Buying and Selling a Motorcycle in Illinois

From scenic lakeside routes to windy city streets, Illinois presents a fantastic landscape for motorcycle enthusiasts. The Prairie State captivates nearly 300,000 registered motorcyclists with its diverse terrain.

Buying and selling a motorcycle in Illinois has its own set of procedures. Being aware of these steps and the necessary documents ensures a smooth transaction.

Here’s our guide to navigating this process in the Land of Lincoln.

Bill of Sale & Report of Sale

In Illinois, a Bill of Sale is recommended but not required by law when transferring motorcycle ownership. It’s smart to have one for both the buyer and seller’s protection. They may serve as evidence in the event of any future disagreement.

Typically, the seller takes responsibility for presenting and filling out the Bill of Sale. It’s always good practice to provide a copy for the buyer.

The Bill of Sale should detail the motorcycle’s year, make, model, mileage, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It should also display the names and addresses of both parties involved, with room for signatures. Ensure the agreed-upon sales price is clearly stated.

Disclosing the accurate mileage when selling a motorcycle in Illinois is crucial. Both parties need to ensure all provided information is error-free before signing and dating the document.

While not mandatory, getting the Bill of Sale notarized can offer added security to the transaction. Keeping a copy of the notarized document for future reference is advised.

In Illinois, sellers are required to fill out the Seller’s Report of Sale form and submit it to the Secretary of State (SoS) office. It requires much of the same information you’ll find listed on a Bill of Sale. This report must be done soon after the sale to avoid potential liability for tickets or crimes involving the motorcycle.

Title Transfer

Transferring the Certificate of Title is the next step in establishing legal motorcycle ownership. After finalizing the transaction and transferring payment, the seller signs the title over to the buyer.

The buyer’s name and sale price should be filled in accurately on the title. The seller should make sure that the mileage is correctly recorded before signing their name in the designated area. As a precaution, the seller should take a photo of the completed title before handing it to the buyer.

If the title is lost, the seller can request a duplicate from the Illinois SoS office. The buyer must then complete an Application for Vehicle Transaction (VSD 190) and submit it to the SoS along with the original signed-over title.

For motorcycles 10 years of age and newer, an Odometer Disclosure Statement (VSD 333) must be completed and accurate when transferring the title. Any motor vehicle being sold from one individual to another in the state of Illinois also requires the completion of Tax Form RUT-50 (Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction).

If the motorcycle title has an outstanding lien, it’s still possible to sell it in Illinois. It’s important to inform the buyer of the situation upfront. You will need a copy of the loan agreement to present when transferring the title. Additional steps may apply depending on your lien.

It’s the buyer’s responsibility to have the title transferred within 20 days of the sale date.


After the title transfer has been approved, it’s time to register the motorcycle. In order to complete registration, the buyer will need to prepare the following for the Illinois SoS:

  • The signed Certificate of Title (including odometer and lien information, if applicable).
  • A valid Illinois motorcycle license.
  • Proof of valid motorcycle insurance.
  • Tax Form RUT-50 and payment.
  • Title and registration fees (via check or money order).

Illinois requires the following minimums for insurance coverage: $25,000 per injured person, up to $50,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $20,000 for property damage.


You will encounter some fees when registering your motorcycle in Illinois. The amount may vary based on your situation, but these are the general fees you can expect:

  • Vehicle plate (or registration transfer) fee
  • Title fee
  • State sales tax payment

Check the Illinois SoS website or your local service facility for exact fee structures. Filling out necessary forms beforehand can expedite this process, although assistance can be provided if needed.

Many of the Illinois SoS services, including title transfers and registrations, can also be done online or by mail.


With this information, we hope that navigating the motorcycle buying or selling process in Illinois has become less intimidating. Questions specific to your situation may be answered by your local service center.

Are there any Illinois motorcycle trips on your bucket list? Let us know!

For a deeper dive, explore our extensive guides on how to buy a motorcycle and how to sell a motorcycle.

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