Chicago Ordinance O2019-5547: Regarding wheel tax license fees, violation fines and payment plans

This resolution ends driver’s license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets in Chicago, restructures payment plans, reduces the late penalty for city sticker tickets, and reinstates a 15-day grace period after stickers expire. The reform is expected to produce as much as half a billion dollars in debt relief. 

Chicago’s City Council approved this reform following sustained advocacy from the Transit Table Coalition and investigative journalism by ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ. The Fines and Fees Justice Center also joined the Fines, Fees, & Access Collaborative in advocating for city-level ticketing reforms. 

You can read the full text of the resolution here

Key Provisions
  • Driver’s licenses will no longer be suspended for unpaid parking and vehicle compliance tickets.
  • When motorists enter into payment plans for city tickets, they will be required to make a down payment ranging from  $35 to $100, depending on their income. Previously, payment plan down payments could be as high as $1000. 
  • City sticker ticket late penalties will decrease from $200 to $50, and the city has reinstated a 15-day grace period after city stickers expire (allowing more time for compliance). If city sticker debt is sent to collections, however, a 22% fee still applies. 
  • Chicago will no longer issue same-day or consecutive-day tickets for compliance violations (e.g. city sticker or license plate registration).
  • Chicago will offer an amnesty program for city sticker ticket debt.
Lori Lightfoot, Anna Valencia, Gilbert Villegas, Michael Scott, Jr., Pat Dowell, Scott Waguespack
Ordinance O2019-5547