Due to the lack of a state budget, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office has suspended mailing annual notices to vehicle owners reminding them of their registration renewal obligations.
The secretary of state estimates that this will save $450,000 per month and will enable his office to continue mailing vehicle registration renewal stickers, titles and license plates for a few more months before the office’s postage account runs out.
Drivers who don’t sign up for email notification will need to renew their registration in person, as they will not have the necessary pin numbers for online renewal. (Illinois vehicle owners can sign up online for email reminders of vehicle registration renewal deadlines.)
White warned in his press release September 28 that if his office’s postage account is depleted before January 2016, his department will be unable to mail annual licenses to auto dealers, which they must have to operate legally. Nor will the secretary of state’s office be able to send out incorporation paperwork required by Illinois businesses.
Illinois has been operating for over 100 days without a budget, and the state’s unpaid bills total more than $6.5 billion.
Eliminating mailed reminders to save money is not a bad thing in and of itself, but the state is doing residents a disservice by pulling the plug on these notices without a plan to effectively transition vehicle owners to a wireless alternative.
This is just another side effect of politicians’ unwillingness to pass a balanced budget that Illinois taxpayers can afford. Until they do the right thing, Illinoisans will continue to suffer.
Amy Korte is an editor with the Illinois Policy Institute.