Driver Angered Over Legit Parking Ticket Ruling

People like to complain about Chicago parking tickets.

Lately, many drivers have been complaining to the Chicago Tribune’s Jon Yates–the Problem Solver columnist.

In the most recent episode, a driver remembered at the last minute, his license plate sticker was about to expire. He logged onto the Illinois Secretary of State’s website and renewed. Understanding the sticker doesn’t magically appear, he posted his receipt on his dashboard with the hope it would deter ticket writers.

Not surprisingly, it did not and he received two $60 parking tickets.

He contested both by mail.

One was upheld but the other was dismissed. Both were adjudicated by the same Administrative Hearing Judge.

This confused, confused and angered the driver who contacted the Tribune.

Yates looked into the situation but found out the hearing officer actually gave the driver a break by dismissing one of the tickets because the second violation was issued within 24 hours of the first.

Instead of being grateful, the motorist is still angry.

The reality is, vehicle owners must have the new sticker mounted on their license plate by the end of the month in which the sticker expires. Unfortunately, the law states it doesn’t matter if the sticker was purchased before the deadline–it still must be displayed on the vehicle’s license plate.

TICKET TIP: If time runs out before you can renew your license sticker, don’t renew online with the Secretary of State. It could take days if not weeks before it comes in the mail and you could be ticketed for each day your plates remain expired.

Instead, either purchase your sticker in person at any SOS driver’s facility location or, for even faster service, walk down to the closest Currency Exchange. Many Currency Exchanges are open 24 hours a day and, for a modest $5.50 fee, you can walk out with your sticker.

Just make sure you get it on your plate ASAP.

Here’s the Tribune’s full story, “Problem Solver: 1 infraction, 2 tickets, 2 rulings.”

9 Responses to Driver Angered Over Legit Parking Ticket Ruling

  1. CL says:

    Every year I wait until the last minute, and every year I end up buying the sticker in person. It’s just what you have to do if you wait.

  2. Drew says:

    Better Point.

    The City of Chicago Can Give 7 business Days Grace Period if there is a Sec State CyberDrive purchase visibly displayed on the Vehicle.

    We are not Required to honor them though.

    If you can not get the Sticker before 12am the First of the Month…


    And remember…

    It isn’t the Ticket writers fault your plates are expired.

    It’s Yours.

    Also…with expired plates, by City Code…you are not legally allowed to park on any Roadway. He Could have been ticketed for No Park Stand Anytime : Comment: Plates Expired per MCC 976160F

    That would have been 135.00 in Undismissable fines for each day.

  3. TKM says:

    Hmm, I must of gotten REALLY lucky when the same thing happened to me a couple times a few years ago. Couple years in a row I renewed online but didn’t get my sticker in time (both times were my fault, waited until after I moved once and then needed to scrape up the cash the other time). Both times I contested by mail and both times the tickets were dismissed.

  4. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    It’s hard for me to feel sorry for this guy in the story. Just go to the Currency Exchange next time dude!

  5. Drew says:

    Yup…got to agree with ya Mike.

    It’s getting to the point at DoF that the Dep Dir and Senior Managers are starting to listen to Capt M Plate and DoR Employee more.

    Current rumor is that by Mid June or Beginning of July, there will be no more legal safe havens for Expired Plate or Missing Front Plate or Tinted Window tickets, if your vehicle isn’t Parked on your Own Private Property.

  6. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    Here’s my thoughts on your last statement.

    1-I am all for figuring out a way to allow drivers to post a printout of proof of renewal on their windshield to deter tickets. That’s not the law now, but I would be supportive of changing it. I also think it was a bad idea to take away the compliance defense for expired plate stickers. If you bought the sticker and forgot to post it, you should get a break. Perhaps not more than one break, but a break. The point is that you purchased the sticker.

    2-Missing front plate? If the plate falls off due to circumstances beyond your control, then that should be a defense. If you are just a jag and don’t mount your plate, then you should be held liable.

    3-Tinted windows? That law should be repealed. Stupid law.

  7. Pete says:

    Why do some people wait so damn long to renew their plates and stickers? I’m the king of procrastination, but I don’t like to stand in line the day before expiration, so this is one thing I try to do ahead of time.

  8. Drew says:


    I think half the problem is that some of the people that wait so long actually think that the 30 day grace period on the late renewal late charge also covers not having the new sticker.

    The other half of the problem is 2 fold…

    The State if Illinois is pathetic at getting renewal reminders out to the citizens. Some of the complaints I’ve heard is that they (the people that have gotten ticketed) didn’t get any type of rimder at all.

    And the other problem it that (from what I’ve heard) those that didn’t get a reminder didn’t have to have an emissions test, and didn’t realize it was time to renew their plates.

    I can’t speak to either of the above because I drive a vehicle that is exempted from the emissions test and also always go to a currency exchange to gety new plate tag every year. So I can honestly say I’ve never had a ticket for Expired Plates.

  9. Paul says:

    You know, if the city is trying to collect on a state sticker, I don’t understand why the state can’t collect when you fail to renew a city sticker. Of course that just points to the absurdity of the whole thing and why neither should have that kind of gotcha authority. And who are these a-holes defending this kind of anti-social behavior? Persnickety punks.

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