Chicago Auto Show 2020: Frequently asked questions

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Auto Show, which began in 1901, is the largest auto show in North America. It has been held more times than any other auto show on the continent, staging its 112th show this year.



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What are the discounts for the show?
There are several ways to obtain discounted entry into the Chicago Auto Show. Most are listed on our Weekday Discounts page.
Personnel who currently serve in the active duty, National Guard or Reserves and hold valid military ID are admitted free to the show. However, non-active personnel and any family and friends who may accompany you must purchase a ticket.
The Chicago Automobile Trade Association offers discounted tickets to the 2020 Chicago Auto Show for schools and groups. Groups of 20 or more will receive a discounted rate of $8 per ticket. These tickets may be used on one of the following days: Monday, Feb.10 through Friday, Feb. 14 and Monday, Feb. 17. Chaperones for the students will be given complimentary tickets; the ratio that we use is 1:10.

Click here to download school and group ticket order forms.

Discount offers for admission to the Chicago Auto Show cannot be combined. There is only one discount offered per admission.

Are there any discounts available for active duty military personnel?
Yes, personnel who currently serve in the active duty, National Guard or Reserves and hold valid military ID are admitted free to the show. However, non-active personnel and any family and friends who may accompany you must purchase a ticket.

On "Food Drive" days, is everyone eligible for a $5 discount if they bring three cans of food each?
The "Food Drive" discount is $5 off a regular $13 adult admission, not simply $5 off all tickets. Seniors and children receive a discount every day.

What is the discount/information if you bring in canned goods on particular days?
$5 off an adult's $13 admission is granted when you bring three canned goods to the show on Wednesday, Feb. 12, Thursday, Feb. 13 and Friday, Feb. 14. Discount is NOT eligible for ONLINE tickets. Must buy ticket at the show for discount redemption. Please limit your donation to canned goods only. All goods will be donated to If you bring canned goods on another day, you'll receive heartfelt thanks from the auto show but no discount.

Is photography/videography permitted on the show floor?
Photography and videography is not only permitted, it is encouraged!

When is the ribbon-cutting ceremony that signifies the show's opening?
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Saturday, February 8 at the Grand Concourse entrance of McCormick Place.

Which days are typically the least crowded?
The Chicago Auto Show is the nation's largest with more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space. Weekends traditionally tend to be the most crowded; however, there is plenty of room to comfortably explore the show floor.

Will there be coat or luggage checks available?
Yes, there are several coat and luggage checks available for your convenience.

Are there designated smoking areas at the show?
The Chicago ordinance bans smoking inside all buildings as well as 15 feet within any building's perimeters. If attendees wish to smoke, they may exit McCormick Place to find designated smoking areas located 15 feet away from the building.

Are the restrooms at McCormick Place equipped with baby changing stations?
Yes, the majority of restrooms inside McCormick Place are equipped with changing stations.

This is our first Chicago Auto Show. Am I able to sit inside the vehicles?
Most every production vehicle on the floor is unlocked for attendees to comb through. One-of-a-kind concepts are for viewing only, and a few of the displays for high-end cars give unfettered access to select patrons.

I heard there's a DMV location at the show for purchasing replacement driver's licenses. Is this true?
Yes, the Illinois Secretary of State's office does have a booth where attendees can renew or replace their driver's licenses and license plates. Look for the booth this year in the show's South hall.

Are backpacks permitted into the Chicago Auto Show?

Certainly; however, all bags are subject to search at the entrances to the Chicago Auto Show.

What is the Chicago Auto Show's average attendance?
The Chicago Auto Show is the nation's largest auto show. However, show management does not announce exact attendance figures.

Is there a "Lost and Found" area at the Chicago Auto Show?
If any of your belongings are lost during your visit to the Chicago Auto Show, please check with McCormick Place security at (312) 791-6060.

Are cars on display at the Chicago Auto Show available for purchase?
No, the Chicago Auto Show is an exhibition only. However, product specialists are available to answer any questions you have regarding the vehicles on display. If you are interested in purchasing a new vehicle, representatives can help direct you to a dealer that is within a convenient location to your home or office. Additionally, you can identify all area franchised, new-car dealers at

Are you able to re-enter the show the same day you originally paid without having to pay a second time?
Yes, you can re-enter multiple times on the same day, provided you get your hand stamped when first exiting the show.

Will the manufactures give out rebates on vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show?
Many of the manufacturers do offer special show pricing, typically through the end of February. Please check with your local dealership for more details.

Is free WiFi available?
Yes! Free WiFi is available for show attendees.

Is there a gift shop?
There are merchandise stands in the lobby of McCormick Place that will have Chicago Auto Show memorabilia for sale.

Are there any indoor test tracks or outdoor test drives?
Yes, right now we are schedule to have four indoor test tracks and up to six outdoor test drives. We will update this with current information as soon as it becomes available.

How long does it take to see the show?
There is no perfect answer for this because it depends on how much you want to see at the show, what your intentions are (if you are shopping or just looking or want to find one specific vehicle, etc.), and if you want to participate in other activities at the show such as the indoor tracks, interactive displays, or outdoor test drives. But the average attendee spends about 4 hours at the show.

Are there any children's activities?
Children are more than welcome at the show and there are plenty of activities and fun displays they can play with at various booths. However, there is a specific Family Day on Monday, Feb. 17 and there will be additional family fun activities to participate in on that day.
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