How to sell your car in Illinois

When you’re selling a used car in Illinois, it’s almost always better to do it yourself. Selling a vehicle on your own means you’ll get a lot more money than you would from trading or selling it to a dealer.

If you’re unfamiliar with the process of how to sell a car in Illinois, it can be a little hard to know where to start. For example, what do you need to sell a car in Illinois? Because the laws for selling a vehicle are different in each state, we’ve created this guide to make it easy to understand what you need to do if you’re selling a car in Illinois.

What you need if you’re selling a car privately in Illinois

  • The title – The title for your car is also known as the “pink slip.” It’s the certificate that proves you own the car. If you can’t locate the title for your car, you will need to fill out Form VSD 190 and take it to any Illinois Secretary of State office to request a replacement title certificate.
  • Seller’s notice of sale — This is a form that notifies the state that you’ve sold the car, and it releases you from liability. You’ll need to fill it out (signed by you and the buyer) and mail it to the Secretary of State’s Vehicle Services Department immediately upon selling your car. It’s usually attached to the bottom of your title, but if you don’t have it, you can download the form, VSD 703, here.)
  • The registration – You’ll need to have your current registration in order to sell your car.
  • The odometer reading – The odometer shows exactly how many miles are on the car.

Things to keep in mind

In the process of selling a used car in Illinois, you’ll want to be extra careful when you’re filling out the title—or any other state-issued documents—because any errors, scratch-outs, or white-out will mean you have to fill out a lot of additional paperwork. You will need to use black or blue ink, only.

As the seller, you will sign your name and print your name, and enter the date of sale on the spaces designated for each of those things on the front of the title. Sign your name exactly as it appears on the title. If you’ve changed your name since the title was issued, you’ll still need to sign with the name that is on the title. Be careful that you don’t sign in the ‘Dealer Reassignment’ section—that’s only for authorized dealers. If you’re not the only owner listed on the title, you’ll need to have the other owner sign it, too, in order to legally transfer the car to its new owner.

Attached to the bottom of the title is the Notice of Sale form, which you’ll need to fill out and mail to the Secretary of State’s office.

Keep in mind that the title—even though it’s just a piece of paper—is extremely important. If it’s stolen, someone could sign ownership of your car over to themselves or someone else. It’s a good idea to keep the title in a safe place—not with you or in the car—until you’re absolutely ready to sign ownership of the car over to your buyer.

Also remember to take your license plates off the car before you hand over the keys to the buyer. You need to keep them (it’s illegal to drive a car with anyone else’s plates on it, in the state of Illinois!)

You’re not technically required by law to have a bill of sale, but it’s a good idea—you can just create a document listing the date of sale, purchase price, and any special terms, and both you and the buyer sign it and each keep a copy for your records.

Getting ready to sell your car

Aside from the documentation and transfer process required by the state, there are some other things that can be helpful to consider when you’re preparing to sell your car in Illinois. These things can help you to be more informed and to sell your car more quickly and for a better price.

One of the first things to consider when you decide to list your car for sale is how much to ask for it. This guide covers some of the important factors you’ll want to consider when it comes to pricing, as well as some things you can do to make your car more appealing to buyers.

If you decide you want more help with selling a used car in Illinois, you can also consider using a service such as TRED. When you use TRED to sell a car, you have full support from start to finish, you can sell your car for an average of 30% more than you would get for it from a dealer, and you don’t have to deal with the paperwork—among many other benefits. Tred can also help you sell your leased or financed car!

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