Online Sales For Chicago City Stickers Start Monday
Nearly a full month earlier than last year, starting Monday, Chicago drivers can purchase their annual city vehicle stickers online via the City Clerk’s website.
Traditionally, city sticker sales have started June 1st, a date which kicked off a month of sales, followed by another two week grace period ending July 15th. Drivers who had not purchased and displayed their new city sticker on the windshield of their vehicle risked an expensive parking ticket.
However, since adding an e-commerce option for city stickers purchases to its website, the Clerk’s office has been trying to promote web sales by giving drivers a head start on vehicle sticker purchases if they buy online.
Last year, online sales began May 20th, about a week and a half before in-person sales normally begins.
But this year, the City Clerk’s office is extending the city sticker sales season by nearly six weeks by beginning online sales today, with in-person sales starting May 1st.
The City Clerk’s website has had a top to bottom redesign including a re-boot of the webpage for online sales called EZBuy, which makes the process for purchasing city stickers and temporary parking permits for car owners who live in areas of the city with residential parking restrictions much easier and more navigable interface.
“We hope that people find it much more user-friendly, intuitive and see a cleaner design,” says William
Between May 2012 and March 2012, the City Clerk’s office reports about 232,000 Chicago motorists purchased vehicle stickers online or just under 20% of total city stickers sold.
In addition to extending the length of the time to purchase city stickers, Clerk Susanna Mendoza has made a strong commitment to reducing long wait times for in-person sales by pushing web sales and making it easier for drivers to get their stickers. This includes changes like a will call option that allows people who don’t have faith in the postal service, the choice to pick up their city sticker in person.
“We are hoping to once again increase sales and believe that by adding the new Will Call pick up option for Chicago drivers we will see even more people choose the convenience of buying their sticker online,” said City Clerk spokesperson Kristine Williams.
Chicagoans using the will call option can pickup their sticker in five business days at any of the three City Clerk offices they choose.
The Clerk is also trying to promote website sales by expanding the contest she debuted last year to include more prizes donated by local businesses as an incentive for drivers to buy online. People ordering stickers online at the end of the ordering process have the option to enter to win theater tickets, restaurant gift certificates, autographed sports memorabilia, tickets to sporting events and more.
According to Williams, early adopters of online city sticker sales could have their cars sporting their 2012-2013 Chicago city sticker by the end of this week.
“We will once again be working to process our online orders as quickly as possible,” said Williams. “Our goal is to have them processed and in the mail within a few days of the order, if not sooner. Drivers who order their sticker on Monday could see it in the mail and on their car by the end of the week.”
Hopefully, Chicago drivers won’t have sticker shock when they see this year’s prices.
Back in November, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council raised the cost of city stickers.
Passenger car stickers are now $85, a $10 increase while SUVs city stickers will now be $135 a $15 increase. Pickup trucks are now $200, a $20 increase and larger trucks are $450 a $30 bump.
In addition, city sticker scofflaws will now face a $200 fine for failure to purchase or display a 2012-2013 city sticker compared to $120 last year.Not only that, late fees are now $60, which is $20 more expensive.