The new plates, in addition to being more reflective and longer lasting, are completely redesigned with a half portrait of Lincoln on the left and a background silhouette featuring the Chicago skyline and the state capitol dome.
The plates will be provided to drivers free of charge. The Secretary of State's office will begin mailing out new plates to the owners of the state's oldest plates and gradually replace all the plates in circulation at an expected cost of $5 million a year. The replacement program will begin this January with plates that were manufactured in 2000 and 2001. Secretary White said the long term goal of this gradual effort was to ensure that no license plate is on the road that is more than 10 years old. Vehicle owners will be notified by mail if they qualify for the new plates.
Motorists who are not up for replacement may still request a new license plate at www.cyberdriveillinois.com for a replacement fee of $29. 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.