4 Steps to Navigate Your New DMV

4 Steps to Navigate Your New DMV (Image source: Pixabay CC)

The keys are in your hand, the boxes are slowly making their way in, and the only thing you want to worry about is where to get pizza from as you settle into your new home. But, your relocation isn't over yet! The good news: You get an opportunity to take an even better ID picture.

The not-so-good news: It's time to hit your new Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Moving to a new state and setting yourself up comes with a few different steps. Here are four highlights and to-do's to help you get through the process!

1. Your Driver's License or ID Card

Per Illinois law, new residents have 90 days to obtain an updated license. That being said, taking this step first will smooth the rest your dealings with the DMV and other government agencies. To get your Class D license (the most common), you'll need to prepare the following:

  • A document showing your written signature, such as a cancelled check or passport. 
  • Proof of social security number, such as a SS card or military discharge papers. 
  • Proof of birthdate, such as birth certificate. 
  • 2 documents establishing residency, such a bank statement and credit report. (Here is a complete list of appropriate documents if you need other options.)
  • The applicable fee
    • 18 to 20 years old: $5.
    • 21 to 68 years old: $30.
    • 69 to 80 years old: $5.
    • 81 to 86 years old: $2.
    • 87 years old and older: Free.

You will also need to pass a vision and hearing test upon applying. 

2. Car Title and Registration

In the state of Illinois, you have 30 days to register a vehicle once you establish residency. To get this started, locate your nearest Secretary of State ("SOS") facility. You then have the option of filling out a paper copy of the Application for Vehicle Transaction at the office or filling it out online and printing it off for submission within 7 days. You will also need:

  • Proof of Illinois residency (Get your new photo ID before taking care of your registration)
  • Your original title and registration
  • Year, make, and model
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Date of purchase and whether it's new or used.
  • The correct tax form:
    • Form RUT-50 Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction, if purchased in a private sell.
    • Form RUT-25 Vehicle Use Tax Transaction Return, if purchased from a dealer.
  • And, then, the financial information:
    • Registration fees: $101.
    • Title fees: $95.
    • Tax fees: based on value of the vehicle.

3. Insurance Requirements

Before you hit the road, Illinois also requires a minimum level of car insurance. This includes Liability Insurance and Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance covers:

  • Injuries and damages caused to others when you are fault for an accident.
  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
  • $50,000 total for bodily injury per accident.
  • $20,000 for property damage.

It's important to remember that Liability Insurance will not cover any injuries or damages that you personally sustain.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance

All drivers must also have Uninsured and Underinsured Motors Bodily Injury Coverage to help cover the injuries to you and your passengers in a car accident with an uninsured driver or a driver without adequate insurance. The minimum limits are: 

  • $25,000 per person.
  • $50,000 total per accident.

Note that this coverage doesn't cover property damage. 

4. Voting Registration

Many of the voting rules are the same across states, but for more information about Illinois' specific registration policies, check out this helpful guide. If you would like to vote in an upcoming election, it's important to note that your registration must be updated at least 27 days before you go the polls. 

Having a plan and understanding the DMV system before you get started will help ease the transition from one state to another. The team at Real Group welcomes you to your new home and wishes you well as you get to know the neighborhood!

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Chicago, IL 60614

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