Car owners who get a ticket after having purchased but not yet displayed their city sticker may have a way to get it dismissed under a City Council measure introduced Wednesday.
Ald. Edward Burke (14th) and Mary O'Connor (41st) introduced an amendment to a city ordinance that would allow car owners to show proof of purchase as an "affirmative defense" in arguing such tickets.
A ticket for failing to purchase the city sticker carries a $200 fine. Failure to properly display the sticker is a $30 fine.
"Simply put, this means that if you can show proof that a city sticker was actually purchased before the ticket was issued then the hearing officer would have to consider that fact as a valid defense," Burke said in a news release.
City Clerk Susana Mendoza, whose office sells city stickers, is on board with the proposal. "Too often we find people in situations where they're in compliance and purchased their sticker and get a ticket anyways," said office spokesman Patrick Corcoran.
The clerk's office, he said, can provide owners with the documents to prove a sticker has been purchased. "The goal is to make things easier for people that are in compliance paying their fair share of the wheel tax and not treated the same way as scofflaws," he said.
The proposal goes to the Finance Committee for consideration.
In addition, Mendoza and Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) proposed codifying the 15-day grace period for buying a city sticker.
With year-round sales of city stickers expected to begin in the spring, the proposal extends the grace period into the year-round program, Corcoran said.
Under the year-round program, the renewal period for city stickers will be six months apart from the expiration of the state license plate sticker.
In the past, car owners had a grace period from July 1 through July 15 to get a city sticker without getting a ticket or paying a late fee.
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