On Thursday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill co-sponsored by State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) that prohibits the Secretary of State from imposing a delinquent registration renewal fee if a vehicle’s registration expires during a period of time in which no notice was sent to the vehicle owner.
House Bill 4334, signed into law as Public Act 99-0887, was introduced in response to the Secretary of State’s decision to suspend registration reminder notices in an effort to save money during the long-lasted budget impasse. As a result, the Secretary of State’s office estimates that there were approximately 476,000 late registration fines assessed between January 1 and mid-July of 2016, which translates into late fees of upwards of $9 million. Additionally, motorists were at risk of being ticketed by law enforcement driving on an expired license.
“The people of Illinois should not be punished for legislators not doing their job,” said Sen. McConchie. “Charging motorists a twenty dollar late fee because legislators couldn’t agree on a budget is absurd.”
The practice of mailing the reminders was halted in October and motorists were encouraged to sign up for electronic reminders.
“I’m all for using the electronic reminder system to save money,” said McConchie. “But the idea to abruptly stop mailing renewal notices because of the budget stalemate, costing Illinoisans millions of dollars in late fees, is shameful.”
Since the June 30th passage of the stopgap budget, the mailing of vehicle registration renewal notices has resumed.