Tag Archives: Parking Ticket Amnesty
As Chicagoans count down the minutes to 2016, time is also expiring on the city’s ticket amnesty program.
The debt relief program, which started November 15th, is now in its final hours–ending at 11:59 PM on December 31st.
The city will double the fine of a ticket if the vehicle owner doesn’t pay in a timely manner, then tack on interest and collection fees as well.
The amnesty is a rare opportunity for scofflaws with unpaid parking and red light camera tickets from before 2012, to pay at the original amount. The city’s last amnesty was back in 2009.
But you can’t wait until the New Year, because at midnight January 1st, all the old late fees, and additional fines will be restored.
Scofflaws can check online to see if they have outstanding tickets and pay online as well.
What are you waiting for?
If it’s old enough, you may not have to pay it according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Waukegan City Council voted last week to essentially write off nearly $250,000 in unpaid parking tickets as bad debt. The council agreed that any tickets issued prior to 2012 were too difficult to collect.
It’s been six years since the City of Chicago offered an amnesty program to induce scofflaws to cough up the cash for unpaid parking and red light camera tickets.
But now, in the midst of a heated mayoral campaign, 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti has proposed a ticket amnesty program that would allow drivers to pay the original fine amounts for unpaid parking tickets issued before April 15th, 2014 according to DNA Info.
Fioretti, who planned to introduce an ordinance at Wednesday’s city council meeting, believes the city could generate a lot of much needed revenue from a ticket amnesty.
Wants Reform Of ’Oppressive’ Driving, Parking Policies
The corner of Halsted & Madison might seem an unlikely place for a press conference.
But Chicago mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle picked this location Monday afternoon for a very specific reason.
It’s because it is the location one of Chicago’s over 190 red light camera enforced intersections, an intersection that’s generated $326,000 in RLC revenue since it was first installed.
“Red light cameras were originally intended for the purpose of protecting pedestrians and reducing the number of automobile accidents at intersections with a history of automobile accidents,” said del Valle who voted for the original legislation allowing RLC enforcement when he was in the Illinois General Assembly. “I want to go back to that original intent.”
Chicago has the most red light cameras of any American city and issued 763,419 violations just in 2010, and generated $64.1 million in revenue in 2009.
While Chicago’s extensive red light camera program has generated over $250 million since its inception in 2003, del Valle has some strong reservations about how the program is being run, feels it has become overly oppressive to Chicago drivers and is proposing a comprehensive review of these policies.
“As mayor, if I don’t see evidence an intersection has a history of accidents than I don’t think there should be a red light camera there. We shouldn’t be installing red light cameras for the purpose of generating revenue, that’s not what they’re for. That’s not what they were originally intended.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the concept is working very well in many northwest suburbs.
While Chicago has no imminent plans for a parking ticket amnesty in the city proper, Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Palatine and Schaumburg have all used amnesty programs to recover substantial amounts of lingering ticket revenue.
Of course, in all cases, it didn’t result in the recovery of all outstanding ticket debt, but seemingly resulted in much needed infusions of money into these cash strapped towns.
Attention all parking ticket and/or red light ticket scofflaws!
Chicago’s ticket amnesty program ends on February 14th, which gives you a full month to go in and cough up all the cash you owe the city.
Don’t wait until the last week, which, if the last amnesty is any indication, will be chaos with lines of procrastinators extending out the doors.
If you pay up before the Feb. 14th deadline, you will get 25% off your total.
And remember…after Feb. 14th, anyone with two or more unpaid tickets in Final Determination will be boot eligible! YIKES!
Here are the details of the amnesty program.
*Applies to both parking and red light tickets.
*Only applies to tickets issued earlier than Dec. 31, 2006. This means anyone with tickets from 2007 and 2008 are out of luck.
*The city is waiving half of the penalty fee for any unpaid tickets. This means if you had an expired meter ticket for $50 and it subsequently doubled to $100, you have until the amnesty ends to pay $75 (you save $25).
*You must pay ALL old, unpaid tickets at once to receive the discount. However, you may qualify for a payment plan. You’ll have to check into that yourself.
*You will get your boot, tow, and storage fees waived on a previously booted vehicle if your vehicle is no longer in the city’s possession.
*Get the fees you paid for defaulting on a previous payment plan waived. Not bad.
*Boot eligibility drops to two tickets in Final Determination immediately after the amnesty.
*Additional collection costs will be tacked on to any unpaid tickets after the amnesty.
Here’s more information on the City of Chicago Ticket Amnesty Program.