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A Vehicle Bill of Sale in Illinois: What to Know

in Car Buying Tips
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A vehicle bill of sale in Illinois is used to document the purchase and sale of a car between a private seller and a buyer. A bill of sale acts as evidence of a legal change of ownership, highlighting specific transaction details as well as the condition of the vehicle at the time of purchase. When the new buyer attempts to transfer the title and register the car with the Secretary of State’s Vehicle Services Division, this paperwork is frequently requested. A vehicle bill of sale in Illinois is a convenient way to document ownership for used purchases.

 This essentially acts as a written record that marks the transfer of legal ownership of the vehicle being sold or donated. This isn’t just necessary to transfer the legal title through a governmental agency, but it is also a vital aspect of personal record keeping. It can be especially important if the vehicle is ever involved in a legal dispute.

Illinois is one of the few states that does not need a bill of sale to do this. However, just because it isn’t required by the law doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. A bill of sale is necessary for a number of reasons.

 While it isn’t necessarily required, having a bill of sale does provide additional protections for both the buyer and seller. Selling privately is a great option if possible as it may be more profitable, with a few extra steps. Although selling an automobile is a pretty straightforward operation, each state has its own set of rules to follow. Fortunately, the state of Illinois makes things a lot easier.


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The required information to fill out a vehicle bill of sale in Illinois:

  • The seller’s name and address
  • The buyer’s name and address
  • A detailed description of the car, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), make, model, and year
  • The odometer reading of the vehicle at the time of sale
  • The date of the sale
  • Signature of the seller and the buyer

If you or the other party happens to lose the original owner’s paper, the process for getting a replacement registration is pretty straightforward. You can submit your request online, in person, over the phone, or by mail. There are a few required papers to sell vehicles in Illinois in addition to the title and registration. If these two are in decent condition, you have a good jump start on selling your vehicle.

  • VSD 333.4 - Odometer Disclosure Statement for Title Transfers. This is required when transferring a vehicle’s title to ensure that the mileage on the odometer has not been tampered with.
  • VSD-703 – Seller’s Report of Sale. This document must be sent to the Secretary of State’s Car Services Division as soon as the vehicle is sold.
  • VSD 190 - Duplicate replacement title
  • Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) using the Electronic Registration and Title (ERT)
  • Tax Form RUT-50 for any transaction involving the transfer of a motor vehicle from one person to another (Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction)
  • Tax Form RUT-25 (Vehicle Use Tax Transaction Return) is only required for individuals who are relocating to Illinois and have acquired a car from an out-of-state licensed dealer.

You may start to run into some challenges if there’s a lien on the title, which basically means there is an existing loan that must be paid off before it can be sold. An individual buyer cannot buy a vehicle with a lien, but a dealership can. If you owe money on your car, you’ll need to make arrangements to get it paid off before proceeding with the sale. To get rid of a lienholder, you can do a few things.

  • Submit a lien clearing letter from the lienholder stating that the lien has been fully paid
  • Submit a lien contract indicating that the lien has been fully paid
  • Submit a court order to issue a duplicate title free of any liens or lienholders’ names
  • Submit a court order instructing the Secretary of State’s Office to issue a duplicate title free of the lien or lien holder’s name
  • The Court Order must be signed and show the Clerk’s Office’s stamp, as well as the year, make, and VIN number of the vehicle in dispute.

For starters, the buyer could require one for tax considerations. Second, as the vendor, you might want one to protect yourself. Suppose the buyer drives off in your car, immediately gets into an accident, totals the car, and flees the scene. A vehicle bill of sale in Illinois provides evidence that the vehicle was no longer in your possession at the time. While this scenario may seem far-fetched, it is not as uncommon as you may think. For the sake of avoiding this potential headache, just prepare the bill.


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The DMV does not furnish a bill of sale since it is not required by Illinois law. If you need a template or a sample paper, print two copies: one for yourself and one for the customer. Once ownership has been transferred, make sure to remove the plates from the car to complete the transaction.

The only time you’ll need to surrender your license plates is if your insurance coverage ends or if you no longer possess a car. Otherwise, your license plates will stay tied to your name and will not be transferred to the vehicle. When a car is sold, the owner (the seller) signs the back of the previous title as confirmation of the transaction. Full names and addresses, as well as other pertinent vehicle identifying information, should be included in the title.

You must present your completed application, appropriate supporting papers, and payment to your local Secretary of State location within seven days to complete your transaction. You may also mail your documentation and payment in addition to paying at the local office.


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Taxes must be paid with a separate check or money order made payable to the Illinois Department of Revenue. These forms are available at your local Illinois SOS office. While these are similar requirements to many states across the country, these are the specific requirements for the state of Missouri. It always helps to be prepared, so try to plan ahead if possible to gather these items before finalizing your purchase.

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