Lightfoot and Valencia team-up in two-step debt relief offering


In an effort to give a fresh start to Chicago residents in need of City Stickers and relief from ticket debt, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and City Clerk Anna M. Valencia announced, on Friday, a two-step program for the purchase of a City Sticker and forgiveness of City Sticker tickets. 

“Today marks a fresh start and a historic first step for Chicago residents who have struggled to get from underneath the grip of crushing ticket debt,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “These reforms, we are announcing in partnership with the Cle​rk Valencia, offer more pathways to compliance, provide much needed ticket debt relief and builds on our investment in the overall economic health of our residents.” 

“Our goal has always been to build a Chicago that works for all of our residents,” said Valencia. “When I started the Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative I knew that working in conjunction with community advocates and other City departments would lead to something historic. 

"You can take advantage of this offer by visiting one of our three office locations, one of four Department of Finance office locations, at one of our many Mobile City Halls or online." 

Step 1: From Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, residents will be able to get their City Sticker with no late fees or back charges. 

Also beginning on Oct. 1 are the Reduced Term Sticker. Residents may purchase City Stickers for a shorter period of time. 

Step 2: Beginning Nov. 15 and ending Sun., Dec. 15, residents in City Sticker compliance by Oct. 31 may apply for the opportunity to have at least three City Sticker tickets forgiven by going online

“When it comes to the regressive fines and fees that have impacted low-income residents the most, many feel like the deck is stacked against them,” said Alderman Scott Waguespack, 32nd Ward.  “By creating a pathway to come into compliance and clearing out some of the old debt that may have been holding people back, we are giving our residents a second chance. We encourage all residents to seize this opportunity in October to purchase a City Sticker penalty-free, and to take advantage of a fresh start.” 

In addition to tackling City Sticker debt, Lightfoot’s comprehensive fines and fees reforms package calls for: ending driver’s license suspensions for non-payment of non-driving and vehicle compliance violations, creating more accessible payment plans for all motorists, introducing boot reform policies for those experiencing financial hardship and reforming the City Sticker fines that have become one of the most regressive penalties residents face, throwing some into a cycle of debt.  

This legislation will transform the City’s fines and fees rules structure for non-driving violations and will go into effect on a rolling basis through November. 

The City Sticker and other debt relief are made possible by landmark legislation passed by the City Council in September. These reforms were developed with input from the Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative, formed by Clerk Valencia in December 2018. The full report, Advancing Equity: First Steps Towards Fines & Fees Reform in Chicago, is available here.



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