New residents

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Dear New Residents of River Forest,

As Village President and on behalf of the Board of Trustees and Village Staff, I want to welcome you to River Forest. We are pleased you decided to make this community your home and to live our motto of Proud Heritage; Bright Future

River Forest is home to roughly 11,717 residents. It is situated approximately 10 miles west of the City of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation. For more than 140 years, River Forest has remained an attractive community with rich architecture, beautiful homes and friendly residents who take pride in calling it their home.

River Forest has many boutique and local shops for your enjoyment. In our Town Center, we have established stores such as Whole Foods Market, Starbucks and Panera to name a few.

We have plenty of opportunities to learn. We have an excellent state-of-the-art charming public library. Our public school system consistently ranks among the best in the State of Illinois. Our community has exceptional private elementary schools, plus an International Baccalaureate institution in Trinity High School. Concordia University and Dominican University, located on the northern edge of our Village, offer an array of academic and cultural programming throughout the year.

For outdoor activities, River Forest provides plenty of green space with year-around youth and adult programming. Residents can enjoy the preservation of open space and three miles of Cook County Forest Preserve trails that border our town.

Included below is a list of resources and information to help new residents familiarize themselves with the Village. I also encourage you to review the New Resident Checklist below to help prioritize the steps to take as a new resident of River Forest.

The Village Board, staff and our many committee and commission members are committed to providing the highest quality of public service and safety to ensure River Forest remains a great place to live now and in the years to come.

Welcome home and please come visit us at Village Hall!


Cathy Adduci
Village President

Follow the links below to view information of particular use to new Village residents. We also recommend reviewing the New Resident Checklist on this page.

Please feel free to contact the Village with questions or comments at (708) 366-8500. Village office hours are as follows: Monday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Village Hall is located at 400 Park Avenue.

Helpful Links

Licenses & Registrations


Parking & Transportation

Home Maintenance

General Information

Other River Forest Government Agencies

New Resident Checklist

  • Update voter registration. Register to vote or update your registration at Village Hall. To register, you must appear in person with two forms of identification: a picture ID and proof of your current River Forest address (i.e. utility bill, lease, proof of home ownership, etc.). For more, click here
  • Register for refuse service. The Village contracts with The Roy Strom Collection Company for its solid waste collection. All households receive standard service which provides for weekly refuse collection of up to two cans of refuse, and unlimited recycling by use of one 32-gallon container and/or 18 gallon bins. To learn more about the Village’s garbage service, click here
  • Set up water and sewer service. River Forest property owners are billed for their water and sewer usage on a bi-monthly basis. Please contact Village Hall for assistance. 
  • Set up remaining utilities. Click here for a list of cable, electric and gas providers. Click here to learn more about the Village-sponored Community Solar program. 
  • Register vehicle(s). All vehicles registered in the State of Illinois with a River Forest address must also be registered with the Village through the purchase of a vehicle license sticker. You can purchase a vehicle sticker in person at the Village Hall or click here to purchase a vehicle sticker online.
  • Register your pet(s). River Forest requires that dogs and cats be registered with the Village. Tags can be purchased at Village Hall and are valid for one year. Pet Licenses are valid from May 1st to April 30th each year. Click here to download a pet license application.
  • Sign up for Village e-Communications. We recommend that you sign up to receive electronic communications from the Village. The Village distributes emergency, crime and general maintenance communications through email, text and voice calls when necessary. The Village also distributes a monthly e-newsletter including events and updates regarding the Village and it’s surrounding government agencies. Click here to sign up. The Village Facebook page is also a great source of up-to-date information for residents. "Like" our page to stay informed.
  • Get familiar with the Village’s public safety services. The Village provides a variety of programs to the community through the Police and Fire Departments. For more information about Village programs and services, visit our Police Department and Fire Department pages.