Electric vehicle owners in Illinois save big on gas money and car maintenance, but registering their rides for 2020 will come with a price hike.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office recently notified electric vehicle owners by mail that beginning January 1, 2020, the yearly base registration fee for electric vehicle or ‘EL” plates would be increasing to $251 annually. Registration fees for the ‘EL” plates previously cost $17.50 per year and were renewable every two years.
According to the Secretary of State’s letter, all current ‘EL’ plates are set to expire on December 31, 2019. However, the Secretary is extending the expiration to January 31, 2020 to provide owners have sufficient time to renew their plates.
Drivers who register an electric vehicle before the deadline will not be able to register at the lower fee.
John Wozniak of Tinley Park purchased an electric vehicle in 2017. He paid $35 for a two year registration sticker, which expires at the end of December. Wozniak said he assumed that he would be able to renew his registration for one more year at $17.50 and then pay $251 in December 2020.
He received the letter from the Secretary of State explaining that he would have to pay the full $251 fee.
“I think the singled out these electric ones because it’s just such a giant money grab,” Wozniak said. “The people in this state are just tired of it. We’re tired of being taken to the cleaners.”
The Illinois General Assembly approved the electric vehicle registration fee increase in June as part of a $45 billion package of transportation infrastructure improvements.
According to the state, there are about 18,000 electric vehicles in Illinois.