If you have a registration sticker not received in Illinois, it is your responsibility to obtain a replacement in a timely manner. Any time you renew your registration or order new tabs for any other reason, it is possible for your stickers to become lost. Note that the Department of Motor Vehicles, commonly referred to as the DMV, is managed by the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS). As such, original tabs and replacements must be ordered through the SOS in Illinois.

There are many possible reasons that your license plate sticker was not received in Illinois, but you should always keep in mind that you can be ticketed for driving with an expired registration no matter why your car does not have its current registration tag affixed to the license plate. Below, learn what to do in the event of a DMV sticker not received and find out how soon you should order a replacement.

Common Reasons for a Registration Sticker Not Being Received in Illinois

A car sticker not being received can occur for many different reasons. In some cases, stickers can become lost in the mail due to mishandling or other similar issues. However, it is far more common for stickers not to arrive due to the SOS not having a driver’s current address.

Drivers should always keep their mailing and residential address information updated with the SOS so that they can receive all of their DMV mail in a timely manner. Note that the United States Post Office (USPS) will not send certain types of DMV-related letters to a forwarding address, which explains why some correspondence is lost after drivers move.

Car owners also may not receive their DMV registration sticker if they make errors on their applications. Common errors include:

  • Paying the wrong fee.
  • Failing to complete the whole application.
  • Incorrectly entering personal information, such as an address or name.

Before asking where to get registration sticker replacements, drivers should be aware that the Illinois SOS may take a while to process car registration renewal applications. In many cases, drivers think their tabs are missing when, in reality, their application simply has not been processed yet. Car owners who have recently renewed their license plates should check the processing times for their orders before contacting the SOS for a replacement tab.

Can I legally drive if my Illinois registration sticker was not received?

A DMV registration sticker not received in Illinois can become a legal issue if you continue to drive your vehicle with expired tabs or with no tabs at all. It is against the law to operate a vehicle that displays expired registration stickers. In many cases, law enforcement officers will still issue tickets for driving with out-of-date tabs displayed on your vehicle even if you have renewed your registration and are still waiting to receive the stickers.

If your car tag sticker has not yet arrived in the mail before your registration expires, you should retain a receipt of your registration renewal. Because processing times can be long for registration stickers, it is possible that you will be driving for up to a month without current tabs if you waited until the end of your renewal period to complete the transaction.

Additional Consequences of a Car Sticker Not Received in Illinois

In some cases, a license sticker not received in Illinois is out of your control. However, it is important that you do everything possible to reduce the possibility of your new tabs getting lost in the mail. This includes giving the SOS your current address information, paying the correct fee the first time and making sure your application is filled out correctly.

Unfortunately, you will have to pay a fee to get new tabs if anything prevents your original ones from arriving in the mail. If you ordered new plates in addition to renewal stickers, you will need to pay an additional fee just for your replacement plates.

Steps to Take If Your Illinois DMV Sticker Was Not Received

Before you take the steps to order an Illinois DMV sticker replacement, it is important that you learn about the processing time for your registration renewal. Note that renewals can take a while in Illinois, and you may not need to replace your tabs if it turns out they are still in transit rather than being lost.

Allow enough time after ordering your stickers before you take any action to get a replacement. The SOS prioritizes orders based on when each driver’s registration expires. For example, if your stickers expire in April but you place a renewal order in February, the SOS will work on delivering stickers for people with March expiration dates before it gets to drivers with April expiration dates. Thus, your tabs may take longer to arrive if you renew your registration immediately after receiving your renewal notice.

If you find that your car sticker was not received in a timely manner after waiting for the appropriate amount of time, you may call the SOS to check on the status of your order. It is also be possible to check the title and registration status of your vehicle on the SOS website by entering your vehicle identification number (VIN).

Where to Get a Registration Sticker Replacement in Illinois

When your tabs are lost after a car plate sticker renewal in Illinois, there are a few different ways that you can order replacements. Remember that you will need to pay a $20 fee for your replacement stickers regardless of the method you choose to order them. Note that you cannot replace sticker online, even though it is possible to get your renewal taken care of on the SOS website.

Instead of getting a registration sticker online, you can do the following:

  • Visit an SOS facility in person to get new tabs right away.
  • Go to a third-party location, such as certain financial institutions or currency exchanges, that sells renewal tabs.
  • Fill out the relevant application and submit it by mail to the SOS.
Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.