City Stickers Moving To Year Round Renewal
Over the course of just a few weeks every spring and summer, the Chicago City Clerk’s office sells over 1 million city vehicle stickers.
In person lines for city stickers are often long, patience is tested and in some cases tempers flare.
But this once a year tradition of purchasing a city sticker looks like it might end soon–perhaps as early as next year.
Wednesday, during City Council budget hearings, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza told City Council members her office was working toward going to a year round sales model similar to how the Illinois Secretary of State’s office handles license plate renewals.
“…Next year, we’re looking to go to year-round city sticker sales,” said Mendoza in her opening remarks. “This is an ambitious undertaking, but everything we’ve learned up to this point demonstrates that it’s not only achievable, but will be a more convenient customer experience
with a positive budget impact. We’re confident that with your support and feedback, we can make this happen.”
The idea of year round sales has been bouncing around the City Clerk’s office for at least four years, first coming up during Miguel Del Valle’s tenure as City Clerk.
“This is something the Clerk’s Office has been considering for a while,” says City Clerk spokesperson Kristine Williams. “But Clerk Mendoza is finally pulling the trigger on it.”
Williams says the transition to this year around sales model will make things easier for everyone. Lines will be shorter, if non existent, the $70,000 a year in overtime paid to City Clerk’s staff will disappear and the annual mad rush for vehicle owners to purchase their city stickers by July 15th will end.
The Clerk’s Office still needs to hammer out all the details of converting from the current sales model to a year around one according to Williams.
“It’s all being worked through right now and it’s a lot of work,” said Williams.
Going year round, the over 1.3 million city stickers would break down to about 100,000 sticker renewals per month according to Williams. Tentatively, a driver’s city sticker would have to be renewed six months after the month of their license plate renewal. Williams says this would spread out the financial strain of having to pay for a city sticker and license plate renewal at the same time. It would theoretically space out those same costs for households with multiple vehicles.
“Lots of people struggle to buy their city stickers,” says Williams. “It’s not an inexpensive tax so we’re looking at options to spread out the tax cost.”
According to Williams, in order to accomplish this goal City Clerk staff has been consulting with Jesse White’s office on the best way to transition to the year round model.
“We’re meeting with them on a regular basis and they’re giving us a lot of ideas,” said Williams. “We’re also looking to aldermen and the public for input. We know its good for Chicago drivers–it’s a win-win for everyone.”