Find yourself facing a late fee because you didn’t get a reminder your license plate was set to expire? Relief could be on the way, but only for future late fees.
One of the casualties of the nine-month-old budget impasse is the mailing of renewal notices by the secretary of state’s office reminding drivers of the expiration dates of their yearly license plate stickers. Stopping the mailings has saved taxpayers $450,000 a month, but state Rep. Jaime Andrade, D-Chicago, said drivers not renewing because they didn’t receive reminder notices were charged a combined $5 million in late fees.
“We are not a nanny state but I think our citizens deserve the opportunity to adjust to them not receiving (the reminders),” Andrade said.
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The secretary of state’s office has urged drivers to sign up for electronic reminders through email, but Andrade said the measure gives relief to senior citizens who might not register for electronic reminders.
The secretary of state’s office supports the measure but said it will only impact future late fees and will not be retroactive.
If passed into law, drivers who receive traffic citations for expired plates might also receive a month’s grace period from the plates’ expiration date if they can provide proof of not having received a renewal notice from the state..
Andrade said the measure wouldn’t be necessary if the state acts on a budget that allows the secretary of state to pay for the reminder mailings.
“This bill could become moot if the fines, over $5 million, just get sent to the secretary of state and they use the fines to pay the mailings,” Andrade said.