DOWNTOWN — Illinois cars are getting new license plates with a new look.
Secretary of State Jesse White announced Tuesday that the state will begin sending out replacement plates in 2017. Passenger cars will get them first on a rolling schedule that will stretch for years.
The new plates ditch the fancy, script font used for "Illinois," replacing it with an all-caps, serif font.
It also features Abraham Lincoln off to the left side of the plate and a skyline with the Willis Tower and the state capitol in the background. The old plates had Honest Abe in the middle.
The change was made due to rusting issues with existing Illinois plates, the Sun-Times reported Tuesday. The state won't be charged for the new plates due to a manufacturing error that caused the rust problem.
“This is a forward-thinking, long-term solution that does not require a complete replating overhaul, which would cost around $60 million,” said White. “This plan removes older plates and replaces them with newly designed plates within our current budget. This will ensure that plates are appropriately replaced with the ultimate goal being no license plate on the road will be more than 10- years-old.”
The oldest plates on the road will be replaced first. In 2017, passenger plates manufactured in 2000 and 2001 will be replaced, according to the secretary of state's office.
In 2018, passenger plates made in 2002 and 2003 will be replaced. Each year the office will continue to replace older license plates with the new plate. The process will start again in 2027, replacing the plates issued in 2017.
Vehicle owners will be notified by mail if they qualify for the new license plates.
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