Report Defective License Plates

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding vehicle owners to report license plates to the Secretary of State’s office that are peeling, chipping or rusting in order to receive replacement plates at no charge.

Vehicle owners whose license plates are damaged or degraded can notify the Secretary of State’s office by calling 800-252-8980 or visiting https://apps.ilsos.gov/defectiveplate/. A registration identification number and pin, found on the vehicle’s registration card, are required to report the degraded license plates, which will then be replaced at no cost to the vehicle owner or the state of Illinois.

“There are nearly 9 million passenger vehicle owners in Illinois,” said White. “When the license plates are unreadable, it poses a safety concern for the vehicle owner, other drivers and law enforcement.”

Owners are encouraged to recycle their old plates by taking them to a Secretary of State facility and disposing of them in the tamper-proof bin.

White also reminds vehicle owners that Illinois law requires a readable front and back plate be displayed and failure to display both plates can result in a $164 fine, according to the Illinois Vehicle Code 625ILCS 5/3-413(a).

License plates replacement is part of White’s ongoing, cost-efficient passenger plate program that began in Jan. 2017 with no additional cost to taxpayers. The program, which is scheduled to take 10 years to replace all Illinois license plates is nearing the halfway point.

The purpose of the replacement program is to ensure that older license plates on Illinois roads are replaced. License plates’ reflectivity diminishes with age, which impacts law enforcement’s ability to quickly and accurately identify license plate numbers.

Under the program, the oldest license plates are replaced first. In 2020, plates manufactured in 2006 and 2007 were replaced. License plates manufactured in 2008 and 2009 are being replaced this year.

Each year, the office will continue to replace older license plates with newly issued plates. The process will start again in 2027, replacing the plates first issued in 2017.

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