House Committee approves Cabello bills to cut vehicle registration fee for veterans by half, allow for online payment of minor traffic fines

Two bills introduced by State Representative John M. Cabello, R-Machesney Park, have been unanimously approved in committee, clearing the path for final passage by the full House of Representatives prior to the April 12 deadline to advance legislation that originated in the House. 

House Bill 2038 reduces the cost of a vehicle registration fee by 50% for any veteran of the United States Armed Forces. With the current vehicle registration fee for passenger plates set at $101, passage of Cabello’s bill means veterans would pay $50.50.

“One way we can demonstrate our respect and appreciation for the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States is to give them a 50% discount on their vehicle registration renewal,” Cabello said. “I am pleased to sponsor this legislation on behalf of our veterans and look forward to getting it onto the Governor’s desk to be signed into law this year.”

House Bill 2594 would set up an electronic system to accept online payments for minor traffic violations. The Illinois State Police would determine which violations are subject to the system and provide notice to a person who is eligible for its use. Representative Cabello introduced the bill to help citizens conveniently and quickly pay for violations and help them avoid late penalties.

“There is no reason why individuals with minor traffic violations should not be able to pay their fines online,” Cabello said. “Many Illinois counties have such a system and Illinois E-Pay allows payment for tickets from participating local governments. It’s time we established a convenient online bill pay system statewide. For years now, people have been able to pay missed tolls online within a 7-day grace period. We should give people the ability to pay for minor traffic fines online as well.”

Both bills were unanimously approved by the Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee, chaired by Representative Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines. There are seven Democrats and six Republicans on the committee.

Representative Cabello serves the 68th District, which includes portions of Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park and Cherry Valley.

With regard to vehicle registration fees for veterans and their surviving spouses, current state law provides the following exemptions:

  • Purple Heart License Plates may be issued to any Illinois resident who has been awarded the military’s Purple Heart medal. A surviving spouse may obtain a set of plates. The first set of plates is exempt from the annual $101 registration fee.
  • Service-Connected Disabled Veteran (ISERVE) License Plates may be issued at no cost for the first set of plates to any U.S. Armed Forces veteran if 1) the veteran holds proof of a service-connected disability from the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs; and 2) the veteran whose degree of disability has been declared to be 50 percent or more, but whose disability does not qualify the veteran for a plate or decal for persons with disabilities under 625 ILCS 5/3-616.
  • Any U.S. citizen who was a prisoner of war while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or with any of its allies, or a surviving spouse, may apply for an Illinois POW Plate with no annual renewal cost for the first set of plates.
  • Congressional Medal of Honor License Plates may be issued at no cost for the first set of plate to any Illinois resident who has been awarded this medal from the U. S. Armed Forces. A surviving spouse of a person awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor may obtain and/or retain these plates

Representative Cabello’s aforementioned legislation, House Bill 2038, would reduce the annual renewal fee by 50% for all veterans of the United States Armed Forces.