Illinois Motorcycle Registration & Title

ATTENTION: Be prepared to satisfy any insurance requirements when you register & title your motorcycle.

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This page will cover the street legal requirements and registration and title process in Illinois and provide some tips on how to register if you bought the motorcycle without a title.

Illinois Title & Inspection Requirements for Used Motorcycles

  • Does Illinois have an equipment/safety inspection?
    • Not required.
  • Does Illinois require VIN Inspections for motorcycles bought out of state?
    • Not required.
  • Does Illinois require a title for old motorcycles?
    • Yes, Illinois requires all motorcycles to be titled.

Title and Register a Motorcycle in Illinois

To title and register your motorcycle project in Illinois, you’ll need the following:

How to Register a Motorcycle with no Title in Illinois

You have the following options if you’ve bought a motorcycle with no title:

Option 1: Bikes from IL

Before sale is complete, ask previous owner to get a duplicate title:

Option 2: Bikes from out of state

If the motorcycle was bought in a state that requires motorcycle titles:

Option 3: Register in a No-Title State

Register the bike in a non-title, no residency requirement, mail-in registration application state, such as Vermont.

Illinois Street Legal Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

Illinois requires motorcycles to meet the following requirements:

  • Rearview mirrors.
  • Handlebars must not be higher than rider’s head height.
  • Passenger footrest required when riding with a passenger.
  • Daytime headlight required.

This information was correct at the time of writing it, but state laws are subject to change.

More Illinois Motorcycle Resources

12 thoughts on “Illinois Motorcycle Registration & Title”

  1. i bought a motorcycle from a family friend, the bike belonged to her husband who passed away a few years ago. she can’t find the title and there were no plates on the bike. How do I apply for the title? I do have a bill of sale and death certificate.

  2. I purchased a 05 Kawasaki Ninja 636 from private sale. Previous owner did not have title, they are unable to get new duplicate/replacement. I have the previous Bill of Sale, the Current B.o.S, and the old FL VIN/Title number. I have had the motorcycle for over 2 months, and I have not been able to get it registered still. Any help?

  3. I own a HD 883, that I bought new in 1988. I have title. It has been in storage for last 10 (?) years and no current IL plates. I want to refurbish and run again. How to get IL plates? Do not remember when it was last registered before going into storage. Thanks.

    1. motorcyclezombies

      You should be able to complete a new registration application to get new plates. Since the title is already in your name, you should have everything you need.

    1. motorcyclezombies

      In most cases (except for maybe some older bikes, i.e. pre 1970) the title is going to follow the frame. You should still get a Bill of Sale that includes any unique engine number information to document the transaction just in case.

  4. I have a old flh titled as a 1971 title matches vin number on engine the frame is older a 69 i believe and has no vin. I have owned the bike for 27 years. I am trying to sell it and someone is telling me that its not legal and there is no way to make it so what is the reality here

    1. No VIN at all on the frame (and no accompanying ownership documents for it) is going make things difficult for the buyer if they try to title and register the bike in their name.

      However, with the title you do have and a bill of sale for the transaction, you should be able to sell the bike with no problem. You should be explicit about the frame VIN in the sale.

  5. Can a motorcycle be registered if it never had a title? (owner has MCO but never got a title for it)

    1. motorcyclezombies

      Yes, an MCO should work in place of the title. Be sure to get a Bill of Sale along with it. Contact the SOS to verify if you’ll need anything else, but you should be good.

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