Chicago drivers could lose the traditional 15-day grace period during which the city doesn’t issue tickets on vehicles displaying out-of-date city stickers as part of the move to year-round sticker sales.
City Clerk Susana Mendoza said Wednesday that when the sale of the city’s 1.3 million vehicle stickers gets broken up over the entire year instead of taking place just in June, Chicagoans won’t encounter the long lines that have prompted police and Revenue Department enforcement workers to traditionally give two weeks leeway after the old stickers expire before starting to issue $200 tickets.
“For years…people would come to the Clerk’s Office on their lunch break thinking ‘I’m going to buy my city sticker,’ and it ended up being an hour-and-a-half, two-hour wait,” Mendoza said. “So people would literally leave, say ‘I didn’t have the ability, there just wasn’t enough time to come into compliance during a very short window of time.’ That’s going to disappear, so the historical need to have (the grace period) is gone.”
Starting this year, the yearly city sticker will lapse six months after the vehicle’s state license plate sticker does. The clerk’s office will give drivers the option this year of either buying a cheaper sticker to cover those remaining months after June until they must buy a replacement, or a more costly sticker good for those remaining months plus another year. By the end of 2015, everybody will be on the new system of staggered sales.
Under a plan the City Council License Committee endorsed Wednesday, the 15-day grace period, which has long been an informal rule of thumb in Chicago, will become official for 2014 and 2015. Then it will go away starting in 2016, and tickets will be issued starting on the first day a vehicle sticker is lapsed.
Starting in 2016, drivers will have 30 days after their sticker lapses to buy new ones without having to pay $60 late fees when they buy online or in person. That’s twice as long as the current grace period for late fees.
The plan will next head to the full City Council.
Source: Chicago Tribune