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City does away with vehicle plan that dates back to horse-and-buggy era

  • The 2012-2013 Chicago city sticker design.
The 2012-2013 Chicago city sticker design. (handout )
April 10, 2013|By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco

This spring will be the last time all Chicago vehicle owners will buy their city stickers at the same time.

Every year, 1.3 million city stickers are sold in June. It's been that way since 1908 back in the horse and buggy days, said City Clerk Susana Mendoza.

The City Council on Wednesday approved changing the process to a year-round sales system starting in 2014.

This spring, the clerk's office will notify car owners of the change through renewal forms and will ask owners to submit their vehicle identification numbers. That way, the clerk's office can link up to the Secretary of State's Office database to stagger the cost of vehicle stickers throughout the year by six months.

For example, if a car owner's license plate sticker expires in January, the city sticker will need to be renewed six months later in June, Mendoza said.

The change was made to allow Chicagoans to budget better for vehicle costs and to help avoid long lines when buying city stickers.

"We are charging a vehicle tax, which frankly nobody wants to pay, we should at least try to make it as easy an experience and as pleasant an experience as possible," Mendoza said.

The costs for city stickers remain the same: $85 for passenger vehicles and $135 for larger passenger vehicles.

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