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Clerk's Office Extends City Sticker Deadline To July 30th

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The Parking Ticket Geek

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Unsticky City Sticker Problem Prolongs Deadline 2 Weeks

Procrastinators rejoice!

Normally today, June 30th, is the day your old Chicago city vehicle sticker expires and must be replaced on your car's windshield with the 2010/2011 sticker.

Of course, the city traditionally gives stragglers a two week grace period to purchase and affix their $75 decal, making July 15th the ultimate deadline before drivers risk a $120 ticket for "failure to display" their city sticker.

But this year, because of an un-sticky situation, the Chicago City Clerk's office has announced an unprecedented 15-day extension of the city sticker grace period extending the deadline for until July 30th.

This break from tradition is due to quality control issues the Chicago City Clerk's office has been facing with this year's stickers.

As reported last week, small batches of the first shipment of defective city stickers did not have enough adhesive to keep them affixed effectively to windshields. While complaints in the very first days of June alerted the Clerk's office to the problem, and forced them to take quick action in tossing out what remained of the first shipment of 125,000 stickers, enough of the defective decals were mailed to drivers to make it an issue.

Ironically, the sticker vendor, Chicago-based SecureMark Decal Company, which had similar problems supplying stickers to the New York DMV several months ago, was not the City Clerk's first choice to supply the 2010/2011 city stickers.

Because of this issue, the Clerk's office wants to insure drivers experiencing this issue have enough time to replace their defective stickers. The reasoning being, many drivers don't try affixing their sticker until today, will not know if they have a bad sticker or not. With just over two weeks until July 15th, the Clerk's office was concerned there won't be enough time to replace any problem stickers by the time the original grace period is over.

"A lot of people wait until today (June 30th) to put their city sticker on their windshield," explains City Clerk spokesperson Kristine Williams. "Due to the circumstances, we felt it was in the best interest of everyone to do this."

According to Williams, city ordinance allows the Clerk's office by law, a full 30 days of grace period where it can continue to sell city stickers to drivers without the $40 late fee and delaying enforcement.

The number of returned defective city stickers has risen over the past week from an initial 1200 to over 8000 as of yesterday and the Clerk's office still expects more.

"We're expecting more because so many people wait until June 30th to put them on their car," said Williams. "We don't think it will be much more because we pulled the first shipment fairly quickly."

Because of the grace period extension, enforcement of city stickers will not begin on July 16th as usual, but on July 31st. According to Williams the Clerk's office has informed all levels of parking enforcement about this issue and the new enforcement start date.

Long Lines Expected Today

Despite the additional grace period, the Clerk's office is expecting long lines of drivers trying to get their city stickers before today's "official" deadline.

"Of course, we always have big lines today," sighed Williams. "We have a lot of people that just want their sticker now."

Local currency exchanges are bracing for a rush of city sticker sales tomorrow as well.

"Yes, it's usually really busy on the 30th," says Judith Avila, an employee of the Kedzie-Elston Currency Exchange located at 3510 N. Kimball in the Avondale neighborhood. "We expect more people than normal. We'll have extra staff (on duty.)"

The upside to the grace period is drivers can avoid lines altogether by ordering their sticker online via the City Clerk's website. According to Williams, drivers ordering online can expect their city sticker fulfillment to come in the mail in two weeks or less.

Defective Stickers Being Replaced At No Charge

If you do find you have a defective sticker, the Clerk's office will replace it for free. Drivers can e-mail the City Clerk's office at: cityclerk@cityofchicago.org or call 312-742-9200 or mail their defective sticker to: City Clerk's Office, Room 107, City Hall, Attn: Daveda Peeler/Defective Sticker, 121 N. LaSalle, Chicago, IL 60602. Replacements will be sent in the mail.

If you prefer, you can get your replacement immediately and in person at any City Clerk office location.

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