required by Illinois law, it is generally considered common courtesy to include it, and will help your buyer establish trust in you, particularly if they don’t know you previously. In addition, since having it available makes you appear more trustworthy, it can help you sell a vehicle if you’ve not yet found a buyer. There are a number of companies that can provide these reports for a fee upon giving them your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which generally can be located either on the dash on the driver’s side interior of the vehicle, or on the front of the engine (usually easily visible upon opening the hood of your car). This report will show the history of the vehicle, including all past owners, whether or not the vehicle has ever been stolen, airbag deployment, any recall information for the particular model, and repairs made to structural or other damages.
Once these steps are completed, you’ll want to remove your liability from the vehicle, since you’ve now successfully sold the vehicle at this point and it no longer belongs to you. To do this, simply complete a Form VSD 703 (Seller’s Report of Sale) to the Vehicle Services Department of the IL Secretary of State. After this is done, you are no longer responsible for the vehicle, financially or otherwise, and the sale is complete.