Chicago City Stickers On Sale Now!

June is Chicago city sticker renewal month!

It’s when all drivers must spend $75 or more to obtain their annual city vehicle sticker for every car, truck, van, pickup or motorcycle they own registered to a Chicago address.


Despite this annual assault to your wallet, there is a little bit of good news surrounding the 2009-2010 sticker.

First, this year’s sticker is streamlined. If you live in a residential parking zone, your residential parking permit is actually consolidated onto your city vehicle sticker. So, instead of having two decals cluttering up your windshield, now you’ll have only one.

Plus this year’s city sticker has additional security measures to prevent counterfeiting and discouraging theft. These measures include printing your license plate number on your sticker, so you’ll need to know your license plate number when you renew or purchase.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the renewal process is much faster and easier than previous years.

While you can purchase your city stickers at City Hall, City Clerk Satellite Offices, Department of Revenue Substations, at Aldermanic ward offices on certain days, and more than 300 community vendors including Dominick’s grocery stores, currency exchanges and select banks, the best way may be purchasing online at the city clerk’s website:

By using the City Clerk’s website to purchase your sticker, you don’t have to go anywhere, wait in line or pay a $5.50 premium when you purchase at banks, currency exchanges or at Dominick’s. Plus, you’ll get your sticker in the mail within a few days.

“We are strongly encouraging people to purchase their sticker online,” says  City Clerk Information Officer Kristine Williams. “Stickers are processed and in the mail within 48 hours after purchasing them online.”

Of course, if your old school and enjoy taking things slow, you can still purchase your city sticker by mail using the renewal form you should have received in the mail, but you don’t need the renewal form to purchase online. However, if you opt to purchase you sticker in person, you must bring your renewal form or driver’s license along and know your vehicle’s license plate number.

A complete list of sale locations, Aldermanic Ward sale dates and more details about this year’s vehicle sticker can be found at the City Clerk’s website or by calling 312-742-5375.

But you may want to get moving, your old, 2008 – 2009 vehicle sticker, expires on June 30, 2009. There is a 15 day grace period, until July 15th, before you’re hit with a $40 late fee. Plus, after that date, you risk the possibility of an expensive parking ticket for “failure to display” your city sticker.

City stickers for most cars are $75, but larger vehicles like SUV’s and trucks pay more, and Senior citizens and motorcycles pay less. Check the Vehicle Sticker Price List for the details on pricing.


Make sure you remove all of your old city stickers from your windshield before mounting your new one. It’s illegal to have more than the most current year displayed and you can be ticketed.

Also, it’s illegal to use any sort of clear envelope or sleeve to display your city sticker. It must be affixed directly to the inside of your windshield on the lower portion of the passenger side of the glass. While rarely enforced, using one of these clear sleeves could get you a ticket.

24 Responses to Chicago City Stickers On Sale Now!

  1. SpartyCuse says:

    Be careful, though, when renewing online. I have a regular car, but I have the “Pet Friendly” plate. In past years, the online renewal system didnt let me put in the “PF” at the end of my plate number, without making it a truck (and the higher cost). Since there was no plate on the sticker, I just left off the “PF” When I tried again this year, same problem – adding the PF made me a truck. I called the Clerks Office. They had me enter it as just the number online, then they went right in the system and added the PF before it printed. So if you have any of the special plates…call the clerks office right after you order online.

  2. Ralph says:

    I went online to purchase my city sticker after receiving my renewal notice in the mail. I entered my notice number as requested, filled out the info that was missing, such as email address, clicked to continue, and it changed my info from a small Toyota roller skate to a Class A Truck, and upped my fee from $75 to $180! I went back and tried this several times, all with the same result. I then called the clerk’s office, and explained the problem to the nice man who answered the phone. I told him the website was obviously run by the same engineers that time Chicago’s traffic lights (you know, the ones that make you stop at every block even when you are on a main thoroughfare….) He was sympathetic and told me NOT to purchase the sticker! DUH! He then gave me a phone number to contact the IT people in charge of the site. I called the number and got a message something like “we are not available to answer your call,” followed by being hung up on. (I have to assume they had their hands filled with some one way side street’s light not stopping the traffic on Irving Park Road.) I then decided the city clerk’s office could not handle the technological wonders of the internet. I then drove to the city office on Addison, where the line stretched out the door and down the entire length of the strip mall where it’s located. I then decided the city clerk’s office could not handle the age-old concept of face to face customer service. So today I dropped my renewal form, along with my check for $75 in the mail. Here’s hoping the city clerk’s office can handle their snail mail! So much for the city that works….

  3. Jay says:

    I’m curious about those bar codes. Without knowing how ticket agents’ ticketing devices work, I wonder if they’re equipped with a scanner they can use to read the bar code on the city sticker, which will help them more quickly enter a car’s info when writing a ticket.

  4. Ralph says:

    Interesting, SpartyCuse. I have Firefighter Memorial plates, ending in FF. Perhaps that is why the system kept changing my sticker to a Class A Truck also? I am just hoping I get the sticker in the return snail mail by July 15th now.

  5. mythdraug says:

    (shhh I didn’t tell you this, but…)

    While I am not encouraging potentially illegal behavior, I would like to point out that stickershield ( accomplishes the same results as the clear envelopes and sleeves without being quite as noticeable. Well trimmed, it should be undetectable from outside the vehicle.

  6. JH says:

    I used stickershield for my 2008 sticker, and recently got hit with the “failure to display” ticket. The only way you can tell is that one corner is just beginning to curl away from the windshield a tiny bit, but apparently that was enough. (Or I assume — otherwise I have no idea why I was ticketed.)

    I’m wondering if it’s worth trying to fight the ticket, but guessing I will probably lose. If anybody has any similar stories or experiences I’d be curious to hear about them.

  7. 3-56-070:
    Such wheel tax license emblem shall be affixed, in accordance with the instructions printed thereon which are made a part hereof, and without the use of supplemental adhesives, at the lower right-hand corner on the inside of the glass portion of the windshield of such motor vehicle.

    I use a drop of dishwashing liquid. When it dries you can’t tell it’s there and it’s (virtually) free. And they can’t legislate me not cleaning the dishwashing liquid from the interior of my windshield before putting my sticker on, can they?

    Soon Ticketmaster or DoR Employee will come on here and tell us that they’ll ticket for that. After which I will walk around the corner to the DOR Depot and start taking filming every single violation I see. Then I’ll film them when they get back from the end of their shift and get in those violating vehicles.

    I wish I would have taken a picture of the DOR employee who had her bike in the MIDDLE of the sidewalk and didn’t bother moving it as I tried to walk past. Rude. But that’s a personal thing, not really a DOR thing.

  8. Hello –
    Full disclosure, I’m the media rep. for the City Clerk’s office. I hope I can help answer some of your questions.

    We are experiencing a glitch in our system for people who have license plates that end in letters. The system is automatically recognizing those vehicles as Class A trucks. We hope to have this fixed by Friday.

    In the meantime, we are asking people to call or e-mail us if they purchase the sticker online and have license plates that end in letters. You can still purchase the sticker online, just leave the letters off the license plate portion, send us the correction and purchase information and we’ll manually correct. We do process the stickers within 24 hours so it’s important to notify us right away. Your other option is to purchase it in person or return your renewal notice with the appropriate payment. Again, we hope to have this fixed by Friday so it shouldn’t be a problem moving forward.

    It is in the ordinance that stickers must be on the windshield. That being said, the sticker shield product is against the ordinance and you can receive a ticket for it.

    Please contact us if you have any additional questions or need further clarification.

  9. John Adams says:

    Is there any other city that uses City Stickers the way Chicago does? I mean, a 75.00 tax to be allowed to drive in Chicago? Why do we put with this stuff?And where does all this money go to, anyway? I’d love to see a budget that shows how the money spent for parking tickets, fines, and the City Sticker actually benefits us citizens.

  10. Ticketmaster says:

    Hello Angry Chicagoan,

    I don’t know about DoR, but I do know, that if you choose to use dish liquid on your window before you apply your city sticker,I won’t have a problem with it. However, if the sticker is encased in some sort of plastic shield or other hardware, then I will issue a citation.

    John Adams,

    IF you visit you will be able to find the annual budget which breaks everything down. If you can understand it, then you are a much better person than me.

  11. Reba says:

    I just moved to Chicago and got my first city sticker. Until now, I was unaware of any law prohibiting the use of an adhesive, so I used the “StickerShield” product (which is NOT and envelope or sleeve, merely a backing) to affix my sticker to the windshield. So now I’m a bit concerned, but at this point, I can’t very well remove the sticker from the shield, so there’s really nothing I can do, save get a new sticker.

    But I wonder if this law is really relevant at this point, considering that my sticker has my license plate number on it and therefore couldn’t be transferred to another car. I know this is the first year the plate numbers have been listed, so the law may be outdated.

  12. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    I just want to say thanks to Kristine from the City Clerk’s office for her input.

    I think it is VERY cool when someone from the city can help out with advice, info, etc.

    One of the goals of The Expired Meter is to be a source of reliable info on parking related topics and when someone like Kristine takes the time to comment, I think it’s AWESOME!

    Thanks Kristine!

  13. Ticketmaster says:

    Reba Says:

    I just moved to Chicago and got my first city sticker.

    1. Welcome to Chicago. Please enjoy our wonderful city.

    Until now, I was unaware of any law prohibiting the use of an adhesive,

    2. Many people don’t realize it, so don’t feel bad. Business’s still sell them (kind of like how they do with plastic plate shields) without any kind of warning.

    I can’t very well remove the sticker from the shield, so there’s really nothing I can do, save get a new sticker.

    3. The good news here is that you can get a new sticker at the fraction of the cost. I believe and I am sure Kristine from the City Clerk office can correct me on the price, but a replacement sticker is $20.00. I know it sucks to have to spend the extra time and money, but it is better to do it now, than doing it for fighting a ticket which costs $120.00

    But I wonder if this law is really relevant at this point, considering that my sticker has my license plate number on it and therefore couldn’t be transferred to another car.

    4. Whether the ordinance is still relevant is a deeper discussion for legal minds. The license plate on the sticker is an extra safegaurd for the city and also for you. With your current sticker in a plastic shield, it makes it very easy for thieves to steal it from your car.

    Again, welcome to the City and please accept my advice.

  14. Reba says:

    Thanks for the advice and the welcome, ticketmaster. I’ll think about the replacement sticker option, although I’m not sure I can stand waiting in the city clerk’s 1.5 hour line again. That was pretty brutal.

    One thing to point out tho: The sticker isn’t “in” a plastic shield. It’s been stuck onto a little 5 by 4 sheet of thin plastic that sticks onto your windshield. No pocket or sleeve. It can’t be taken “out”. And with that license plate number on it, it wouldn’t be of much use to any thief. I’m pretty sure they would rather go for my iPod.

    Now that extra safeguards have been imposed, I hope the legal side of this can be addressed soon, bc as somebody with total OCD, I’m not sure I could function knowing that that the sticker was going to leave a residue on my window. It would bother me every single day.

  15. SpartyCuse says:

    The sticker doesnt really leave a residue. I just took mine off, used a razorblade, then some windex. Im as OCD as they come, and I have it cleaned off in 5 mins. Then put the new one on.

  16. Ticketmaster says:


    the plastic shield/sheet or whatever you may want to call it, the fact remains that it does make it easier for thieves to steal it from your car. Trust me when I say, an ipod may be valuable, but a City Sticker is priceless. While the plate # on the sticker could act as a deterrant, it also relies on whether or not ALL Agencies who writes tickets fully inspect the sticker to make sure the plate matches.

  17. ronbo says:

    Just got my new city sticker/residential permit at City Hall. There was some kind of computer glitch which slowed thing down a bit. My license plate number was correct on the preprinted application but was totally scrambled on the window sticker. Tickets will be issued if it doesn’t match the plates on your vehicle. Do yourselves a favor and check the sticker carefully for errors before leaving the facility – another fine mess in the making!

  18. Michael says:

    I clearly had my city sticker displayed in my winshield as I always have for the last 10 years and I got a $120 ticket stating no ticket or improper display. It just makes one wonder when nothing has changed on your car and have always parked more or less on the same streets near your house for 10 years why suddenly a meter maid decides to ticket you for this reason. What gives? I’m contesting this one.

  19. Stored Bike says:

    Does anyone know if you are still required to buy a city “sticker” for a motorcycle even if the bike is not being used but was licensed for this year. I renewed my license but then had to move my bike to storage since I do not have a place to keep it at my current address. I have heard rumors that since the city clerk is now integrated with the state’s license registration system that you will receive a ticket in the mail if you do not purchase the city sticker for a currently registered vehicle….quite annoying if true.

  20. Motorcycle says:

    … where exactly am I supposed to put this sticker on my motorcycle? There is no windshield, but that certainly hasn’t stopped them from ticketing.

  21. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    Motorcycles are actually issued a small round aluminum tag that I believe is attached to your lic. plate.

    It’s NOT the same sticker for cars or trucks.

  22. DoR Employee says:


    City Clerk And CPD can and do issue City Sticker violation Tickets for “Improper Display”…its the same as No Sticker for the violation code.

    Check the muni-code on it and then go look at where your sticker is placed.

    If it is NOT:

    On the Lowest point of the Front Windshield in the corner of the Passenger side, no less than 1 inch (as I recall) from the bottom; then a Ticket may be issued.

    Stored Bike……the answer is “Yes” you are required to have it whether you ride it or store it. Unless you want to risk a ticket when you do use the Mcy. Not to mention that if your bike is parked in a Lot that is accessible via the Public Way (Alley, Sidewalk, Driveway) Sticker enforcement is a potential daily by Clerk, CPD and DOR agents (Since 2006 its legal to check in private lots/garages like Target or Dominicks or at Sox park.).

    ronbo…..currently, the City Clerk and DOR enforcement agents are NOT issuing Tickets if the Plate Number on the Sticker doesn’t Match the one on the vehicle. Not Yet at least.

  23. Megatron says:

    Regardless if a private lot is accessible through an alley/driveway/sidewalk only cpd enforces violations and that is mostly handicap complaints.
    As far as having different plates on city sticker as to vehicle….ordinance says no city sticker displayed… far as I’m concerned there will be no enforcement of this due to various mistakes and temp plates that can be printed on sticker.

  24. DoR Employee says:

    Megatron….its not just the CPD that enforces in those lots and we both know it.

    There are the special details in DOR and Clerk that do it as well.

    But I know about the CPD squads that will write bogus tickets.

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