Illinois drivers will get newly designed license plates

New Illinois plates

QUAD CITIES, Ill. — If you’re an Illinois driver, you may be getting a new license plate soon. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White made the announcement Tuesday. White is starting a program to replace older license plates and said it won’t cost the budget-strapped state extra money.

White said the new plates are needed because reflectivity diminishes with age, making it difficult for police to read plate numbers. The program will start in 2017 and it will be paid for within the agency’s current budget.

White said a complete replating overhaul would cost roughly $60 million. He called the program a “forward-thinking, long-term solution” that is “mindful of Illinois’ state budget challenges.”

The oldest plates will be replaced first. So, plates made in 2000 and 2001 will be replaced in 2017. Those made in 2002 and 2003 will be replaced in 2018. Each year the agency will replace old plates until 2027, when the process will start again. The plan aims to keep plates more than a decade old off the road.

There are about 9 million passenger vehicle owners in Illinois. They’ll receive mail notification if they qualify for new plates.

Motorists who don’t qualify for new plates but still want them can make requests starting in January for a replacement fee of $29.

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