Who should buy a Cook County Vehicle License?
If you live in unincorporated Cook County and own a vehicle, you are required to purchase a Cook County Vehicle License; a vehicle sticker for cars and trucks or vehicle plate for motorcycles and trailers.If you own a business in unincorporated Cook County and keep a vehicle there, you are required to purchase a Cook County Vehicle License.
Penalty for Late Purchase
If you purchase your sticker after July 1st you will be charged a late penalty equal to the price of the sticker or $25, whichever is greater. You may also be subject to additional penalties if your license is not displayed by July 1st.
- Cook County Vehicle Licenses are valid from July 1st through June 30th of the following year. Cook County stickers must be purchased and displayed by July 1st of each year.
- Passenger vehicles, trucks and busses must display a current Cook County sticker in the bottom right hand corner of the windshield. Motorcycles and trailers must display a Cook County license plate on the rear end of the vehicle.
- Passenger vehicles weighing over 4,500 lbs are required to display an XLV (Large Vehicle) sticker.
- A qualified religious institution or charitable organization may be entitled to receive ‘NF’ class stickers at no charge.
- Commercial motor vehicles as defined under 625 ILCS 5/18b-101 and registered as apportionable vehicles with the Illinois Secretary of State pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/3-402.1 are exempt from the Cook County Wheel Tax.
- Are all ‘XLV’ classed vehicles listed on the table provided? No. Please refer to the guide.
- Can a new recently purchase vehicle be listed incorrect on the application? Yes. This can occur if a new vehicle has recently been purchased. The changes should be noted on the back of the application and the “Data Change” box should be checked.
- What is the late fee for customers purchasing licenses after July 1st? The late penalty is equal to the price of the license or $25, whichever is greater.
- What is the late fee for customers purchasing No Fee Licenses (NF) after July 1st? The late fee for ‘NF’ Licenses is $25.
- Does the vehicle have to be registered to the applicant of the vehicle license? Yes, for a business as it pertains to commercial use.
- Does the County have a database or list of unincorporated addresses? Yes, used only by Cook County Department of Revenue.
- Do both pre-printed and manual applications have to be completed entirely? No.
- Does the applicant need a driver’s license? Not in all cases. It’s determined on a case by case basis.
- Can we accept an ID from another person, not the owner of the vehicle? No.
- Is the penalty waived for residents moving to unincorporated Cook County after July 1st? Yes. There is a 60 day grace period.
- If a vehicle owner purchases a license for their vehicle, and is no longer in possession of the vehicle can they obtain a refund? No.
- If the owner is moving from unincorporated Cook County within a month, can they purchase a temporary license or obtain a refund on the license they purchase? No.
- What is accepted proof for vehicles owned by a person with disabilities? Vehicle Registration Certificate showing that the person has disabled plates or their registration card.
- What is the accepted proof for vehicles owned by disabled veterans? Proof of service, related disability from the Veterans Affairs Department or service of the United States Military.
- What is the last day to purchase the vehicle license without a late fee? July 1st.
According to the Ordinance:
What are exemptions? (No Fee Licenses). This vehicle license will have no expiration date and will remain valid for the duration of the ownership of the vehicle it also has the word permanent printed on the license and the Sequence begin with NF.
(a) All vehicles owned and operated upon the public ways of the unincorporated area of Cook County by the United States Government or any agency thereof, or by the State of Illinois or any department thereof, or by any political subdivision, public or municipal corporation of the State of Illinois or any department or other agency of such corporation, or by a nonprofit organization as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, such as the American Red Cross, and all buses owned and operated by churches in conjunction with the authorized activities of said institutions under Section 3-616 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, shall be exempt from the vehicle tax.
(b) Vehicles owned by a person with disabilities and registered with the State of Illinois under 625 ILCS 5/3-616, shall be exempt from this tax.
(c) Vehicles owned by a disabled veteran, who has provided proof of a disability connected to service in the United States military, shall be exempt from this tax.
A maximum of two vehicles owned by a person over the age of 65 shall upon satisfactory proof of the owner’s age be exempt from this tax. This exemption is limited to vehicles in the XSV, XLV, or A class.
Senior (SR) and No Fee (NF) Stickers / (NF) Tags
The Department of Revenue implemented a new strategy in 2014 for SR stickers and NF stickers/tags. These stickers/tags where created for taxpayer convenience purposes; SR permanent stickers for Seniors and NF permanent stickers/tags for persons with disabilities and disabled Veterans. These two classes have been separated from the standard sticker to highlight their permanent nature and reduce the number of erroneous citations that are issued. In order to be in compliance, you MUST display the SR and NF sticker shown above by 7/1/2016.
Please make sure to obtain your sticker prior to July 2, 2016. As of July 2, 2016, a late penalty of $25.00 will apply for both SR and NF stickers/tags.
- A Senior is a person who has turned 65 by July 1st of the current year.
- A Senior is entitled to a no fee ‘SR’ sticker that will remain effective for as long as he or she owns that vehicle. This discount is limited to only 2 passenger vehicles or trucks weighing less than 10,000 lbs.
- Seniors who own large trucks, motorcycles or trailers are required to pay full price for those licenses.
What happens if a senior owns a motorcycle or trailer? The Senior Discount applies ONLY to passenger vehicles and small trucks (XSV, XLV, A).What if a senior owns more than 2 vehicles? Seniors are entitled to ONLY 2 SR licenses. They must pay full price for any additional vehicles.If a senior owns a business and registers his or her vehicle in the business name, can he purchase a ‘SR’ license? No, full cost of license applies.
Fees and Locations
Cook County Vehicle Licenses may be purchased:
- in person at 118 N. Clark Street, Room 1160, Chicago, IL 60602
- Can pay online using the Online Sticker Purchase
- at Township offices
- or by mail (Make checks payable to Cook County Collector.)