Illinois Laws Regarding License Plates


The state of Illinois has defined rules about license plates on your car. Most cars must have a plate on the front and on the back and they must be fully visible; license plate covers are not allowed. You must make sure your plates comply with Illinois state laws.

License Plates and Registration

  • Illinois passenger vehicles, trucks and vans must display two plates. These plates will be kept by the owner, not the vehicle, if the vehicle is sold. Motorcycles, trailers, semitrailers and buses registered under the apportionment provisions are only required to display a plate on the back of the vehicle. Your plates and renewal stickers will also come with a registration ID card that must be kept in the vehicle or with you whenever you drive.

License Plate Renewal

  • License plates must be renewed annually in the state of Illinois. The secretary of state will notify you about two months before your registration expires. You may renew online, by phone or at a state facility. Each type of plate is designated a renewal fee, so make sure you know which type you're paying for when you go to renew.

Persons With Disabilities License Plates

  • A disabled resident of Illinois may obtain "Persons with Disabilities" license plates as long as the vehicle they are displayed on is titled to them. The exception to this is for primary caretakers of a permanently disabled person. The caretaker may apply for two sets of plates if the person being cared for does not own a vehicle and relies on others for transportation. Companies, school districts, nursing homes, convalescent homes and other groups transporting disabled people are also eligible for these plates. The state will levy fines and sanctions if these plates are misused.

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