City Clerk Anna M Valencia and Mayor Lightfoot Announce Historic City Sticker Debt Relief Program

Friday, September 27, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Friday, September 27, 2019 

CONTACT: Kate LeFurgy

312.744.2507 

Kate.LeFurgy@CityofChicago.org 

CITY CLERK ANNA M. VALENCIA AND MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCE HISTORIC CITY STICKER DEBT RELIEF PROGRAM 

These new reforms providing residents with a pathway to compliance begin October 1 as part of a two-step process to relieve residents’ of City Sticker Ticket Debt

 

CHICAGO – Today, City Clerk Anna M. Valencia and Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced new efforts by the City offering residents a fresh start on City Stickers and related fees. The two-step program will give residents the opportunity to purchase a City Sticker with no late fees or back charges, and then will offer an opportunity for those in compliance by October 31 to have their City Sticker Tickets forgiven at a later date. 

 

“Our goal has always been to build a Chicago that works for all of our residents,” said Clerk Valencia. “When I started the Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative I knew that working in conjunction with community advocates and other City departments would lead to something historic. That’s why I’m so thrilled to announce the implementation of these reforms today, which represent a monumental step forward in creating a more equitable City that allows all of our residents to thrive.”

 

“Today marks a fresh start and a historic first step for Chicago residents who have struggled to get from underneath the grip of crushing ticket debt,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “These reforms we are announcing in partnership with the Cle​rk Valencia offer more pathways to compliance, provide much needed ticket debt relief and builds on our investment in the overall economic health of our residents.”

The City Sticker debt relief reforms will roll out beginning Tuesday, October 1. To take full advantage of these programs, residents are encouraged to:

 

Step One: Purchase a City Sticker during City Sticker Amnesty Month

Step one of the City Sticker reforms begins Tuesday, October 1 through Thursday, October 31 when residents can purchase their City Sticker with NO back charges or late fees.

 

Beginning October 1, residents will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the Reduced Term Sticker. This allows residents to purchase City Stickers for a shorter period of time. Residents can take advantage of these reforms in person, at any three City Clerk Office locations, one of the four Department of Finance locations, at any Mobile City Halls or online at ChiCityClerk.com.

Step Two: Apply for City Sticker Ticket Debt Relief

After October’s amnesty month concludes, phase two of the reforms will begin Friday, November 15 and take place through Sunday, December 15.  Residents in City Sticker compliance by October 31 can apply for the opportunity to have at least three City Sticker tickets forgiven by going to www.Chicago.gov/citystickerdebtrelief.

“Thanks to the tremendous work being done by Mayor Lightfoot, Clerk Valencia, the City Council and our steadfast advocates, Chicago is working to change the broken ticketing system and to offer new opportunities to get out of debt for thousands of Chicago residents,” said Alderman Michael Scott, 24th Ward.  “We have begun to turn the corner on regressive laws by bringing comprehensive reforms and ensuring equity across our neighborhoods."

This new amnesty and debt relief program is the beginning of an historic, comprehensive effort by the City to help remove barriers and offer meaningful pathways to compliance with City Stickers. Additionally, with hundreds of thousands of motorists eligible for relief on City Sticker Ticket debt, the debt relief program will help residents clear debt from old City Sticker Tickets. To help residents learn more about City Sticker amnesty and debit relief options, residents should visit: www.Chicago.gov/citystickerdebtrelief.

 

“Today’s announcement marks a new chapter in relieving the burden on those affected by Chicago’s historically regressive fines and fees system.” said Alderman Pat Dowell, 3rd Ward. “Working with Mayor Lightfoot and Clerk Valencia to enact these new reforms, we are not only making it easier to get a City Sticker, but we are helping provide pathways to compliance to help more residents get back on track.”

 

The City Sticker and other debt relief are made possible by landmark legislation passed by the City Council in September. These reforms were developed with input from the Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative, formed by Clerk Valencia in December 2018. The full report, Advancing Equity: First Steps Towards Fines & Fees Reform in Chicago, is available here.

 

“When it comes to the regressive fines and fees that have impacted low-income residents the most, many feel like the deck is stacked against them,” said Alderman Scott Waguespack, 32nd Ward.  “By creating a pathway to come into compliance and clearing out some of the old debt that may have been holding people back, we are giving our residents a second chance. We encourage all residents to seize this opportunity in October to purchase a City Sticker penalty-free, and to take advantage of a fresh start.”

 

In addition to tackling City Sticker debt, Mayor Lightfoot’s comprehensive fines and fees reforms package calls for: ending driver’s license suspensions for non-payment of non-driving and vehicle compliance violations, creating more accessible payment plans for all motorists, introducing boot reform policies for those experiencing financial hardship and reforming the City Sticker fines that have become one of the most regressive penalties residents face, throwing some into a cycle of debt.  This comprehensive legislation will transform the City’s fines and fees rules structure for non-driving violations and will go into effect on a rolling basis through November.

"At the Jobs Council, we have heard from too many people trapped in a cycle of ticket debts with suspended licenses, impounded cars, and no clear pathway to relief," said Eric Halvorson, Chicago Jobs Council.  "This amnesty and debt relief period is an important opportunity for people to clear up some of this debt, and we applaud the City of Chicago for taking action to help residents and improve equity for our communities. I hope anyone and everyone with city sticker tickets or debts will take advantage of this opportunity to come into compliance and get some debts forgiven."

 

To take advantage of City Sticker Amnesty Month, visit the City website, any City Clerk or Department of Finance locations, or stop by one of several Mobile City Hall locations held during the month of October:

  • Wednesday, October 2, Taylor Lauridsen Park, 704 W. 42nd St., 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, October 5, George Washington High School, 3535 E. 114th St., 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Thursday, October 10, Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway Ave., 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Friday, October 18, Austin Town Hall Park, 5610 W Lake St., 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, October 19, Foster Park, 1440 W. 84th St., 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, October 26, Douglas Park, 1401 S. Thompson Dr., 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

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