The Procrastinator’s Guide To Last Minute City Sticker Purchases
Tips For Staying Out Of Long Lines For Friday’s Deadline
The Friday, June 15th deadline is looming and thousands of Chicago drivers still have not purchased their 2012 city sticker.
City drivers caught without a Chicago city sticker starting July 16th, risk a $120 ticket per day, in addition to a $40 late fee on top of the $75 fee for the sticker.
And don’t think your chances for being caught are low. Au contraire, mon frère!
According to the Department of Revenue, ticket writers wrote just under 70,000 tickets for failure to display a Chicago city sticker in the six weeks following the July 15th deadline in 2008, and just slightly less the following year with a total of 68,798 in 2009. That’s roughly 31% of all tickets for a city sticker violation in that six week period between July 15th and August 31st.
The trick now, with just days and hours before the city sticker deadline hits, is to avoid the long lines that come every year at this time.
Here are some tips for the procrastinating drivers still in need of their 2012 city sticker.
1-Go Early, Avoid Lunch Time, Be Prepared
Lines at City Hall, the City Clerk’s two satellite locations and Department of Revenue sales locations will be very long the next few days. If you plan on hitting one of these places go early in the morning. Lines will build as the day goes on.
Lunch times are normally the worst time of day with people trying to fit their city sticker purchase into their lunch break. Avoid this time of day at all costs.
City Clerk spokesperson Kristine Williams advises making sure you have all your proper documentation with you before you get into line.
“If motorists do choose to wait in line, I recommend they have everything ready.” says Williams. “Have a drivers license or renewal form, check, cash or credit or debit card and all their vehicle information including license plate number.”
2-Take Advantage Of City Hall’s Will Call Window
City Clerk Susana Mendoza recently debuted a drop off will call window for city stickers at City Hall. Avoid the in-person sales lines and drop off your payment and paperwork one day, pickup up your city sticker the next.
“I recommend people who work downtown or live downtown drop off their sticker order to City Hall by 5 p.m. on Thursday and they can pick it up at our will call window on Friday and avoid the long lines,” recommends City Clerk’s spokesperson Kristine Williams. “It’s really convenient and save lots of time. Will call orders are processed within 24 hours of dropping them off.”
3-Use Your Local Currency Exchange, Dominick’s
There are over 400 Currency Exchanges in the city where for a small fee of $5.50 drivers can buy their city sticker with virtually no wait.
Walk in and in minutes walk out with your 2012 city sticker in your hands.
Why spend hours waiting in line when you can get your city sticker in just minutes? Motorists can utilize Currency Exchanges, Dominick’s Grocery Stores and a few area banks to bypass lines at city run facilities.
Some Currency Exchanges are open 24 hours a day.
This allows professional procrastinators to really push the envelope and make their city sticker purchases up to midnight on Friday to get their sticker just under the wire.
If you do wait until the last minute, you may face lines at Currency Exchanges, but not anything like the lines at a city facility.
“Anyone who waits until July 15 to buy their city sticker has to anticipate that they will be waiting,” says Williams. “We will move lines along as quickly as possible, but there will be a wait. We encourage people to take advantage of the more than 400 sales locations, including the currency exchanges, Dominick’s and some banks. Use our new zip code finder on our website to find the sales location nearest you.”
4-Stick Your City Sticker By July 15th
Just purchasing your city sticker will not protect you from an expensive $120 ticket if you forget to slap it on your windshield.
The ticket is actually for failure to display your city sticker, not forgetting to purchase it.
Get your city sticker on your windshield sooner than later. Williams concurs with this advice.
“I also recommend people put their city sticker on their cars right away – do not wait,” says Williams. “Sometimes people buy their sticker on time but forget to put it on and receive a ticket. You must display the sticker by the 15th, not just purchase it.”