Chicago Auto Show 2023: Frequently asked questions

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Friday, February 3, 2023
Chicago Auto Show 2021 returns with indoor/outdoor experience
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The Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place this summer with an indoor-outdoor experience.

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 116th show this year.



Don't see your question? See the full list here.

Is my ticket good for more than one day of the Chicago Auto Show? Is my ticket good for same day re-entry?

Tickets are valid for one entry into the show. Once they are scanned, they are no longer valid. However, you may re-enter any time that day. If you chose to leave and come back, that is permitted (just make sure to get your hand stamped). If you would like to come back multiple days there are many discounts offered that may benefit you.

Do you offer any complimentary admission tickets to the Chicago Auto Show?

Chicago Automobile Trade Association member dealers can purchase discount tickets for non-profit organizations. See for a complete listing of dealers.

What is the 2023 Chicago Auto Show ticket price?

Admission prices are as follows:

$15 for adults

$10 for seniors 62+

$10 for children 4-12

Free Admission for children 3 and younger when accompanied by a paying adult. Family members only.

Is an ID required to enter the Chicago Auto Show?

No, an ID is not required for entry. However, it may be required to participate in a test drive.

Does the show offer a military discount for active and veterans?

On Feb. 14, all first responders and military may visit an identified location at the event to show their badge or military ID for free entry. Any guests that accompany first responders or military personnel that day will be treated to a discounted voucher of $10.

Can I purchase tickets at the door?

Yes, the show will again offer a box office at McCormick Place. Credit and debit cards only. Box office closes one hour prior to the show closing.

Why don't you recommend debit cards for online purchases?

We suggest ticket buyers use credit cards, rather than debit cards, for ticket purchases. Not all debit cards are not all enabled for online verification. As a result, many of the transactions are denied by the lending bank. A resulting pending charge is left on the purchaser's card. That charge normally falls off within 24 hours, but sometimes cardholders must call the bank to get the money released.

Our show box office at McCormick Place will take credit or debit cards. Cash will not be accepted.

What is the appropriate dress code for the First Look for Charity gala?

First Look for Charity requires a strict black-tie dress code. Males are required to wear a tuxedo and females should wear an elegant dress or gown.

Should you forget your tuxedo, we will conveniently have a rental company on-site.

Where can I purchase Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity tickets?

To purchase your ticket and to find additional details regarding the event, please visit

For packages of 25 or more tickets, please call the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producer of the Chicago Auto Show, at (630) 495-2282.

Can I buy Chicago Auto Show First Look Tickets at the door?

Yes. There is a ticket booth set up on the 2.5 level of the Grand Concourse. There is also tuxedo rental available on site.

Will attendees have the opportunity to win a free car during the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity event?

One highlight of the First Look for Charity is the vehicle giveaway. Over the years, lucky winners have driven off with the keys to more than 50 vehicles, including a Chevrolet Corvette and Dodge Viper. Any attendee who has purchased a ticket is eligible to win. However, the winner must be present at the time of the drawing.

Are children allowed to attend the First Look Charity Event?

Children are more than welcome to attend First Look for Charity. However, the ticket price remains the same amount despite their age. Additionally, all attendees must wear black-tie clothing (a tuxedo for males; an appropriate dress or gown for females).

What portion of the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity ticket price donation is tax deductible?

For the 2023 First Look for Charity Gala, $250 of each $275 ticket is deductible as a charitable expense, for tax purposes.

How does one become a participating charity in the First Look for Charity event?

You may send a letter indicating a desire for consideration to:

First Look for Charity

18W200 Butterfield Rd.

Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Please explain the reason you'd like to be considered along with your charity's cause. If admitted, a charity can participate in the event up to nine years. Please understand that many area organizations have appealed for consideration, so the wait to join is long.

What are 2023 Chicago Auto Show's dates and hours?

The public show runs Feb. 11-20. The show opens every day at 10 a.m. It closes at 10 p.m. except for the final day when it closes at 8 p.m.

Is there a phone number I can call with questions or problems?

The Chicago Auto Show general information line is 630-495-2282.

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.

Are backpacks permitted into the Chicago Auto Show?

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

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 from your home or office.

Is free WiFi available at the Chicago Auto Show?

Yes! Free WiFi is available for show attendees.

Are there any indoor test tracks or outdoor test drives at the Chicago Auto Show? Is there an extra fee for participation on the indoor/outdoor test tracks at the Chicago Auto Show?

Yes. There is no cost for the indoor test tracks and outdoor test drives.

Is there a gift shop at the Chicago Auto Show?

There are merchandise stands in the lobby of McCormick Place that will have Chicago Auto Show memorabilia for sale.

Are there any children's activities at the Chicago Auto Show?

Children are more than welcome at the show and there are plenty of activities and fun displays they can play with at various booths.

Are small dogs allowed at the Chicago Auto Show?

Only service dogs are allowed.

If you have a CCL can you have your Firearm with you in the Chicago Auto Show?

No, McCormick Place is a gun-free zone. All patrons are subject to search. It is unlikely that you will be able to bring a knife into the show.

Are selfie-stickies allowed inside the Chicago Auto Show for photos?


My reason for coming to the Chicago Auto Show is to see all the Teslas and prepare to buy one. Why are there no Tesla exhibits scheduled?

Thank you for your interest, we do not exclude any manufacturers. If an auto maker is not present at our show, it is because they have elected not to participate. We urge you to contact them and ask them why they feel they don't need to participate.