Online Sales For Chicago City Stickers Start Today
Renewal Notices Are Already In The Mail
And you can jump to the head of the line today, as online sales for 2010 city stickers, residential parking permits and daily guest passes is now officially open for business at the Chicago City Clerk’s website.
Actually, the Clerk’s office had their online sales up and running a few days ago, this past Thursday, as part of a beta test of sorts, before making the official announcement.
“We had a soft launch to make sure everything was working OK,” said City Clerk spokesperson Kristine Williams. “In the first three hours, we had already sold 100 stickers.”
In addition, according to Williams, some of the 1.3 million city sticker renewal notices started going out in the mail Monday, May 17th, five days earlier than last year. The entire mailing should be completed early this week.
However, Williams says, unless you’re a senior citizen, you don’t need your renewal form in order to purchase your city sticker online.
Every year around this time, city motorists must fork over 75 bucks (or more in some cases), to purchase their annual city vehicle sticker.
Before 2009, city stickers were not available for sale until June 1st.
Last year, Chicago’s 1.3 million registered vehicle owners were given a chance to purchase their city stickers online, in advance of the traditional June 1 start date, to try to promote more web-based sales.
“Last year we doubled the amount of stickers sold online, with nearly 200,000 people choosing the ease and convenience of buying their sticker online versus waiting in line to purchase it in person,” said Clerk del
Valle via press release. “We are hoping to again increase the number of people who discover how fast and easy it is to buy their sticker online.”
The emphasis on pushing internet sales paid off for the Clerk’s office with total online 2009 vehicle sticker sales rising 109% from 2008. Web sales for residential parking permits were even more impressive with a 179% increase, and daily guest passes for residential permit zones were up a whopping 329%.
“We really want to keep growing internet sales quite simply because it’s so easy to do and we don’t want people waiting in line,” explains Williams. “With such a huge increase in online sales, it’s a huge testament to how easy and simple it is.”
In 2009, the Clerk’s office gave an extreme makeover to buying city stickers, converting it from a laboriously slow manual exercise to a fully digital print process. Drastic operational changes, along with new technologies, sped up the speed of transactions, reduced the length of lines for in-person sales and ultimately increased sales by over 40,000 additional city stickers from the previous year.
One significant reason for the sales improvement was the increase in the size of the city sticker renewal mailing. Instead of relying on their database of past city sticker purchasers, the Clerk’s office worked with the Illinois Secretary of State to obtain a complete list of every vehicle registered within Chicago’s city limits.
From a revenue perspective, sales bumped up from $98.5 million in 2008 to $100.5 million in 2009–a 2% increase.
“By far we had the largest renewal mailing ever,” said Williams about last year. “It was the first time ever we broke $100 million in city sticker sales. That two percent doesn’t sound like such a large improvement, but it was a two million dollar increase. That $2 million is really significant to the city.”
Williams suggests, if you prefer using the city sticker renewal form, in order to insure you get your city sticker in time, make sure you get your payment and renewal form into the mail by June 10th.
“June 10th is a safe date to make sure you get it in time,” says Williams.
Officially, motorists are given until June 30th to purchase and display their city sticker on their windshield. However, a grace period extends this time until July 15th.
However, be advised, after this date, not only can you be ticketed $120 for not having your city sticker, but you’ll have to pay a $40 late fee for not buying your sticker before the deadline.
For more information on purchasing your annual Chicago city vehicle sticker, visit the City Clerk’s website.