That 150th anniversary city sticker on your car likely will be the last one you’ll ever get.

City officials reviewed plans Monday night to eliminate the physical stickers when residents are required to renew their vehicle registration and pay the annual “wheel tax” at the end of this year.

Parking Manager Rickey Voss said the city’s purchase last year of license plate recognition cameras and software for parking enforcement vehicles means that the city now can quickly match plates to a registration database and determine whether the owner of a car registered to an Evanston address has paid the local tax.

That means, he says, that workers no longer have to look for stickers on cars.

Voss says the change will make things more convenient for residents — because they won’t have to go out in the cold to apply the sticker or worry about it being stolen.

And the city will save money by not having to produce or mail out the stickers.

The city is also updating its website so sticker purchases and payments can be handled completely online.

But decal-free nirvana hasn’t arrived yet for residents who also need a residential parking permit. Those, Vos says, will still require physical stickers — at least for one more year.

Some residents have said they’re worried that, without an Evanston sticker, they’ll get a ticket if they park their car in Chicago. Voss said he will have some traditional stickers available for people who say they need them for that, or other, reasons.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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    1. Second that motion

      Yes, Its just public exploitation at its finest. Out here in the stix they're tripling fees and putting tickets on vehicles parked in residents' own driveways.

      Is this to curb congestion? What is this permit for? No one can park on the street at night beyond a certain time, and populatin is zero compared to Chicago, so there is no congestion.

      It's just a racket. Like post above mentioned our vehicles are already registered with the state. Does anyone ever challenge the justification for these kinds of schemes anymore?

  1. Won’t the ticket get dismissed

    I'm not sure, but if you do get a ticket in chicago I think it will get thrown out if you contest it.

  2. Cost of wheel tax checking

    Won't this actually cost the city more? Since they will have to purchase and maintain the moniters used to verify paying of "wheel tax".  Hire more Meter readers?

    1. Fewer meter readers

      They won't need as many meter readers because they will use the computer to run a check for all registered Evanston residents and compare if they have not paid the tax it will generate a ticket.  Perhaps this means they will actually need less staff.

  3. I hope there’s no fee for online payments

    There is a rather significant fee associated with online payments. It would be nice, like other towns, to have this ability without paying the fee.

  4. Non-resident city employees should pay, too

    I propose that non-resident employees of the city of Evanston have to purchase a city sticker or pay this future wheel tax as well.

    Chicago requires city employees to live in the city or no job.

    Let's see: 1400 x $95 = $133,000. That's how the cameras are paid for.

  5. Why tie the rule to vehicles?

    Why doesn't Evanston change the rule to require all residents of Evanston (own or rent in Evanston, like the rule in Chicago) to purchase a sticker, or in this case pay the tax, rather than tying the rule to vehicles registered to an Evanston address?  You get 30 days after moving into Chicago to get your sticker before you're in violation. 

    This allows the city of Chicago to ticket students, why wouldn't Evanston also do this?  The city sticker/wheel tax is nothing more than a cash grab and it seems like it would be pretty easy to generate revenue by ticketing all of the out of state plates around NU about 45 days after the start of the fall and the winter semesters.  Lots of revenue just waiting to be collected from people that predominantly don't vote.  Seems like a political win-win.

    1. Where to begin?

      First of all, something like this is entirely unenforceable. But more importantly, you think every car parked on the streets of Evanston without a vehicle sticker should get a ticket? This does mean that not a single visitor from a neighboring community or state would be welcomed in this town….

      1. Exactly correct.  I commute

        Exactly correct.  I commute to Evanston and have received a ticket for no city sticker, even though my car registration had changed over a year prior.  I fought the ticket & (correctly) won.

  6. Why two lists?

    This no-sticker policy is long overdue. Why the Illinois Secretary of State couldn't just charge Evanston residents more for license plates and pass that money on to the city I'll never understand.

  7. Sticker required for verification

    Two LPR problems I see here:

    1. LPR has difficulty reading plates in inclimate weather and cannot easily read plates that have mud, snow and sludge on them.

    2. Vehicles parked on the street do not allow enough room to get a good view of the plate.

    In both of these instances, the vehicle sticker is needed for verification.

  8. Residents have a valid concern

    After I moved out of Chicago to Evanston, I changed my car registration to my address in Evanston.  When I moved out of Evanston, I changed my registration again.

    Several years after each move, I've received tickets on my car, from both Chicago & Evanston (about a year apart).  I complained about both tickets (by sending proof of registration) and won both times, but it was a pain.  The tickets never should have been issued.  It wasn't like I had just moved — I had moved years ago!

    Also:  What will Evanston do about motorcyles (no front plate) that park in the garages with the rear of the motorcycle to the wall?  Can't read a plate that way driving by, however when I had my sticker on my motorcycle windshield they could verify that.

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