City Clerk Announes Major Changes For City Sticker Sales
City Sticker Sales Start Six Weeks Earlier Than Previous Years
During an afternoon press conference Tuesday, Chicago City Clerk unveiled a new, uncontroversial city sticker design and at the same time, debuted some major changes to how and when city stickers are sold.
Clerk Mendoza announced that both online and in-person sales for city stickers will start much earlier than in previous years.
Online sales for city stickers will start this coming Monday, April 23rd on a newly redesigned, easier to use city sticker sales website called EZBuy. That’s three weeks earlier than last year.
“No one better buy their sticker by using the mail or standing in line,” joked the Clerk after showing off some of the new website’s bells and whistles.
“The biggest change people will see (to the website) is how graphically easier it is to use,” says City Clerk spokesperson Kristine Williams. “Our staff has worked hard to really simplify the process.”
But perhaps the most significant change is that in-person sales will begin May 1st, a full month earlier than the traditional June 1st start date and is a move toward the eventual goal of having year round city sticker sales.
“Logistically, cramming 1.2 million city stickers in a six week period just doesn’t make sense,” explains City Clerk spokesperson Kristine Williams. “We are hoping by stretching out the city sticker season will make lines shorter, reduce overtime and mail orders will process faster. This is the year we take a step towards hopefully, eventually having year round sales.”
“We anticipate lines being significantly shorter this year,” said Mendoza.
Another improvement being rolled out by Mendoza is that Chicago motorists who are fearful of their city sticker being lost in the mail, have a will call pickup option at any of the City Clerk’s offices.
The Clerk tested out the the will call concept about halfway through last year’s season on a suggestion from a City Clerk employee and hearing from drivers while visiting ward offices during ward sales days.
“The most frequent response was that they didn’t trust their postal service,” said Mendoza. “While I cannot fix the postal office in Chicago, as clerk I can make the process easier for those constituents who order city stickers.”
By choosing the will call option, after five days, drivers can stop by whichever City Clerk office they specify and pickup their sticker at a window dedicated to will call pickup. Residents must bring in their receipt and an ID or they can opt to have a friend or spouse pick it up as long as they bring the purchaser’s ID and sticker receipt.
Ward sales for city stickers will start up May 16th and travel to all 50 wards. Some wards will be adding a second half day of sticker sales this year as well.
The Clerk is also rolling out a ward sale will call option where participating alderman allow residents to fill out paperwork an provide payment at the ward office at least five days in advance of the ward sale. Drivers can then drop by the ward the day of the sale, avoid the long line and just pickup their sticker.
Mendoza said she and her staff starting after last year’s sticker season, they worked to streamline the mail processing system in order to speed up how quickly drivers receive their city stickers in the mail.
There are also some significant changes to the city sticker itself.
The make and model of the vehicle will be listed on the city sticker, as well as a QR code being added to the back of the sticker. The QR code, when scanned, will bring smart phone users to a landing page that will help drivers look uip street cleaning schedules, help determine if you’re parked in a residential permit parking zone, report potholes, pay a parking ticket and more.
This year’s city sticker artwork was designed by the Clerk’s office in-house graphics department after the original winning design for the annual city sticker student design contest had to be scrapped due to accusations of it containing gang symbols.
The Clerk was asked about the heated controversy surrounding the original winning student design by Herbert Pulgar.
“It’s unfortunate but at the end of the day we’ve moved past that,” said Mendoza reiterating a list of advancements her office has made for city sticker sales. “That’s old news. These are the things Chicagoans are concerned about.”
She also explained while her office has tried to meet with Pulgar and his family, they’ve not yet met.
“We’ve reached out to this family but haven’t met with Herbie yet,” she said. “I’m pretty much done talking about that.”