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New License Plate Replacement Program in Illinois

Mandatory replacement of license plates might seem like a good thing to some and an inconvenient thing to others. Many states, like Florida, require that license plates be replaced every few years and Illinois has joined that group. The State Secretary, Jesse White, announced a new plate replacement program for all Illinois car owners that began in January. Your first question as a resident of the state may be “How much will it cost me?”. The good news is that the answer is zero.

Why Replace?

The license plate replacement program has been established to make sure that the older license plates will be replaced with new ones. Every 10 years, license plates will be replaced with a newly designed number plate. Since the paint on license plates wears out over time, it makes it difficult for law enforcement to accurately identify the plate number. The same can be said for intersection cameras that rely on the reflective qualities of intact paint.

The license plates replacement program has begun with replacing the oldest ones first. The license plates that had been provided to vehicle owners in 2000 and 2001 will be replaced with 2017 issued plates. While, the plates that were provided in 2002 and 2003 will be substituted with new ones in 2018. In the same manner, the state office will carry on replacing old license plates with newly issued ones each passing year. This program will again re-commence in 2027 for the replacement of the license plates that were replaced or newly issued this year.

If eligible for the new license plates, the state office will notify the vehicle owners via mail. After they have successfully renewed their vehicle registration, they will be given a yellow sticker with a “T” written on it for fixing on the vehicle’s rear license plate. Within duration of 60 days, their newly designed license plates will be mailed to them along with a new registration sticker that is already fixed on the rear license plate.

Balancing the Budget

The new plates will feature a redesigned logo with a picture of Abraham Lincoln on the left side over an image of Chicago skyline that fuses with an image of a windmill and the state capitol dome in Springfield on the extreme right. Also, the motto “Land of Lincoln” is written at the bottom side. Per the State Secretary, there are approximately 9 million vehicle owners in Illinois alone. The cost this program was made keeping the state’s budget challenges in mind. The total cost of the replacement will be approximately $5 million every year. The cost is being absorbed by the agency and not being passed on to vehicle owners at this time. You can review additional information about Illinois state budget appropriation here.

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