The Secretary of State’s office doesn’t want to be critical of law enforcement but says a recent story about police picking off expired plates in a parking lot isn’t good social policy.

The Daily Herald reports that 816 people were ticketed in January by Schaumburg police for violating the village’s ordinance prohibiting parking vehicles with expired plates in public areas. While it costs the vehicle owner an extra $20 on top of the standard fee to renew expired plates with the state, getting caught with expired plates in Schaumburg tacks on $50 for the violation going to village.

Secretary of State Press Secretary Dave Druker said that’s not good social policy. Druker said House Bill 4334 could suspend fines during a budget impasse.

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“It doesn’t tell the police what to do,” Druker said, “it actually would ask them to give warning notices in this period of time. Where it’s got specific teeth would be to say there wouldn’t be a late fee, or a penalty, that one pays to renew after 30 days.”

“We don’t want to see anyone penalized, especially if it is out of not knowing or ignorance,” Druker said.

The Secretary of State’s office suspended sending out license plate renewal notices in October, an effort to save $450,000 a month during the budget impasse. Since then they’ve seen an increase in fines for renewing expired plates.

“As a result between last year and this year the state generated an increase of $1.4 million,” Druker said.

That’s money that goes to the General Revenue Fund, not the Secretary of State, Druker said.

HB 4334 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Transportation Committee next week, but until that measure is passed, the office says look at your plates for the expiration date.


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