OAK BROOK, IL – Illinois automobile dealers will be allowed to charge up to a $164.30 document-preparation, or DOC, fee on every new vehicle sold in 2013 to cover the cost of paperwork involved with each sale, the Chicago Automobile Trade Assn. reports.

The DOC fee first was imposed in 1992 and set at $40. The fee was approved by the Illinois Attorney General's office and allowed to rise annually based on any increase in the Federal Consumer Price Index.

Dealers can charge any DOC fee amount they choose as long as it doesn't exceed $164.30. They also are free not to levy the fee on new-vehicle buyers.

If they do charge a DOC fee, it has to be the same amount to all customers, according to the Illinois Attorney General.

The $164.30 charge is taxable for the consumer and represents a $2.91 or 1.8% increase over the 2012 level. It takes effect in January.