Your annual license plates renewal is one of many routine maintenance tasks that are necessary when you own a vehicle. If you don’t keep your registration and license plate up to date in Chicago and Illinois, you may find yourself subject to fines and penalties if the police pull you over. Fortunately, renewing your Illinois license plates is fairly quick and simple. American Auto Insurance is on hand to help with any questions you may have and to make sure you have your state-mandated insurance in place at an affordable rate.

Requirements for Illinois License Plates Renewal

A blue Illinois license plate from 1960

To process your license plate renewal in Illinois, you must have the following:

  • Your license plate registration ID.
  • Your registration PIN number.
  • A valid method of payment.

You should receive your registration ID and PIN number by mail or email when it’s time to renew your plates. You can also find this information on your vehicle’s registration card located beneath your name and address to the left of the box with your vehicle information. 

If you don’t have a current registration card, you can get your PIN number and registration ID by calling the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980. When you call, you’ll need to have the name and address associated with the vehicle’s registration as well as the current license plate number.

Where Can I Renew My Sticker?

Most Illinois residents can renew their license plates online with a credit card, debit card, or e-check. If you want to get your sticker on the spot, the Department of Motor Vehicles is no longer the only place where you can conduct this transaction. 

You can renew your license plates in person at any participating currency exchange, bank, or library in Illinois. At these in-person locations, you can pay for your renewal with cash, a traveler’s check, a personal check, or a credit card. A processing fee is added to your transaction if you use a credit card, so the other options are cheaper.

If you’d like to renew your sticker by phone, you can call 866-545-9609 to process your renewal. You must use a credit card when renewing your plates by phone. You can even renew your license plates by mail if you prefer the most traditional method. To do so, sign the bottom of your renewal notice and mail it back to the Illinois Secretary of State. Include a check for your registration fee made payable to the Illinois Secretary of State.

Can I Change the Information on My Renewal?

If there’s incorrect information on your vehicle registration, you may change this when you process your license plates renewal. You can update your address online, by mail, or in person. There’s no additional fee for changing your address when you’re already renewing your registration. If your registration renewal notice includes incorrect vehicle information, you can make changes in person or by mail. 

If the information is wrong because you’ve purchased a new vehicle and transferred it to your current registration, you must provide the transfer ID given to you by the dealer. Either mail a copy or bring this document in when you renew your registration in person. If you haven’t received the transfer ID yet, you’ll need to mail a copy to the Illinois Secretary of State as soon as you get it.

When Do I Need To Handle My License Plates Renewal?

Motorists must renew their Illinois license plates annually. You need to complete the renewal process before the expiration date on your current license plate sticker. If you purchase your renewal sticker before the expiration date on your current registration, you can legally drive using the printed proof of registration for 30 days after the expiration of the current sticker. 

You should receive your renewal sticker in the mail within five to 10 business days of ordering it online. If you want to request your renewal by mail, you need to plan early so it comes before your registration expires. Allow at least 30 days for the sticker to arrive. 

Certain specialty vehicles only need a license plate renewal once every two years. These include the following vehicles:

  • Driver education vehicles.
  • School buses.
  • Ceremonial vehicles.
  • Charitable vehicles that carry more than six people.

Insurance Requirements for Vehicle Registration

You must provide proof of purchase when you first register a new vehicle with the state of Illinois. You don’t need to provide proof of insurance with your license plate renewal, but this doesn’t mean that you can let your insurance lapse. Illinois uses an Electronic Liability Insurance Verification program that checks drivers’ insurance coverage twice a year through a third-party vendor. All vehicles with a valid registration are subject to this procedure and must comply with the state’s insurance requirements.

In the state of Illinois, you must have a minimum of:

  • $50,000 liability coverage for the death of two or more people in a car accident.
  • $25,000 liability coverage for the death of one person in a car accident.
  • $20,000 liability coverage for property damage in a car accident.

If you’re convicted of three or more violations of driving without liability insurance or if you receive court supervision for a mandatory insurance violation, you must also maintain an SR-22 certificate along with your insurance policy. This is an added form of verification that assures the state you are carrying the required car insurance coverage.

Keep Your Car Covered

If you don’t have the insurance coverage you need or want to find car insurance coverage that’s more affordable, contact American Auto Insurance. We offer the most affordable plans in Illinois and have a variety of coverage options, including liability insurance, collision coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. We also provide SR-22 certificates for those who need to provide this documentation to the state. Our knowledgeable, friendly staff are happy to help answer any questions you might have. Contact us for a quote today.

ILLINOIS 1960 LICENSE PLATE 282-662 by Jerry “Woody” is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED


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