State fails to send out license plate expiration warnings due to budget impasse

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - You might want to double-check the status of your vehicle's Illinois license plates. They are expiring on hundreds of thousands of vehicles Tuesday starting at midnight.

But many Illinois drivers have not gotten the usual warning mailed by the State. As Political Editor Mike Flannery explains, it's one more consequence of Springfield's failure to approve a budget.

Currency exchanges were jammed Monday night with many patrons paying a $9.50 surcharge to renew their license plates at the last minute. Many complained that they didn't get the usual warning in the mail.

"Well, I didn't get nothing. So I looked at it yesterday. And I noticed it was expired," Al Cone told FOX 32 News. 

The wife of disabled retiree Wayne Leonhardt also noticed by chance the other day that their plates were about to expire.

He put a newly-purchased sticker on, without which they'd be subject to a ticket and $60 fine.

"We're safe for another year. And all we've gotta do now is put something in the calendar so we follow up every year," Leonhardt said Monday. 

But some people say they are used to getting the reminder letter. 


The Leonhardts are in the first group of Illinois vehicle owners in decades NOT to be reminded by mail that their plates were about to expire.

Each month an average of 875,000 vehicles need their plates renewed.  Not mailing the reminders saves about $450,000 a month for the Secretary of State's office. Because Gov. Rauner and the General Assembly have not approved a state budget, they've been unable to pay millions of dollars in rent and utility bills.


 

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