For Chicago drivers who have put off getting their city vehicle stickers, ticket day has arrived.
The traditional two-week grace period granted by the city for residents to buy new windshield registration stickers will lapse at midnight, and then workers will start sticking violations under wipers.
In order to get a sticker today, drivers will need to purchase it in person, at a Clerk's Office location or a currency exchange.
The ticket for failing to purchase a city vehicle sticker in time is $200.Violators will then have to buy a new vehicle sticker with a $60 late fee added to the regular cost.
This year stickers for passenger vehicles cost $85.97 if purchased in person or online through the Clerk's Office, with currency exchanges adding fees up to $5.50.
Stickers cost $136.54 for a vehicle heavier than 4,500 pounds under a price increase tied to inflation that Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed through as part of his 2012 budget. Pickup truck owners pay $202.28.
Clerk Susan Mendoza hopes that this is the last year people will wait in lines outside her office to buy tickets before the deadline as the city transitions to year-round sales.
Starting this year, the yearly city sticker will lapse six months after the vehicle's state license plate sticker does. The clerk's office is giving drivers the option this year of either buying a cheaper sticker to cover those remaining months after June until they must buy a replacement, or a more costly sticker good for those remaining months plus another year. By the end of 2015, everybody will be on the new system.
With 1.3 million stickers being sold throughout the year, Mendoza expects the summer crush will end.
Early this year the City Council made official the 15-day grace period — which has long been an informal rule of thumb in Chicago — for this year and 2015. Then it will go away starting in 2016, and tickets will be issued starting on the first day a vehicle sticker is lapsed.
Starting in 2016, drivers will have 30 days after their sticker lapses to buy new ones without having to pay $60 late fees when they buy online or in person.