Secretary of State unveils new Illinois license plates

Replacement of old Illinois license plates will begin January 2017, as part of a new initiative recently announced by the Secretary of State. The new license plates will be distributed at no cost to taxpayers.

Older license plates must be replaced because their reflectivity diminishes with age, making it difficult to quickly and accurately identify license plate numbers.

Owners will be notified by mail whether or not they are eligible for the new plates. When owners pay the renewal fee for their 2017 registration, they will be issued a yellow renewal sticker with the letter “T” and the word “TEMPORARY” to place on the rear plate of their vehicle where the present vehicle registration sticker is located. Within 60 days after renewal, they will receive the new license plates with a yellow registration renewal sticker already attached.

Motorists whose license plates are not up for replacement can still order a new plate at, though they will be required to pay an associated replacement fee of $29. However, if an owner thinks their license plates are showing wear and are difficult to read, even though they were manufactured after 2001, they can visit and access the license plate replacement application to apply for a newly designed plate at no charge.

Once receiving new plates, owners are encouraged to destroy or recycle their old plates at their nearest Secretary of State facility, where a tamper-proof bin will be available to dispose of the plates.

The Secretary of State’s Office noted that the program will not cost the state additional money; it simply begins the process of removing older plates and replacing them with the newly designed plates to ensure no license plate on the road is older than 10 years.

Starting in 2017, the plates dating back to the year 2000 and 2001 will be the first replaced. Then in 2018, the plates from 2002 and 2003 will be replaced. This process will continue on year by year.

Chapin Rose

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