Don’t Hold Your Breath for a License Renewal Notice in Illinois
So, a number of days ago, a stopgap budget was put together and signed in Springfield. The money goes toward funding education, road repair and construction, etc. Will any of that money be used to let Illinoisans know that they need to renew their license plate sticker? Maybe...but probably not.
As I pointed out in a post a couple of weeks ago, not sending out notices to Illinois' drivers has been a terrible inconvenience for motorists, but a heck of a windfall for the state of Illinois:
The Secretary of State’s office stopped mailing out those license renewal notices in October of last year, saying that it could no longer afford the mailing costs, estimated to be around $450,000 per month. The fact that no budget agreement in place was blamed for the shift in policy. The Illinois House passed a bill that would’ve given drivers a 30-day “grace period” in which drivers couldn’t be fined for having expired stickers, but the Illinois Senate failed to act on the bill. Dave Druker, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, says that due to the lack of notices, Illinois has collected nearly $10 million on 476,550 late fees so far in 2016. That’s a pretty good chunk of dough when you with compare it with the $4.3 million on approximately 214,500 late fees over the same time period last year.
According to the Quad City Times, the stopgap budget deal sends $35 million to the Illinois Secretary of State's office, which will (hopefully) cover day-to-day operations, but a spokesperson for Secretary of State Jesse White says they haven't decided whether or not to use some of those funds to mail out sticker renewal notices.
"We're still reviewing whether there's enough in the stopgap budget to resume sending out license plate sticker renewal reminder notices," said Henry Haupt, a spokesman for White's office. Haupt said the office has many other expenses to consider in determining whether to send the notices by mail. The Secretary of State's Office can't use the additional revenue to cover the cost of mailing renewal notices because it goes into the state's general fund, not to the office itself, Haupt said.
So, Illinois residents, based upon your experiences with Illinois state government, care to place your bets on whether or not renewal notices will start arriving in your mailbox?
Yeah. Me either.