Oak Park vehicle stickers on sale soon

Deadline for sticker purchase, renewals extended two weeks

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Vehicle sticker renewals begin later this month, but this year, Oak Park residents will have an extra 15 days to make a purchase because of the new mid-July deadline.

Residents whose vehicles already are registered with the Village also will be able to save 10 percent by renewing online at www.oak-park.us/onlineservices, rather than via mail or in person at Village Hall.

Every Oak Park resident who owns or leases a vehicle is required to purchase and display a vehicle sticker annually by midnight, July 15. Because July 15 falls is a Sunday this year, sales will continue without penalty through July 16. Anyone who misses the deadline must purchase a sticker and pay a $20 late fee. Failure to display a valid village sticker by the deadline also may result in a $50 ticket.

Renewal notices are scheduled to be mailed May 11 to the 27,500 residents who purchased vehicle stickers last year. The notices include a unique web identification number that allows a vehicle owner who renews online to correct or update most data, including address, telephone number and vehicle information.

Residents who would like to renew online, but don't have access to a computer can go to village hall, where a computer is available to the public for official Village business. Computers also are available at most public libraries. Online renewals require an e-mail address and a credit or debit card. The sticker is delivered via U.S. mail, typically within a few days of purchase.

Residents are urged to renew online since last year, more than 1,000 residents came to village hall on the final day of vehicle sticker sales, creating long lines and waits. First-time vehicle sticker purchases, however, much go to village hall, 123 Madison St. A lease, utility bill or other government-issued proof of residency is required. A current vehicle sticker is needed to purchase a parking permit.

Beginning May 14, in-person sticker purchases and renewals will be available from 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Mondays; 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday–Friday; and 8:30–11:30 a.m., Sat., July 7. Village Hall will be closed on Memorial Day, Mon., May 28, and Wed., July 4.

June 30 had been the vehicle sticker deadline since 1994. But since this date coincides with a quarterly parking permit renewal, the vehicle sticker deadline was moved to mid-July to reduce the congestion at village hall, as customers of the two, vehicle-related programs competed for space and staff assistance to complete their transactions.

Vehicle sticker rates vary by type of vehicle. For more information, including rates for various types of vehicles, call 708-358-7275, option 5; visit www.oak-park.us/parking or email parking@oak-park.us.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Reader Comments

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S Weaver  

Posted: May 16th, 2012 7:20 PM

I would like to know why I have to buy my sticker every year even though I park in a private parking lot and a lot of the people in my same parking lot do not have stickers? Plus when I walk down the alley behind the YMCA on my way to work, I see cars in THOSE parking lots with no stickers either. I know the police can issue tickets on private parking lots because I received one for having an expired sticker once. So how about the sticker enforcers do their job and be fair to everyone or no one!

The Long Arm Of The Law Is Coming  

Posted: May 16th, 2012 5:13 PM

Oak Park Officials, please go after the scofflaws !!! It's very easy !! http://rblandmark.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=8981&TM=63833.84

O from Oak Park  

Posted: May 14th, 2012 9:06 AM

What rebels you are! Not buying a village sticker! Madmen! Living on the edge! Or better, thinking that you have made a difference in OP's coffers. No, you have just put another arrow in your smug quiver. But no one cares. And if your kid is registering their car here but doesn't live here, I hope you get busted for insurance fraud (lying on application to get lower rate). Fraud is fraud. Just like Austin kids using OP schools.

Citizens for a nicer Silly  

Posted: May 13th, 2012 8:54 AM

All that hate is not good for your soul Silly.

Gym Koughlin  

Posted: May 13th, 2012 7:13 AM

I just felt the need to post.

@ OP Resident  

Posted: May 13th, 2012 1:05 AM

Buy your sticker so we can pave our streets.

OP resident  

Posted: May 12th, 2012 11:50 PM

M on Ridgeland, I will happily get a sticker when the village starts allocating residents money to intrustructer and stops wasting our money on Pie in the sky projects that help no one. It's easy to say follow the law, but where do you draw the line when the law does nothing to ensure the protection of one's home?

New to OP from Oak Park  

Posted: May 11th, 2012 10:56 AM

Although other areas may require it, most (at least outside of Chicago/surrounding suburbs) do not. This includes most collar counties and downstate.


Posted: May 11th, 2012 10:50 AM

@New to OP: Other cities/towns/villages in Illinois require city stickers. I don't know if its a county by county thing or if its a state thing, but OP is definitely not the only one that requires it

New to OP from Oak Park  

Posted: May 11th, 2012 10:29 AM

I think a better question is to ask why the Village requires us to purchase stickers, when the rest of the state doesn't require it (and has better roads).


Posted: May 10th, 2012 9:22 PM

Cant the Village just look at who didnt renew? Some may be from moving out, but some may be from not renewing. Then send the TICKET Nazis. LoL

T.J. from OP  

Posted: May 10th, 2012 8:59 PM

Here's a tip for removing the old sitcker. Use a retractable razor and rubbing alcohol to remove the remaining glue. Once the old sticker is removed, never buy a new one. Take your family out to dinner with the money you saved. Just remember to feed the meter while you're at dinner. Better yet eat in Forest Park and you can park for free.

M on Ridgeland from Oak Park  

Posted: May 10th, 2012 5:48 PM

We do buy the stickers for all our cars. But I do know of residents who do not. It would be nice if there was some better way to track and ticket these people. Sorry, but you own a car here follow the law.

Teresa Powell  

Posted: May 10th, 2012 3:32 PM

Trustee Johnson responded to the question you posed to me. The Parking Department handles vehicle stickers (not the Clerk's office) and the Board allocates resources in the budget for infrastructure through Capital Funds. The budget is available online for review.


Posted: May 10th, 2012 10:41 AM

Kyle, I too agree that every resident deserves a brake down of their tax... The saying I'm familiar with is; "take care of the pennys, and the millions will take care of themselves".

T.J. from OP  

Posted: May 9th, 2012 6:20 PM

I urge residents to not buy a sticker. Save your money to use on the next mandatory cash grab.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 9th, 2012 4:08 PM

I figured it might be somewhat difficult for the Finance Department to provide a detailed report of expenditures, Kyle. The Village Board could certainly direct the Village Manager's office to undertake the task of compiling existing data that details how much of and exactly where our tax dollars have been spent. It really would come done to level of information the trustees are wiling to share.


Posted: May 9th, 2012 3:50 PM

Jim, my guess is that's a pretty difficult number to come up with. More like something we'd have to adjust future reporting to? It doesn't have to be complicated...do we have a "per dollar" graph somewhere in the budget about how many cents of each dollar goes to what? Something like that'd be nice, too. Maybe there is...buried somewhere in the 157 pages. lol

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 9th, 2012 3:31 PM

That would certainly be a fascinating report to examine, Kyle. I wonder if Village Hall would be able and willing to compile that specific information to allow residents and property owners to see exactly how local government funds have been spent in our neighborhoods and business districts. There exists a perception, right or wrong, that too much attention and funding has been directed to address the needs in DTOP and wealthier neighborhoods. It would provide a great example of transparency.


Posted: May 9th, 2012 2:43 PM

Thanks Rez, I take your point about better knowing where money is spent. Though my stance would be to approach the whole budget process that way since it ALL needs that kind of eye. In for a penny, in for a pound, isn't that the saying? lol I think every resident deserves a breakdown of how Village revenue went back into their neighborhood, frankly.


Posted: May 9th, 2012 2:08 PM

Kyle, You're correct, it's a nominal amount, but I think the point here is that we don't lose track of this, and other small amounts, that add up to make a tidy sum for lavish business lunches etc... We want to make sure that the money going to the village, regardless of the amount, is being accounted for. But, yes, the streets here are going to take a much larger chunk of taxes.


Posted: May 9th, 2012 1:56 PM

Just pointing out a potential downside...putting the money from the sticker back into roads won't nearly cover the cost of what we need to fix them. You don't want to give the wrong impression that sticker money is going to end the potholes & cracks. A significant portion of the budget needs reallocated to streets/alleys. Drawing a sticker-streets link is small potatoes in the big picture.


Posted: May 9th, 2012 12:48 PM

The majority of people I've met in Oak Park are very reasonable regarding paying their fare share of taxes when they can see where it goes, and that it goes to good use. I don't think anyone moves to Oak Park ignorant of the fact that they're going to be paying through the teeth with taxes. So yes, creating a direct visible link between sticker taxes and street repairs will create more incentive for people, who already pay large amounts of tax, to get a village sticker.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 9th, 2012 11:03 AM

I agree with Trustee Johnson that vehicle sticker revenues should be fully dedicated to street improvements. 100% compliance might be achieved through a cooperative effort between municipalities and the Illinois Secretary of State's office. License plate purchases and renewals should require proof that the vehicle owner has complied with local registration ordinances.

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: May 9th, 2012 10:12 AM

@ Mr. Coughlin and others: The vehicle sticker fee does go directly into the general fund. Our compliance rate was nearing 70%, the last time I checked. But as some folks point out here, too many have not purchased a sticker. I would like to see the sticker fee solely directed to street repairs go forward and that may improve compliance further, along with stronger enforcement for those who have not purchased a sticker. A more direct link between the fee and street improvements makes sense.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 9th, 2012 12:45 AM

Village Clerk Powell would be the best person to address the questions about the revenue generated by vehicle sticker sales. She is usually very willing and prepared to answer questions regarding the operations of her office and will often post responses on this forum. Let's see what she has to say.


Posted: May 9th, 2012 12:10 AM

Cont. Jim, are you going to be the one to make sure that my portion of "sticker tax" is going to go toward the asphalt, or dare I say "brick pavers", on my NWOP street? How do I know that Pope isn't using my contribution to go out to an expensive lunch to talk about "brick pavers" in an area of OP that doesn't need beautification, all the while writing the check off as a business expense for the goo of the village resident? I write this as I watch my street fall apart.


Posted: May 9th, 2012 12:03 AM

Jim, you bring up a good point. Sticker tax should go towards street repairs. My home has already flooded this year during a recent down fall, and also flooded last year, and the year before... I can only imagine what's going to happen when the real 100 year storm comes this year. My street looks like a government missile test site, and I already pay high taxes that supposedly are for addressing these issues? So, where exactly does this "sticker tax" come into play to help me?

T.J. from OP  

Posted: May 8th, 2012 8:57 AM

@Jim Coughlin When does my civic duty end? I have grown tired of funding the money pit we call the Village of Oak Park. I would rather burn the money than give it to those rip off artists. They have a spending problem not a revenue problem


Posted: May 7th, 2012 9:51 PM

@ Brian. Thanks. I buy the sticker (c'mon, are some really advocating law breaking for this trivial amount? Also, as Oakparkbob somewhat noted, almost all Chicagoland communities do this), but wasn't certain what to do about my son's recently purchased car - which is registered in OP, but, for a variety of reasons, will NEVER be here - or in a community that has stickers). So, when he visits, etc., I'll not lose too much sleep - for him the amt is NOT trivial!

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 8:23 PM

To Oakparkbob: "I wish the VOP would just run a list of Illinois license plate owners and send them a bill." The offense is a two parter, one the vehicle must be registered in Oak Park and second the vehicle must be in Oak Park. Vehicles registered in Oak Park that never come in to Oak Park can no be cited. Just like rent a cars rented in Oak Park w/out of state license plates.

OP Resident Since 1981 from Oak Park  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 4:45 PM

I have lived in Oak Park since 1981. I have never bought a vehicle sticker for either of my two cars. In this time I have only gotten one "no sticker" ticket. I suggest you skip buying a sticker if you park in a garage behind your house. The village certainly has lost more in postage than I have spent on the tax. They should stop mailing me the sticker application.

Res from OP  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 4:34 PM

I you ever get a ticket for no village sticker pay the fine. It's $50.00 and doubles if you don't pay on time. Still don't buy a sticker. Mail in your check.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 4:03 PM

Jim Coughlin, you are correct, a good citizen should buy a village sticker if the citizens were fairly represented by the village. Let everyone know when that happens, but right now, with the most recent 100 year flooding that it seems is starting, ask the people on the North East side if they are having any flooding yet.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 3:38 PM

No doubt that purchasing a vehicle sticker is "just another tax" or that a good citizen accepts doing so is a civic duty.

Juan from Oak Park  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 3:31 PM

The sticker is merely just another tax. Fortunately, it is one that can be avoided with a little effort. If you are ticketed one ever other year you are still ahead. Only chumps and street parkers should buy the sticker.

No sticker  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 12:41 PM

Here for years before we realized they weren't just for overnight street parking. Oh well! It needs to go away. Or once per car not yearly. Do I need a sticker for my lawn mower, too?

new to OP from Oak Park  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 12:20 PM

What are these for? I'm not originally from Cook County, but what's the purpose of the vehicle sticker? I wouldn't say it's for street maintenance, because the roads are crumbling. Isn't this just another hidden tax?


Posted: May 7th, 2012 12:01 PM

I always buy a sticker for both mine & my wife's cars. I admit I feel foolish when I see all the cars on the street with NO stickers on them. I find it hard to believe all those cars belong to people who live in unincorporated Grundy County! I wish the VOP would just run a list of Illinois license plate owners with OP addresses and send them a bill. Maybe if EVERYONE bought a sticker, the fee for ALL would decrease!

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 7th, 2012 10:27 AM

Village clerk Teresa Powell may want to confirm that vehicle sticker revenue is used to fund street repairs. Advising residents on ways to dodge purchasing the sticker seems to be counterproductive and reduces the amount available to address Oak Park's crumbling infrastructure.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2012 10:02 PM

Good advice on removing old Oak Park stickers. If Oak Park has the budget, what do is get a run down on all vehicle plates registered to Oak Park addresses.


Posted: May 6th, 2012 8:19 PM

We were relatively new to OP and got a ticket AND had to pay the late fee. We were parked on Lake on a weekday morning...must have known we were residents because we had to get street overnight permission when our garage was being worked on.

20 years of NO Oak Park Sticker from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2012 5:22 PM

The OP vehicle sticker tax is a joke. If you park in a garage you have almost no chance of getting a ticket. Overnight street parker will most likely be ticketed if they don't buy a sticker. Always remove old sticker to make it harder for parking enforcement to know where the vehicle is registered. Old stickers make it too eary to spot people who haven't bought a current sticker. I've saved major money by never buying an OP sticker. I figure I'm way ahead of the game.

Jason from OP  

Posted: May 6th, 2012 5:16 PM

Save Money! Don't buy an OP vehicle sticker. If you don't park on the street overnight you most likely won't ever get a ticket. The folks getting ticketed for no sticker park overnight. If you have an old OP sticker remove it. The old sticker is a red flag for tickets. Scrape it from your glass and you most likely won't ever get a ticket for no vehicle sticker.

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