See Illinois’ New License Plates Coming Soon for Some Drivers

Illinois’ license plates are getting a revamp.

Secretary of State Jesse White announced plans for a new license plate replacement program Tuesday that will replace older license plates with newly designed plates for free.

The program is expected to begin in January, with plates manufactured in 2000 and 2001 eligible for replacement. In 2018, plates from 2002 and 2003 will be replaced. By 2027, the department will be replacing plates from 10 years earlier.

“This is a forward-thinking, long-term solution that does not require a complete replating overhaul, which would cost around $60 million,” White said in a statement. “This plan removes older plates and replaces them with newly designed plates within our current budget. This will ensure that plates are appropriately replaced with the ultimate goal being no license plate on the road will be more than 10- years-old [sic].”

Vehicle owners will receive a notification in the mail when they qualify for the new plates. Owners are also being encouraged to recycle their old plates by taking them to a Secretary of State facility and “disposing of them in a tamper-proof bin.”

Motorists not eligible for the free replacement but whose plates are difficult to read and show signs of wear can apply for a new plate at no charge. Other ineligible motorists can pay $29 for a new plate beginning in January at

“There are nearly 9 million passenger vehicle owners in Illinois,” White said. “This replacement program is mindful of Illinois’ state budget challenges, while also seeking to remove the oldest plates from our roads.”

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