Friday, October 19, 2012


How does one obtain Electric Vehicle Plates for the state of Illinois?

There are two forms that the Secretary of State provides which require completion in order to be issued plates for an EV.  (Note: I use EV as an abbreviation for Electric Vehicle, but the plates issued by IL will have a random number followed by EL.  The EL is for ELectric vehicle.  EV is already in use by the state for Exempt Vehicle.)  One form is the AFFIRMATION FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE and the other is APPLICATION FOR VEHICLE TRANSACTION (VSD.190). 

The AFFIRMATION FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE is not available online at the time of this writing.  I am also informed that the Affirmation should be updated in the near future.  Currently the form is intended for vehicles that have been converted to all electric.  As such, the form asks for pictures of the front, back and side of vehicle along with photos of the electric motor and battery storage.  The Vehicle Services Department should make the form clearer for originally manufactured electric power vehicles with the update.  And hopefully the form will be available online in much the same way that the AFFIRMATION FOR LOW-SPEED VEHICLE form (VSD.796) is on the SOS website.  Feel free to print a copy of the form below.  My local facility had to have this form faxed to them so the chances are you closest facility may have never seen this.  An important note: If you have an originally manufactured EV, the photos are not required.  If you are reading this before you buy, print a copy and take it to the dealership with you.

The second form required is an APPLICATION FOR VEHICLE TRANSACTION (VSD.190).  This is a form that a local facility should have.  A new car dealer should have these forms as well.  This is available online but not in a printable form, so avoid that route.  I wish I could provide complete instructions for filling out the form, but it will differ depending on if it is for new issue or reclassification because it was done wrong the first time.  A scan of the form for my Mitsubishi i-MiEV is attached.  Do not try to use a copy of this form since the bar code on the form has been erased and the form also has a section filled out in duplicate for when the plates are sent to the owner.  The one critical step is filling out ELECTRIC in box 3 for Plate Type Requested. 

Then there is the submission of the fee.  To reclassify the plates is $29 plus the fee for the plates themselves.  The plates are $35, $27, $18, or $9 depending on when during the two-year cycle they are bought.  Plates issued between Jan 1 and June 14 of even numbered years are $35.  Plates issued between June 15 and Dec 14 of even numbered years are $27.  Plates issued between Dec 15 of even numbered year and June 14 of odd numbered year are $18.  And finally plates issued between June 15 and Dec 31 of odd numbered years are $9.  After that the cost is $35 for a two-year renewal.  As an example, my plates will cost $56, the $29 fee plus the $27 "pro-rated" plate cost to have them issued in October of 2012.  If you are lucky enough to have an informed dealer and are getting plates issued at the time of purchase, the $9 thru $35 fee will apply instead of the $99 fee for PASSENGER plates.

So for now, both forms must be sent to Springfield for processing.  The local facilities cannot issue the plates.  You may be lucky enough to find one willing to send the paperwork to Springfied for you though. The address to send the two completed forms and payment is:

Secretary of State
Non-Standard Plates
501 S. 2nd St, Room 541
Springfield, IL 62756

I hope to be able to add information on how to obtain a refund for the $99 Passenger plate fee in the future.  That effort will more than likely take as much persistance as trying to find out how to get EV plates.

 Please feel free to Post a Comment if this information has helped you, if it is accurate, or if updates become available from the SOS. 


  1. Brian
    Here is the site for begging for a refund from the state. Good luck, I'm going through this myself with a 2013 Leaf. We tried to find info on SOS website before registering at the dealership, there just wasn't any way to do it online. I think the SOS owes us corrective action on this.

    For a fillable form

  3. Thanks for the great information. I used your Affirmation For Electric Vehicle form and called in to get the VSD.190 Application For Vehicle Transactions (not available online as it is bar-coded) which was mailed to my house.

    I was also issued regular IL passenger plates when I purchased my 2013 Nissan Leaf on July 1st. I sent my plates back to the SOS along with my VERY nicely stated refund request (along w/ copies of original registration card & new electric vehicle card) and actually received a refund! I got my $101.00 check bearing the name of Judy Baar Topinka just 12-days after I submitted the request. So, really, I was just out the re-classification fee. I can live with that! I have a strong feeling your chances of receiving a refund are based on the mood of the person opening your envelope. I got lucky - which never seems to happen to me very often :)

  4. Great information. Yep, my dealer charged me the full regular plate price and said the Electric Vehicle plate fee would happen when I renew in a year (hey see, the registration says electric vehicle). I was bumping around the Secretary of State website and it was hard to find the PDF even listing electric plates.

    John - I'm going to follow in your footsteps. Just want to be sure I go down the right path.
    Step 1 - Call Secretary of State Non-Standard Plate office at 217-785-4175 and request a Vehicle Transaction form (VSD.190) and check reclassification on that form. Include the Affirmation for Electric Vehicle with that application (Brian has a scanned copy here).
    Step 2 - Wait for the plates to be reissued.
    Step 3 - Fill out the Consideration for Refund form, include copies of original registraion card and the new card, and my old plates.
    And hope like heck somebody nice stumbles on the application and I get the refund.

    Did I get that right? I confuse easily.