Illinois Trailer Laws & Regulations

It is important for drivers in Illinois to be familiar with the state's trailer laws and regulations. Trailer laws vary from state to state, so it is important to be aware of the specific requirements in Illinois. Failing to comply with these laws can result in fines and other penalties.

In this article, we will provide an overview of the most important trailer laws and regulations in Illinois. We will also provide some tips for safely driving a trailer. Read on to learn more!

Does Illinois Require License Plates On Trailers?

Illinois residents need to purchase special license plates for their trailers from the DMV. The one-time fee for these plates ranges from $162 - $200, and drivers must pay an annual renewal fee as well. Plate prices additionally fluctuate depending on the weight of the trailer.

If you drive a vehicle that weighs between 16,000 and 26,000 pounds or tow a trailer over 10,000 pounds then you will need a Class C license. Drivers who operate vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds and are towing another vehicle not exceeding 10,000 pounds need a Class B license. Drivers of vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds or tow more than 10,000 pounds must obtain a Class A license. Here in Illinois, the most commonly obtained license is a Class D license, which allows you to tow less than 10,000 pounds.

Adhering to state requirements for licensure and trailer safety can help prevent catastrophic car accidents. Accidents that involve trailers tend to be more severe than those involving only passenger vehicles.

It is illegal to occupy a towed vehicle, such as a trailer, semitrailer, or farm wagon, on a public highway.

Illinois Trailer Laws & Regulations


The total length of the vehicle is 60 feet, while the trailer is 42 feet. The width and height are 102 inches and 13 feet 6 inches respectively.


All trailers or semitrailers with a gross weight over 3,000 lbs. must be equipped with brakes when operated on a highway. These brakes must be designed and connected in such a way that if a towed vehicle weighing more than 5,000 lbs unintentionally disconnects from the trailer/semitrailer, the brakes are automatically applied.

Hitch and Signals

All trailers must be equipped with a regular coupling device (drawbar) in addition to safety chains. Trailers weighing 3,000 - 5,000 lbs only require brakes on 1 wheel per side; however, all trailer wheels must have brakes if the trailer weighs more than 5,001 lbs. These brakes must also engage automatically in case of a breakaway.


Car mirrors are designed to give the driver a view of 200 feet behind them.


All trailers and semitrailers must have an electric turn signal device that indicates the driver's intention to turn right or left. This is done with flashing red or amber lights at the rear of the vehicle, on the side where the turn will be made. The lights should be mounted at the same level, and as widely spaced apart from each other as possible.

All trailers and semitrailers that weigh 3,000 pounds or less including the trailer's weight and maximum load shall have two red reflectors on the back of the body. The reflectors should be placed in the lower left-hand and lower right-hand corners, no more than 12 inches from each corner. They should also be visible at night when hit by headlight beams from 300 feet away.

Speed Limits

As posted.

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