Illinois lawmakers are considering suspending late fees for license plate renewals that have caused a windfall for the state after it stopped sending reminders to residents to save money.
Not mailing the notices has caused a dramatic increase in fees. The Associated Press reported Thursday that drivers paid more than $2.7 million in fines from Jan. 1 through Feb. 22. That’s $1.2 million more than a year ago.
One proposed measure would suspend the $20 fine for motorists until the state ends its 8-month-old budget deadlock. The Secretary of State’s office stopped mailing reminders in October to save an estimated $450,000 a month on postage.
Rep. Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago) filed the bill last year. It has several co-sponsors, all Democrats.
* The Daily Herald reports that Schaumburg police are taking advantage of the situation by focusing on Woodfield Mall…
Now that Illinois car owners are no longer mailed reminders from Secretary of State Jesse White’s office that their license plate stickers are about to expire, Schaumburg police are taking advantage of the communication breakdown and reminding shoppers with $50 tickets.
“I’m grateful for the reminder, but I’m not $50 grateful,” said Matt Jones, a Peoria resident whose wife’s car received a ticket in January while parked at Woodfield Mall with a license plate sticker that expired at the end of December. “I got it re-registered the next day.”
According to a Daily Herald investigation, Jones was one of 816 people whose cars were ticketed in January by Schaumburg police for violating the village’s ordinance prohibiting parking “in a public parking area or public street, highway or roadway if the vehicle does not display a current annual registration sticker.”
That’s a 23 percent increase in the number of cars ticketed compared to January 2015, according to police records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Schaumburg police were asked to provide the location where each of these tickets was issued between December 2014 and January 2016, but they responded that the volume of tickets administered for that violation — 8,730 during that time — would make it an arduous task. However, police said the majority of tickets were issued at Woodfield Mall.