ROSCOE VILLAGE — The line to buy a Chicago city vehicle sticker flowed outside the Chicago Department of Finance Office at 2550 W. Addison St. and down the length of the strip mall where the office is located.
Hundreds of Chicago vehicle owners patiently queued up Friday morning, the last business day to buy a city sticker before last year's stickers expire on Sunday.
The same scenario was playing itself out at City Hall and other finance department and City Clerk satellite locations across the city Friday, with some people waiting up to two hours according to city employees.
"I didn't know the lines would be this long," Northwest Side resident Oscar Smith said as he waited to buy his sticker at the Addison office. "I think it's kind of crazy."
"This is disgusting," railed Santo Pompilio, who also lives on the Northwest Side. "After all the money they get from city stickers we have to deal with this? I have five cars with the City of Chicago. All they want is money, money, money."
But the reality is drivers actually have until July 15th to buy city stickers and affix them to their windshields since police don't start ticketing people without the stickers until July 16.
As in previous years, the Clerk's office provides an automatic two-week grace period to allow vehicle owners to get the new city stickers displayed on their vehicles.
The Chicago City Clerk's office said perhaps the easiest way to get this year's city sticker is to order it online. Clerk's office employees said if you buy via the City Clerk's EZBuy website by Sunday, you will still receive your sticker in the mail before July 15th.
Drivers who fail to display the stickers risk a $200 parking ticket for every day they are in violation. And stickerbuyers who miss the deadline will have to pay an extra $60.
City stickers will set back owners of most standard-sized vehicle $85, while owners of larger passenger vehicles like SUVs will have to pay $135. The rate for senior citizens is $30.
The only good news for motorists is that this is the last year that all stickers will expire June 30. Mendoza announced this spring her intention to move city sticker sales to a year-round model like how Illinois drivers renew their license plate stickers by a set month every year. Chicago city stickers will be set to expire six months from when their license plate expires.
The City Clerk's office said it sells 1.3 million vehicle stickers every year.