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It’s just a bill (Part 19,478)

Friday, Feb 26, 2016

* AP

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.

Not cool.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    “Schaumburg - Where you can now turn on red without worry, but don’t shop here with your expired plates… “

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    @FakeSenDanDuffy - There! Now they got this right. I hope they got video of these plates too! #RollingThruLife #Smile #ShopOnlineLikeMe

  3. - How Ironic - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    Having gotten a $75 ‘reminder’ from the State Police several years ago for an expired tag, I empathize with the people ticketed.

    That being said, I have never, ever been late getting registered again. With all of the focus being on people getting ticketed, one would think people would take 2 seconds to look at their plates.

    If you are close, or past expiration go online and pay it.

    No excuse, and I don’t feel bad for the people that have gotten hit with a ticket. It’s an easy violation to avoid.

  4. - Concerned - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    My solution: don’t shop in Schaumburg. My plates are up-to-date, but this sort of gotcha opportunism is one reason why people get furious with government. No reason at all to reward Schaumburg with sales tax revenue if this is how they operate.

  5. - A Modest Proposal - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    This is an opportunity to move on to the 21st century - start moving toward electronic reminders.

    Also, people need to start taking responsibility for themselves. If you fail to renew your sticker - it is on them. It isn’t on the state for failing to send them a reminder.

  6. - D.P.Gumby - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    The unspoken issue is the predatory actions by the local police in issuing tickets instead of warnings. It’s rather Ferguson like for locals, including Chicago, to be taking advantage of this to fatten their local budgets w/ these fees/fines.

  7. - Enlightened - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:23 am:

    How about making changes to the vehicle registration system, so that the sticker expires the month of the registries birthday? It would take a year or two to fully role out. Prorate the sticker for the months remaining starting Jan 1, 2017, by 2018 everyone will need to renew their registration on the month of the owners birthday. Only downside is if you have multiple vehicles in your name having to renew all at once, but you would plan for this throughout the year. This would save the Sec. Of State $500,000 a month and end renewal notices.

  8. - SAP - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    Modest: SOS beat you to the punch:

  9. - FAIRNESS AND FAIRNESS ONLY - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    As a vehicle owner, it’s my responsibility to remember to register and update my vehicle. I viewed the reminder as a courtesy. It would be great to switch to electronic reminders, but we don’t have the money to even set up that program. If I made a priority list for electronic communications, this wouldn’t make the Top 10. I’m fine with issuing the tickets and remind people to be responsible owners. I’ve received a few tickets in my life - and I haven’t committed the same lapse again. Many of us use electronic gadgets on our own. Use the calendar to set an annual reminder. It’s not that hard.

  10. - Allen D - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    This is a personal responsibility problem, we go online every year to renew our license plates a month early, we know when they are due, we pay attention… It is not always the states responsibility to hold everyones hands on every little thing, I have never been late on a single payment for everything, but that should be credited to the personal responsibility my parents taught me… consequence for action (or in this case inaction) if you can’t remember you have to renew your license every year to deserve a $50.00 reminder.

  11. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    I know when my license expires and have already scheduled to have it paid in June. I do have a smart phone and a computer to do that without a problem, you know.

  12. - Saluki - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    Allen D, thanks for the Sermon from the book of Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility.

  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    ===This is a personal responsibility problem===

    Yes, I just love the smugness.

    It’s the first year that people aren’t being reminded. So there are bound to be those who forget.

    Try to be a little humane. Declaring you’re so much better than everyone else says more about you than you might realize.

  14. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:39 am:

    December birthday- Christmas.

    February birthday - Valentines

    May/June birthday - graduation/Mothers day/ Father’s Day

    August/sept birthday - school shopping/fees

    Add multiple cars into that equation.

  15. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    It’s police work like this that gives law enforcement a bad rap. I have a 92 mother, still driving, receive a ticket. Now guess who has to take off work to resolve the problem. Six months ago, I lobbied for optional two tear stickers. Now I am proposing three year stickers. End this madness. Good to know, but I will never step foot in Woodfield Mall again. Have the police chief go explain to the merchants why he felt compelled to fill the coffers.

  16. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    Yet another reason why people in Northwest Cook County referred to Schaumburg as East Berlin Illinois

  17. - Politix - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    We knew that the lack of notifications would lead to a windfall for the state, but taking advantage just ain’t cool, Schaumburg.

  18. - Rufus - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    Government “Services” keep costing us more and more each year, while we are making less.

    Schaumburg City Council should be ashamed for preying on innocent people.

  19. - Apocalypse - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    $450,000 in postage costs per month. Why isn’t the Secretary of State’s office stepping into the 21st Century and developing ways to get people to receive license plate and license notices by email. At the time of renewal, people have to provide their email address and if they want paper notice, opt out. Government rarely seems to strive for efficiency.

  20. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    === No excuse, and I don’t feel bad for the people that have gotten hit with a ticket. It’s an easy violation to avoid. ===

    Said by the person who got a ticket. C’mon man, people get into a routine of paying bills. When you get reminders, you expect reminders. Being high and mighty about personal responsibility in this situation is a bit much.

    Now get out your iPhones out and put your own reminders on your calendars. This is a different age.

  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    My car, my responsibility.

  22. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    Anonymous at 11:02. Great for you, not so great for granny.

  23. - Wensicia - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    It seems to me the SoS now has enough money to send a postcard reminder for upcoming due dates.

  24. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    == It’s the first year that people aren’t being reminded. So there are bound to be those who forget.==

    Yes, it is the first year to not mail postcard reminders … and some people will be caught.

    However, the email program has been in place for a number of years and, as far as I know, still works. The only problem with it in the past was, when you requested an addition to it, the update wasn’t always timely.

  25. - Former State Employee - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Why aren’t the police embarrassed and mad at the politicians who are turning them into revenue generators vs law enforcement officials? Missouri tackled a similar problem with legislation. I agree with a previous comment that said this just reduces respect for the police. Is that we we need?

  26. - SAP - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    ==It seems to me the SoS now has enough money to send a postcard reminder for upcoming due dates. == SOS is trying to keep the lights on. They obviously don’t have the money the mail out notices. (I do think they should institute a grace period on late fees). When they stopped mailing notices last fall, many of us were surprised about how much they spent on postage for the reminders and this looked like a good way to conserve dwindling resources. Let’s direct out anger at the people who caused the budget crunch in the first place, be it the General Assembly, the Governor, both, neither, whoever.

  27. - Anon, too - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:35 am:

    SoS should use this opportunity to move to an email notification system and a pay-for system if you want a reminder by traditional mail. Charge an extra $5 or something if people don’t want to have to sign up for email or set a reminder in their calendar. Everybody wins, SoS leaps into the 21st century sixteen years later and there’s revenue to cover the cost.

  28. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:40 am:

    Took me all of 30 seconds to add the renewal dates in my IPhone and paper calendar. Was chatting with a guy at the car wash the other day (admiring his Turbo Porsche actually) and pointed out his plates were expired. He (doc I think) had no idea about notices not being mailed out.

  29. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    Blue dog dem at 11:15. If granny can’t take of a registration sticker, then she may not be able to take care of all the other requirements of owning and maintaining a car.

  30. - DuPage - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    Schaumberg police could have put warning letters on the windshields. For all the money they rake in from the shoppers, that would have been a better way to respond to the issue.

  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    ===He (doc I think) had no idea about notices not being mailed out. ===

    When I had surgery last year I realized how we have two very distinct, insular industries in this town. The medical staff had no concept at all about state government, despite living in the capital city and being successful people. And I had never met a single person I came into contact with.

    And, a few days after Bernie wrote about my surgery I visited my surgeon for a checkup and he said he didn’t even hear that his name was mentioned in the town’s only daily newspaper. The heart institute didn’t tell him and none of his friends had mentioned it to him.

    To AA’s comment, if wealthy docs aren’t getting the message about no reminder notices, who is?

  32. - Peoria Guy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    Personal responsibility is a lost concept in today’s society. I point you to the Eagle’s song, Get Over It.

  33. - Peoria Guy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    Yeah, Cyberdrive Illinois has had the e-mail reminder program in place for years. It works very well.

  34. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 12:59 pm:

    Anonymous. I agree with you 100%. The sooner we can get granny into a nursing home, the sooner she can let Medicaid pay $137/day to the home and not be a burden on me. I wish everyone had your conservative,fiscally responsible insight into all these issues. Maybe the state and federal govt wouldn’t be so broke.

  35. - walker - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    The Schaumburg cops are writing these tickets in a parking lot less than a half mile from the nearest DMV office. How about some real public service and place some helpful warnings on the cars instead?

  36. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:44 pm:

    There has to be a grace period, changing something that people have become used to, whether their responsibility or not, is just the right thing to do. You get a ticket if you don’t have the plate within 30 days the ticket stands. If you get the plate the ticket goes away and you just learned a lesson in how smaller more efficient Government works. You’ll be aggravated but I bet you won’t do it again.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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