Thousands of Illinois drivers forgot to do something before the end of the year, and now it's going to cost them.
The Illinois Secretary of State's Office says fewer motorists renewed their license plate stickers in November and December, after the office announced it would stop mailing out reminders due to the budget impasse in Springfield. The office said in September it could save $450,000 a month by not mailing the reminders, as the state operates without a budget.
License plate sticker renewals fell 19 percent in November compared with November 2014, The Daily Herald reported. Roughly 302,000 stickers were renewed in December as of Dec. 28, as opposed to about 475,000 for all of December 2014.
Secretary of State's Office spokesman Dave Druker said stopping the reminders "is not something we wanted to do."
Those renewing late are subject to a $20 fee on top of the $101 renewal cost and potential traffic tickets.
Druker said the office is already hard-pressed to pay for renting office space and utilities.
"The feeling was to prioritize mailing out the stickers and titles," he said.
Kim Dyson of Chicago said she would have forgotten to renew her sticker if a valet parker hadn't pointed it out. She said the mailed renewal notice "always was the trigger that encouraged me to come and get my updated sticker."
Stickers can be renewed online or by phone, and it takes five to 10 days for stickers to arrive in the mail. The renewals can also be done in person at a Secretary of State facility or currency exchange.
Motorists can sign up for emailed renewal reminders at the Secretary of State's website. About 1.6 million people have signed up.