Environmental Safety & Consumer Affairs FAQs

 Q: Why does the City keep sending me a notice for this property? I told them several times now that I do not own the property.  Why do I have to file a motion to set-aside the default to prove this fact?

    A: Your name appeared as result of a title search. Most likely, you will need to file a motion to set-aside the default to resolve the case in a hearing. Also, you may wish to contact the Ownership Unit at the Department of Law for review. Please call 312.744.9204 for further information.


 Q: I cut my grass already while the inspector was standing there…why do I have to come to court?

    A: The violation(s) already existed which is why the inspector wrote the ticket, therefore you must attend the scheduled hearing to contest the allegation and show proof that the violation(s) were corrected.


 Q: I received a notice of violation regarding a building I do not own. What can I do about it?

    A: Do not ignore the notice. Appear for your hearing and explain your circumstances to the Administrative Law Judge or the City representative. Also, you may contact the City department which issued the notice, or call the telephone number indicated on your document to determine why your name appeared as a party to the action.


 Q: Can I just pay the fine for the violation rather than appear for the hearing?

    A: Some code violations do allow you to pay the fine instead of appearing for the hearing. However, most require that you appear in-person. If you have two violations on one ticket and one violation allows you to prepay but the other requires that you appear, then you must appear for the hearing on both violations.


 Q: I received a collection notice but I prepaid the ticket. Why did I receive it?

    A: If you paid the ticket after the scheduled hearing date, your case will be defaulted. For most cases, you must file a motion to set-aside the default; for Streets & Sanitation tickets only, if you paid before the hearing date, you may call the telephone number on the ticket for further assistance.

Q: Can I just pay the default fine on the health case without coming to court?

    A: Yes, you may pay the default fine on a health case, but you are still required to come into compliance with each item on the inspection report. Otherwise you may be cited again for the same violations.


 Q: Where do I get a Chicago Department of Transportation permit?

    A: You may apply for a Department of Transportation permit by visiting 121 North LaSalle St., Room 905 or by contacting 312.744.4655 for further information.


 Q: My vehicle was towed for no-parking zone, street cleaning, snow lanes or being abandoned. How do I request a hearing? Do I have to take photos regarding my towed vehicle?

    A: To request a hearing on a towed vehicle, you must do so within 15 days at any auto pound. After 15 days, you must call the Department of Streets & Sanitation, Traffic Services Division at 312.742.4925 for further information. Also, photos are not required although they may assist the Administrative Law Judge in determining where you were parked or whether there were adequate signs posted.


Q: My vehicle was damaged when it was towed. Where do I file a claim?

    A: You can make a report at the auto pound before you redeem your vehicle, or after you have left the auto pound you can file a damage claim with the City Clerk’s office, City Hall, 121 North LaSalle St., Room 107. You may contact 312.744.6867 for further information.


 Q: The police officer took my driver’s license while I was driving my car, cab or limousine.  Can I have a temporary license to use until my hearing date?

    A: Hearings involving your Illinois Driver’s License are conducted at the Circuit Court of Cook County, Daley Center, 50 West Washington St., lower level. You may continue to drive with your ticket serving as your temporary driver’s license, but if you have more specific questions regarding this issue please contact the Illinois Secretary of State.


Q: The police officer issued me a blue and white ticket and took my chauffeur’s license.  Can I have a temporary license to use until my hearing date?

    A: If the police officer takes your chauffeur’s license you may continue to drive as a licensed chauffeur with your blue and white ticket (ANOV) until your hearing date.


Q: If my case is in default and my chauffeur’s license has been taken, can I continue to drive?

    A: It depends on what fines and sanctions were awarded during a default hearing.  If the default contained a suspension of your chauffeur’s license then you may not drive until you have served the suspension period or have filed a motion to set-aside the default and the motion has been granted. The filing of the motion does not stop the suspension from taking effect which means that you cannot drive until the outcome of your motion to set-aside the default hearing. On the default hearing date, if the motion is granted there is a possibility you may proceed to a final hearing. At that time, your case will be decided. If you are found liable at the final hearing, your chauffeur’s license could be suspended at that time. For further information, please contact the Department of Administrative Hearings, Consumer Hearings Division at 312.742.8253.


Q: My car, cab or limousine was impounded.  How do I request a hearing?

    A: You may request a hearing in-person at 400 West Superior St., Desk B, or at the Information Desk; or by sending the request for hearing to:  Department of Administrative Hearings, Consumer Hearings Division, 740 North Sedgwick St., 2nd floor; Chicago, IL 60654.


Q: I was cited for failure to have a business license.  After receiving the citation my business license came in the mail.  Do I have to attend the hearing?

    A: Yes, you must attend your hearing.  The issue is whether or not you were legally required to have a business license and if you were, did you possess a business license on the day your ticket was issued. You may want to bring your business license with you as evidence.


Q: My business license is on hold for a judgment entered by your department.  Can I pay at any of your locations?  Is the hold released right away?

    A: You will need to contact the Department of Revenue’s Judgment and Collections Unit at 312.742.3317 for business license holds. A representative at that number can inform you about release of hold requirements and payment locations to satisfy the judgment.