Internet City Sticker Sales Start Early

Website Opens 2 Weeks Ahead Of In-Person Sales

Go ahead.

Cut in line Chicago drivers.

The City Clerk’s website is officially open for online city sticker sales, nearly a week earlier than last year and nearly two weeks before in-person sales for city stickers begin June 1st.

“More than 1.3 million vehicle stickers are sold each year. I want to continue to work to make the process of buying your city sticker as easy as possible,” says newly minted Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza. “Purchasing it online is simply the most convenient way to buy your sticker – it only takes a few minutes and there is no additional fee to buy your sticker online.”

Online sales actually began quietly this past Monday to make sure the newly updated website was working properly. So far, over 2000 city stickers have been purchased via the City Clerk’s website.

By opening online sales early the past few years, the City Clerk’s office has tried to give drivers an incentive to avoid waiting in lines to purchase their city stickers in-person. The Clerk’s office, since online sales began under Miguel Del Valle, has always had the goal of diminishing lines for in-person sales by encouraging more drivers to buy online.

Mendoza, who essentially stepped off the stage at Monday’s inauguration and right into the annual chaos of city sticker season, has already set a big goal for 2011′s online sales. The Clerk’s office sold about 220,000 city stickers last year or about 17% of total sales. But this year Mendoza wants to sell an additional 100,000 or so stickers to reach their goal of 330,000 or an impressive 25% of total sticker sales.

“Last year more than 221,000 people bought their city stickers online,” said Clerk Mendoza. “We hope to reach an ambitious goal of selling 25% of our city stickers online this year!”

There are a few changes in online sales this year too. The first time residents who reside in a residential permit parking (RPP) zone and want to buy guest parking passes must do it while purchasing their city sticker. If you only want to buy guest passes without purchasing your city sticker, then you must buy them in-person. After this initial in-person purchase, drivers can make subsequent guest pass purchases online with or without an annual city sticker purchase.

While the City Council has been throwing around the idea of hiking city sticker prices, purchase prices are remain the same as last year: $75 for most passenger vehicles and $120 for larger vehicles weighing over 4500 lbs., $25 for residential parking permits and 15 RPP guest passes will set you back $8.

City sticker renewal forms will go out in the mail the last week in May, and in-person sales will open June 1st at City Hall, both City Clerk satellite offices, Department of Revenue payment substations and over 400 local Currency Exchanges.

7 Responses to Internet City Sticker Sales Start Early

  1. BXK says:

    I always wonder why the city doesn’t allow you to purchase multi-year stickers….

    Seems like such a waste every year to do all the paperwork, print all these stickers, mail them, etc. If you live in Chicago, you know you’re going to live in Chicago, why not allow 1, 3, 5 year stickers? Give a small discount for the longer-term ones. Make them a different design so they know quickly when they expire, though with the bar codes on there it should be a quick scan.

    But, of course, I could see them also getting confused if the stickers look different. And you know they would start up the ticket machine any time they were remotely confused. Still, a huge “2015″ printed on the sticker should be pretty obvious as to when it expires.

    This, of course, is my #2 suggestion after getting rid of the stupid things completely. But wouldn’t want to give up that revenue would we? :/

  2. Drew says:

    I’m more of the opinion that we should be citing all vehicles that display an Expired City Sticker.

    And its for the same reason that BXK suggests a multi year Sticker.

    You know your going to live in Chicago until at least 2013…let me buy a 2 year variant.

    220 for 2 years
    120 for 1 year
    100 per year for Multi Year stickers more than 2 year periods.

    Oh yeah…that’d make sense.

    And the city would spend the money…but then not make any in the following years.

  3. S Foran says:

    They don’t allow you to purchase multiple years at a time because that would restrict them from hiking up the price in a given year. It’s all about money, not convenience for patrons. Same with the website. The city figures those that might not otherwise purchase a sticker at all if you have to go in person, may be more likely to purchase online. What’s new here in Chicago?

  4. QuestionFromNWside says:

    Not sure where to post this but I was wondering about this….I’ve lived in Chicago for 10 years and always buy my city sticker each year, anywhere from 1 to 3 cars depending on my family’s driving situation that year. So, my sticker is set to expire in June, but I know that I am moving out of state at the end of July. Does anyone know of a discounted sticker I can purchase, or will the City pro-rate? I am all for paying for my sticker, but it just doesn’t seem right to pay for the full year to use the sticker for 4-6 weeks. Of course nothing surprises me with the City though! I’ll ask at the Clerks office but just wondering if anyone here had any good advice? Thank you.

  5. QuestionFromNWside says:

    Follow up to my post above, found this on the Clerks website FAQ section, looks like it’s pretty cut and dry, no surprise here:

    I am moving out of Chicago in a few weeks/months. Can I just purchase a temporary sticker or get a refund on a portion of the sticker after I move?

    You will have to purchase the regular sticker or risk being ticketed until you move. We do not sell temporary stickers and refunds are not given if you move out of the city.

    from: http://www.chicityclerk.com/VehicleStickers_FAQ.php

  6. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Dear Question,

    What I suggest is changing the registration on your vehicles NOW! You’re going to need to change the registration anyways. Why not do it in advance.

    This way, with your registration officially outside the city, you do not have to purchase a 2011 city sticker.

    That’s what I would do.

  7. Drew says:

    Geek….if its going to be 3 or 4 or 6 weeks until you move…that means you do not have a New Legal Address of residence to transfer to.

    AND….we no longer pay attention to your vehicle registration.

    We now access the SOS and if you have a DL or State ID that has a Chicago Address, you get a ticket if you don’t have the sticker.

    No more of this “Oh…the vehicle is registered in…”

    We run your VIN….

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