Transfer Vehicle Title

A vehicle title is what legally bonds you to your vehicle. Without proper title paperwork, you might not be able to prove a vehicle belongs to you, and you definitely can’t get it registered. Completing a title change is required if you want to acquire a new car.


When you buy a car, inherit one from someone who has passed away, or receive one as a gift, you need to make sure you get the title transferred into your name. In the state of Illinois, the process for title transfer is quite simple and easy.


If You’re Buying a Car

If you’re the buyer, the person or entity you’re buying from should ensure that you received the completed title. This is an important vehicle transfer requirement. However, people make mistakes, so it’s a good idea to check on this yourself. The title paperwork should be filled out by the seller to include the vehicle identification number (VIN) and Assignment of Title section. This section can be found on the back of the title form. The seller should also include the odometer reading here.


From here, your next steps will include:


  • Completing an Application for Vehicle Transfer through your local DMV offices.
  • Completing a Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction form, which can be found at your local SOS office.
  • Paying the $95 fee for title transfers.



If You’re Selling a Car

If you’re the seller, don’t forget to complete the back of your title form by filling in all necessary information, including the VIN, the odometer reading, the name of your buyer and the date of sale. Signing the form will make the title transfer legal.

You’ll also need to remove the license plates from the vehicle. Your buyer will be getting new plates when they complete the registration process on the car.

The last step is to complete a Seller’s Report of Sale. You’ll submit that to the SOS offices by mail.


If You’re Inheriting the Car

You might be in the positive to receive a car as a gift or as part of an inheritance. There are two circumstances to consider here.


  1. There’s Only One Owner on the Title

If you’re inheriting a car that was in one person’s name, the car will usually be handled with the rest of the estate. The title will be assigned to you by the executor of the estate.

In most circumstances, you’ll be required to provide the SOS with a certified copy of the will, death certificate, the letters of administration, a small estate affidavit, and the title of the vehicle.


  1. There’s More than One Owner on the Title

In this situation, ownership is passed on to the second person listed on the title. This is relatively straightforward. However, you will need to pay a $15 fee to have the title transferred into your name alone.

If you need further instruction on how to transfer a vehicle title in the state of Illinois, please contact your local SOS offices today.