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Illinois License Plate Lookup

Illinois License Plate Lookup


License plate lookup enables us to exclude any mishaps on purchasing a used car, or it helps us to report bad drivers, also discover such information as odometer reading, title information, liens, and the car’s history.

What more can you learn from the Illinois license plate lookup?

Here is the main information to reveal:

  • Title brands
  • Possible accidents and traffic violations
  • Purpose designation
  • Possible thefts

How to Register a Car

If you have just purchased a vehicle or are a new resident, you should register it. If you buy a new vehicle from a dealership, all the registry issues are taken care of automatically. Yet, in the case of used ones, you are the one who is responsible for the whole procedure.

To start the process, residents need to apply to the Illinois Secretary of State office. The submission is possible in person, online, or by mail. Generally, new residents have 30 days to register their automobiles in the state. Check How can you search a license plate in several states: Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.

You are allowed to drive your newly obtained car without any tags for 24 hours only.

Your application must include the following:

  • Illinois residency proof
  • Full name
  • Address
  • Odometer reading
  • Information on the vehicle (model, year)
  • Information of any lien-holders
  • The owner’s signatures

Registration will cost you approximately $150 for the titles of standard automobiles, also, $151 for the registering process. In total, it makes $301, although fees are not stable and they might change.

As soon as you are done registering, you get an Il license number plate. You have an opportunity to choose from all the available variants. As soon as you get them, they should be displayed both in the front and in the rear of the automobile. This is obligatory.

Moreover, there are some surprising exceptions. In case you own an electronic car, you make a reduced payment of $35. This is great news for those who mean to obtain it.

Types of License Plates

Standard number plates contain three letters and four digits in dark red. The background is blue and white, with the Lincoln image on it.

There are also customized number plates that you are able to choose. Note that the choice is quite wide in Illinois.

So, let’s talk about the customized number plates.


There are several options:

  • Purple Heart
  • U.S. Navy Veteran
  • Ex-POW
  • Iraq Medal

You are able to obtain them only if you are enrolled in the Military. Sometimes, Military number plates are issued for free, yet, in most cases, there are certain payments to make.

They have two variations:

  • Vintage
  • Street Rods

They are issued to automobiles older than 25 years. Their owners have to pay a $30 fee every five years.

As for Organizational types, they are:

  • Support Our Troops
  • Autism Awareness
  • Police Officer
  • Prevent Violence
  • Chicago Bears

Generally, the fees for these vanity-plates are directed to the organizations. There is also an extra refreshment annual fee. It costs $25-$40.


The money from these vanity-plates is directed to the relevant Universities. Here are the options you can choose from:

Acquire them for $40 and refresh them for $27.

If you are new to the state, you may notice that many number plates have the letters “FP” on them. So, what do these letters mean? Well, “FP” stands for Fleet Plate. Commonly they are given to large companies or entities that hold many vehicles under their names. For instance, rental automobiles and highway snow plows fall under this category.

There is yet another B category that refers to trucks. The letter B indicates that the truck is a GCWR of 26,001 pounds. Those B-truck numberplates issued from 2008 to 2009 are currently being replaced. This is to make them easy to read and recognize, for older ones can cause difficulties and unexpected problems.

Application Process

You have several options for applying for the Il vanity-plates. You can do it online, in person, or by mail. Just have the following documents underhand so that the process is smooth and without complications.

  • Registration documents
  • Title
  • Insurance proof
  • ID (Illinois driver’s license)
  • VIN
  • License plate (if any)
  • Payment

Note, that if you are a new resident and are registering your auto from the scratch, you need to make all the applicable payments, plus the cost of the customized tags (if you don’t want the standard option).


The renewal is possible in person, by mail, online, or even by phone. The new stickers will be given instantly after you contact the Secretary of State or visit the nearest location in person.

There is yet another convenient option for renewing your sticker. It is by visiting any Republic Bank branch. It is a safer and faster option. This way the possibility of delays and fines for expiration are excluded.

To finish the process quickly, just grab with you:

  • Registration number
  • VIN number
  • Vanity-plate number
  • The expiration date of the ongoing registration
  • Payment in cash

The renewal fee is $101 for vehicles and $41 for motorcycles.

Temporary tags

Temporary tags are issued to out-of-state cars or newly acquired ones. You are granted a legal chance to drive without tags, till the permanent ones are in the process.

Get them through dealerships, from SOS local offices, or an agent.

Nevertheless, they are for 90 days only.

Transferring process

Here you are the only owner of the tags, and even if you sell your car, you are still going to keep them. Only joint owners like spouses or close family members are authorized for tags’ transfer. It is always possible to transfer them to a new vehicle. For that, you need to visit SOS for the following:

  • Fill in an Application for Transaction
  • Deliver all the respective papers
  • Pay %25 for the transfer

Replacement of lost or damaged License Plates

Damaged or lost plates and stickers should be replaced immediately. Just apply for the replacement in the SOS office. You can do it personally, or online.

For this purpose, you should complete the Transaction Application.

Residents are encouraged to dispose of their older tags at the Secretary of State facility. This is a safer and more secure way of getting rid of them. More commonly, residents tend to keep their old tags in their garages, which is not the safest place for keeping them. In case they are stolen, they can be used for implicit reasons.

Vanity-plates provided from 2006 to 2007 were replaced in 2020. In 2021, the plan was to replace those issued from 2008 to 2009. This practice will be applied in 2027, for replacing 2017 tags.

Surrendering vanity-plates

If for any reason, you are not going to use your automobile for an extended period, or if you have sold it, you should take proper care of the vanity plate.

In some states, if the residents do not surrender them, or at least let the insurance company know about selling them, they can even be penalized.

Anyway, in Illinois, you don’t need to submit them to the office. You are able to keep them as a souvenir.

When you get a notification for renewal, just complete a form, stating the circumstances.


Standard for:

Vehicles – $101

Motorcycles – $41

Refreshing – $101

Transferring – $25

Replacement (both the front and the rear) – $9

Customization – $108