Suburban Driver Experiences City Sticker Shock

If you reside within Chicago and own a car you probably know the importance of city stickers, which are required to use the public way. But if you move to the suburbs and drive back to the city, you can still pay a big price for using Chicago streets.

After long-time city resident Al Candelario and his wife moved to Brookfield last year, he had no idea how much his old Chicago address would nearly cost him.

“Earlier this year, I had gotten two tickets one day after another,” Candelario said.

He was cited for “no city stickers” after parking on Belmont in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood. The two tickets totaled $400.

Keep in mind, suburban residents and visitors who drive within Chicago are not required to purchase city stickers to use the public way.

Months earlier, Candelario had updated his driver’s license to include his Brookfield address. He had also purchased and affixed a Brookfield sticker to his windshield. Candelario said during the time he was ticketed the Brookfield sticker was displayed near his old Chicago sticker, which he had yet to remove.

“It’s just a matter of the person giving the tickets maybe not noticing that there’s a new sticker with a new year on it for a different city and sort of connecting the dots,” Candelario said.

Candelario contested the tickets. However, a city administrative law judge upheld the fines. The fines had also ballooned to a combined $800.

“The thing that was frustrating about it was really that there’s no even explanation of the administrative law judge’s ruling,” Candelario said.

Candelario reached out to NBC 5 to share his story. A city spokesperson told NBC 5 said that even though Candelario had updated his driver’s license address and purchased a Brookfield sticker, he did not update his vehicle’s registration with the state as required.

Candelario said he would have updated his vehicle’s address on the spot had he known the rule. He also questions the communication channels shared between the city and the state.

“You would think that with today’s day and age maybe they’d be able to know that you have a car and perhaps the car should be updated, too,” Candelario said.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Secretary of State said the office uses the address it has on file for a vehicle to contact an owner regarding registration. But upon hearing Candelario’s ticket situation with the city of Chicago, the state helped him update his vehicle registration address within hours. And with the updated information the city has agreed to begin the process of vacating the tickets.

“Hopefully, the tickets will be removed soon,” Candelario said.

Contact Us