City Sticker Sales Rolls Into Final Week, Ends Friday

News, Tips & Info For City Sticker Procrastinators

With just a few days left before Chicago city vehicle sticker sales end, lollygaggers need to get their butts in gear.

The two week extended grace period, due to defective city stickers, comes to an end on Friday, July 30th and is the last day you can purchase your $75 city sticker for 2010-2011 in person from a City Clerk’s office and most Department of Revenue payment centers.

You can still purchase city stickers on Saturday, July 31st without paying a late fee from the Dept. of Revenue payment center at 400 W. Superior or Currency Exchanges and Dominick’s grocery stores.

But if you don’t have your sticker on your windshield before August 1st, you chance a $120 ticket.

So here’s the Geek’s lowdown on getting your sticker with the least amount of pain, along with some good news and information.

Sooner is better than later

Lines for in-person city sticker sales will build through out the week, of course peaking on Thursday and Friday. In other words, if you don’t like waiting for hours in line, get down to City Hall, one of two other City Clerk locations or to a Dept. of Revenue payment center–NOW!

Avoid peak times around lunch time from 11 AM – 1 PM. Get in line early in the morning.

Currency Exchanges

If you want your city sticker right away without standing in long lines, check out your local Currency Exchange. Yeah, you’ll pay a $5.50 convenience fee, but it’s probably worth the money to avoid waiting. Not only are there Currency Exchanges virtually everywhere, many are open late or even 24 hours.

Also, Dominick’s grocery stores and some banks also sell city stickers.

Huh? Sticker Not Sticking?

If you’re having problems with your city sticker not sticking properly to your windshield, it’s not your imagination. The City Clerk’s office got a bad batch of stickers without enough adhesive.

The Clerk’s office will replace your defective sticker for free. You can go to any City Clerk office location or a DOR payment center to do this. Tell them you have a faulty sticker and you’ll be whisked to the front of the line.

You can also e-mail ( or call the City Clerk’s office (312-744-6774 or 312-742-9200) and they’ll get your replacement sticker in the mail to you ASAP.

So far, according to the Kristine Williams, spokesperson for the City Clerk’s office, over 40,000 defective stickers have been returned or 4.5% of total city stickers.

In the meantime, while you’re waiting for your replacement sticker to arrive, do your best to tape your city sticker to your windshield.

Defective city sticker enforcement

Under normal circumstances, you could actually receive a ticket for using tape or not have your city sticker affixed properly to your windshield. But this year, according to the City Clerk’s office, ticket writers have been instructed not to enforce this violation for the entire year because of the defective stickers.

“The City Clerk and Revenue Enforcement personnel will have cards to distribute and put in windshields for anyone who has a sticker that lacks adhesive,” says Williams.  “The cards will direct people to City Clerk or Revenue offices for free replacements and also encourage the motorist to call or e-mail the City Clerk’s office for a free replacement via mail. The personnel will be distributing these cards all year. All enforcement personnel have been asked to not ticket a motorist for lack of adhesive on their sticker and instead distribute the card.”

If you do get ticketed….

If you are mistakenly ticketed for having your city sticker improperly affixed to your windshield due to a lack of adhesive, the Clerk’s office will help you fight the ticket by getting you an affidavit verifying your problem and giving you the ammo to defeat your ticket. Call the Clerk’s office at 312-742-9200 or e-mail at:

Enforcement begins August 1st

Even though city sticker sales officially ends Friday, July 30th, drivers get one more day before enforcement begins on Sunday, August 1st.

The Clerk’s office, because of the grace period extension, has been in direct communications with all city departments that do parking enforcement in the city to make sure ticket writers don’t jump the gun.

“All police districts and City enforcement staff have been notified that ticketing for vehicle stickers and daily guest passes begins August 1,” says Williams. “We have asked for police to be notified at roll calls and memos and reminders to be posted at all stations. In addition, all administrative hearing staff were notified of this year’s
unique extension. Anyone who receives a ticket prior to August 1 can contact our office for an affidavit to assist in contesting the ticket.”

So make sure you get that darn sticker on your windshield before no later than Saturday night or there’s a bright orange $120 parking ticket in your future.

Remember…stick it or ticket

Many drivers make the mistake after purchasing their city sticker of forgetting to place it on their windshield.

Even if you buy your city sticker in time but forget to affix it before August 1st, if you get a ticket you’re still on the hook for the $120 ticket. That’s because the violation is for “failure to display,” not failure to purchase.

So don’t delay, put that sticker on your windshield as soon as you get it.

Problems getting your city sticker off your windshield?

If so, the Geek has 10 tips on How To Get That #@%! City Sticker Off Your Windshield.

You’re welcome.

Does it matter where I place my city sticker?

Actually, yes it does.

The city sticker needs to be placed on the inside of your windshield on the extreme lower corner on the passenger side. So, if you’re driving the lower right of the windshield. If you’re outside looking at the front of the vehicle, the lower left of the windshield.

If you place it elsewhere, you could be ticketed.

Technically, you could be ticketed if there are city stickers from previous years in your windshield, although this is rarely enforced. However, if you had 10 years of city stickers clogging up your windshield, you’re inviting a ticket.

I haven’t received my city sticker yet

If you ordered your city sticker online or by mail over two weeks ago and it hasn’t shown up yet, you need to act fast.

Most likely your city sticker got lost in the mail.

But the “lost in the mail” excuse doesn’t cut it with parking enforcement or hearing offiers.You will be ticketed. It’s your responsibility to have that sticker on your windshield before August 1st.

We advise either going in person to get a replacement or purchase it at a Currency Exchange and then work out a refund with the Clerk’s office after the fact.

Tips & tricks for last minute purchases

I know. You’ve made a career out of being late or always waiting to the last minute. I sympathize. So here’s what you do for buying your city sticker at the last minute.

On Saturday, you can still get a new city sticker without late fee at the Dept. of Revenue payment center located at 400 W. Superior. That location’s Saturday hours are from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The same goes for Currency Exchanges all over the city. If you don’t want to drive downtown on Saturday and don’t mind paying the convenience fee, this may be your best option.

If you have a garage or a safe, indoor place to store your car for a few days, you can still purchase your city sticker online. Again, you have to do it before the stroke of midnight to avoid the late fee. It will take about about a week (give or take) to receive your city sticker, so you’ll have to lay low and keep your car out of the sight of this city’s many eagle-eyed ticket writers.

If you really like to push the envelope, you can buy your city sticker late on Saturday night from one of the many 24 hour Currency Exchanges citywide. As long as you purchase before midnight on July 31st, you won’t be charged the $40 late fee.

CORRECTION: In the original version of this post, we incorrectly listed the number of defective city stickers returned as 80,000. The correct amount is 40,000. We apologize for the mistake and have corrected the story.

8 Responses to City Sticker Sales Rolls Into Final Week, Ends Friday

  1. nathan says:

    do motorcycles/scooters needs stickers too?

  2. Mangaloid says:

    You obviously have not tried to use the contact information above to get a replacement for a defective sticker. The phone number tells you they are too busy to respond and hangs up, e-mails are never returned. It wouldn’t be so bad but I am disabled and short on resources but I am trying a spray adhesive to stick my defective sticker to the windshield.

  3. Anne says:

    I used the city clerk email to replace the defective sticker I received the first time around and the replacement arrived within a week. Unfortunately, I just found out my replacement is also defective… I think it will stick on my windshield for a little bit, but I hope they can send a replacement soon! I thought they got rid of the bad batch already.

  4. Geena says:

    There was a grace period? I have mine but 12! neighbors here in Pilsen were ticketed while parked for no city sticker in the last 10 days.

  5. Yes, motorcycles and scooters need stickers. They actually get a metal tag that is put on their license plate. It is $40 and can only be purchased at city clerk office locations.

    Please try calling 312-742-9200 OR 312-744-6578 OR e-mailing for replacements of stickers that lack enough adhesive or to check on the status of your order. Each e-mail is answered as quickly as possible.

    Kristine Williams
    City Clerk spokesperson

  6. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    PLEASE encourage your neighbors to contest these tickets and use any of the information here or contact the Clerk’s office for advice on this. This kind of thing happens every year where some lone ticket writer, not pay attention to orders or memos or whatever, jumps the gun and improperly tickets some drivers.

    But this is an EASILY beatable ticket. I ask anyone in this situation to not give the city $$$ they are not entitled to. This kind of stuff drives me crazy. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And people in this situation need to fight those tickets.

  7. Fast Car says:


    I saw some of those tickets being written in Pilsen. I can tell you that they were NOT written by DOR or CPD. They were written by SerCo and LAZ. The ticket writer seemed to be in a rush because he was trying to write as many tickets as he could as it was clear that he was looking specifically for STICKER violations. It was like an all you can eat buffet for him.

    Please heed PTG’s advice and contest ALL the tickets. These private entities writing tickets need to be stopped.

  8. DoR Employee says:

    The private Entites are not the only ones Writing City Sticker Violations….but Fast Car makes a great Point.

    I’ve seen CPD issued tickets for this also in the past few days…as well as RPP violations. DOR was instructed (with Threat OF Serious Discipline for failing to conform) to NOT WRITE RPP or City Sticker Violations UNTIL 8/1/10

    Why the FUCK have Private Companies write tickets if they can’t Follow a damn Memo from the Director of Street Operations in the Agency that Allows them to work for us? Yes…..SER Co has a quota of 60 per day.

    I know about 15 PEA’s that can Write 100+ a day without Street Cleaning or RPP or City Sticker violations in our arsenal.

    Contact the PR person with Revenue…this should be reported to Bea Hicky and Turrana Persons.

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