Understanding Chicago City Vehicle Sticker Fees, Term Start, and Late Fees
The Chicago City Vehicle Sticker demonstrates that you are in compliance with the Wheel Tax, an annual (or 12-month) tax that has been in place since 1908.
Wheel Tax revenue is dedicated to repair, maintenance, and improvement of streets and alleys; traffic law enforcement; and automobile emission control testing.
Vehicle Sticker Types
Vehicle Type – Our Office collects VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) information from our customers and vehicle registration databases to identify the vehicle type category to which your vehicle will be assigned. We determine your price using your vehicle’s make and model, weight and body type.
Passenger, Large Passenger, Small Truck, Large Truck and Motorcycle Chicago City Vehicle Stickers are assigned varying prices.
Passenger (P), which includes sedans, small SUVs & vans, vehicles have an annual vehicle sticker price of $85.97.
Large Passenger (LP), which includes SUVs and mid-sized vans, vehicles have an annual vehicle sticker price of $136.54.
Small Truck (ST), which includes pick-up trucks and large vans, vehicles have an annual vehicle sticker price of $202.28.
Large Truck (LT), which includes buses, semi-trucks and RVs, vehicles have an annual vehicle sticker price of $455.13.
The total price for your annual vehicle sticker can only be determined using your vehicle documentation, which establishes your VIN, as well as your vehicle purchase and/or move-in dates, and your license plate expiration date.
The descriptions above are only a general overview of the Office of the City Clerk’s pricing schedule. Vehicle sticker price cannot be determined without taking into consideration your vehicle documentation, vehicle purchase and/or move-in dates, and your license plate expiration date.
See the Modification of Term Start section below for more information about the types of documents needed to establish your vehicle sticker price.
Grace Period – Stickers purchased more than 15 days after the vehicle sticker expiration date are subject to a late fee.
Annual Residential Zone Parking – Residential Zone Parking is optional, at an additional cost, and not applicable for all vehicles. Read more.
Discount Programs – Certain vehicle types and a variety of circumstances allow for discounted Chicago City Vehicle Stickers. For example, seniors age 65 years and older on or before the final day of their current vehicle sticker expiration month may be eligible to purchase one discounted Passenger or Large Passenger vehicle sticker per year. We require a valid Illinois Driver’s License to determine eligibility for the Senior Discount. Click here to read more about Seniors and other Special Programs.
Per City ordinance, a $60.00 late fee — $30.00 for seniors — must be applied to a Chicago City Vehicle Sticker if ANY of the following apply:
- The renewal vehicle sticker was purchased after the grace period for the old vehicle sticker has ended. For example, a customer with an expiration month of January 2015 has until Feb. 15, 2015 to purchase a renewal vehicle sticker without additional fees or penalties. If that customer attempted to renew the same vehicle sticker on Feb. 16, they would be subject to a $60.00 late fee, OR;
- A customer failed to purchase a vehicle sticker within any of the following circumstances that a late fee does not apply listed below.
The late fee does not apply for Chicago City Vehicle Stickers purchased in-person at a City Clerk office location by a customer who – at the time of purchase – can demonstrate:
- They are a new resident with documentation indicating purchase of property or a rental agreement executed within the last 30 days for a location within Chicago, OR;
- They are a new vehicle owner with proof of purchase within the last 30 days, OR;
- They returned from serving in the United States Armed Forces and were stationed outside the City, within the last 30 days, OR;
- They provide a check registry or credit card statement showing that the license was sought in the purchase period, OR;
- At the direction of the City Clerk for reasonable cause.
Under all other circumstances, the customer will be required to pay a late fee and the annual price for their vehicle sticker.
Modification of Annual Term-Start
Per municipal code, once a vehicle is transitioned onto the staggered system, the Wheel Tax is an annual tax, payable in either one-year (12-month) or two-year (24-month) increments.
New residents and/or new vehicle owners are subject to the Wheel Tax upon moving to the City of Chicago or upon obtaining a new vehicle.
New residents can demonstrate their move-in date – or subject to Wheel Tax date – by providing the following:
- Lease document proving lease of residential property;
- Mortgage document or deed proving purchase of residential property.
To demonstrate vehicle purchase date, motorists must present one of the following forms of acceptable documentation:
- Bill of sale from a bona fide vehicle seller/dealership;
- Executed vehicle title document from the Illinois Secretary of State (in lieu of bill of sale from a bona fide vehicle seller/dealership);
- Customer-copy of validated Illinois Secretary of State VSD 190 Form;
- Customer-copy of validated Illinois Department of Revenue ST-556 Form.
A State Vehicle Registration ID card alone is NOT sufficient to demonstrate proof of purchase date.
Please note that we still require a State Vehicle Registration ID Card for proof of full VIN, license plate, and plate expiration for all vehicles new to our records.
A customer with NO documentation regarding a move-in or vehicle purchase date will be required to pay a late fee and the annual price for their vehicle sticker purchase.
In some circumstances, a new customer’s annual vehicle sticker purchase will include up to six months prior to the customer purchasing their vehicle sticker.
The City Clerk is taking extra steps to explain exactly how we determine the prices and fees for your vehicle sticker and ensure you pay only what you owe. Providing verifiable documentation listed above, and purchasing in a timely fashion, may be used to mitigate or eliminate additional fees.
For more information about Term Start please visit our Administrative Rules and Regulations located here.
New to Chicago? More info about late fees and documentation
Without documentation that indicates otherwise, new vehicle records will include a $60.00 late fee ($30.00 for senior-discounted stickers) and possibly backcharges for the period of time during which a motorist was obligated to be in compliance with the Wheel Tax. If you are a new resident to Chicago, or your vehicle is new to you (or both), you can avoid late fees and only pay for the time from your move-in/purchase date through the sticker expiration date by also including (in your email) one of the following (as applicable/available):
- Lease document proving lease of residential property
- Mortgage document or deed proving purchase of residential property
- Bill of sale from a bona fide vehicle seller / dealership
- Executed vehicle title document (in lieu of bill of sale from a bona fide vehicle seller / dealership)
- Customer-copy of a validated Illinois Department of Revenue Official Form: ST-556
- Customer-copy of a validated Illinois Secretary of State Official Form: VSD 190
Biennial CPI Chicago City Vehicle Sticker Price Increases
Please note, the Office of the City Clerk has no authority to set Wheel Tax License, or Chicago City Vehicle Sticker, fees. Applicable license fees were set by the City Council in 2011 (Municipal Ordinance #SO2011-8863). Beginning in 2014, Chicago City Vehicle Sticker pricing is adjusted every two years according to the rate of inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI used to set the Chicago City Vehicle Sticker Price in 2014 was 1.14%.