Dear Mr. Geek,
At the start of June, I moved from Chicago back to Skokie.
I obviously did not renew my expiring Chicago city sticker since I was moving out of the city. Instead, I got my Skokie city sticker about a week after I moved.
Yesterday I got a ticket at a metered spot for "NO DISPLAYED CITY STICKER."
I'm quite confused, because I'm not a Chicago resident, and I have a valid Skokie sticker displayed on my windshield.
I really can't afford to pay a $200 ticket!
P.S. My car still has my old Chicago city sticker still displayed. Does that make a difference?
Last year's Chicago city sticker is the problem.
With that still on your windshield, ticket writers are being led to believe you're still a Chicago resident who is just ignoring the law.
So remove that darn Chicago city sticker pronto!
If you don't live in the city, and your car is registered outside the city, you are not required to buy a Chicago city sticker. Contest the ticket on this basis.
At your hearing, bring in your updated Illinois vehicle registration and driver's license with your new address showing you've moved beyond the clutches of the Windy City. Also bring a copy of an apartment lease agreement, mortgage statement or copies of bills at that address for further proof of your current non-Chicago residency.
Fight it this way, and it should get dismissed.
Hi there Geek,
I got a parking ticket last week that was totally my fault.
But the license plate number on the ticket is one digit off from my plate number, so when I go online to pay it, the ticket is not listed under my plate number.
I fear that if I call the city they'll tell me I have to go Downtown to fix the error and I'll end up spending half a day trying to fix the problem.
Then again, I'm worried that someone else will have a ticket on their record. I don't mind paying it, I just don't want a big hassle. What should I do?
Wow! You got really lucky here.
If the ticket writer listed the wrong license plate number, then your car was not issued a parking ticket and therefore legally you are not responsible.
There's a teeny, tiny chance some poor sap with a license plate one digit different than yours just received a parking ticket he didn't deserve from the City of Chicago.
However, the chances are much more likely the ticket will go into some parking ticket black hole because the make and model of the vehicle don't match the license plate number on the original ticket, or perhaps no such license plate exists.
Either way, you're off the hook, so whatever you do, DON'T pay this ticket.
BTW: Have you considered buying a lottery ticket today?
Parking Ticket Geek,
I VERY rarely talk on my phone while driving, but I was on the phone a week or so ago (family emergency) when I passed through an intersection that uses red-light cameras.
I didn’t run the light, but I’m wondering how closely they review the video feed for people with cellphones up to their ear.
I’m wondering what the likelihood of receiving a mailed ticket for violating the hands-free cellphone law.
You're being overly paranoid here.
Sure, Chicago seems to have cameras everywhere these days. Between the new speed cameras, red-light cameras, the blue-light police cameras, etc., on the streets of Chicago (and the NSA tapping everyone's cellphones and looking at everyone's emails), it's hard not to feel like Big Brother isn't rifling through your underwear drawer.
But, luckily, it hasn't come to that yet. The red-light cameras only photograph the exterior of the vehicles going through the intersection when the light is red and can't actually look inside your car.
Take a deep breath, we're not living in Orwell's 1984 — at least not yet.
If you have a parking ticket question for The Parking Ticket Geek, email your query to: firstname.lastname@example.org.