Savvy Consumers Hoping to Avoid Higher Vehicle Registration Fees by Early Renewal find no Savings in Illinois

Many Illinois electric vehicle owners with a December 2019 renewal date who were hoping to avoid higher fees (new $251 annual fee) on electric vehicle registrations by renewing early found out the hard way that they will not avoid the higher fees that accompany renewals due in January 2020 or after.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office has been informing electric vehicle owners of the new fee and that an early renewal does not avoid the additional fee due under this change to Illinois law, which was adamantly opposed by Rep. Tony McCombie.

“These higher fees are hitting consumers hard,” said Rep. McCombie.  “Those on a fixed budget and seniors in our region near the state border are reporting having to make some really tough decisions in their household budgets because of increased taxes and fees.  It’s yet another knock to overburdened taxpayers during the holiday season.”

Electric vehicle registrations will not only increase in price but are also transitioning from a 2-year plate to a 1-year plate. The law states beginning January 1, 2020 the EL plates are $251; what a consumer purchases, whether bought today or on January 2, 2020 is a registration sticker for January 2020 thru January 2021. The sticker price reflects the year in which the sticker is valid; this is the same with all other passenger plate stickers as well. You ‘prepay’ for a future year worth of registration and the General Assembly set the price of an EL sticker in 2020 at $251.

This is no different than if one is buying a passenger sticker renewal the month or two before it expires. If you have a January 2020 expiration date on a passenger vehicle, you can buy the sticker today to expire in January 2021 and that too will be the new rate of $151 per the new law.

So, whether a non-electric vehicle or an electric vehicle, there is no savings to savvy consumers hoping to avoid the higher fees by paying early, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.