Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to figure out which programs can help you?
- Who should I contact with questions about each program?
- For vehicle ticket and debt information, contact the Department of Finance at 312-744-7275(PARK).
- For Utility Billing Relief information, text WATERBILL to 313131 to receive program updates or call (312)795-8946 and leave your name and number.
- For library information, call (312) 747-4300.
- Where do I check if I have tickets or debt?
Visit the following Page https://pay.chicago.gov/workflows/tickets.
- How do I know if I am eligible for a hardship?
Individuals may prove a hardship through any of the following ways:
- INCOME QUALIFICATION
- Household income of 300 percent or less than the Federal Poverty Level
- Tax Return and W-2’s establishing a household income of 300 percent or less than the Federal Poverty Level
- Tax Return showing claim of Earned Income Tax Credit for the most recent year.
- PARTICIPATION IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS
- Government Issued Unemployment Compensation;
- Low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP);
- Federal Public Housing/Section 8 Food Stamps;
- Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program;
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
- Illinois Free Lunch and Breakfast Program;
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
- Enrollment in an organized community-based program that assesses and documents limited low income financial status as criteria.
- PROOF OF ONE OF THE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS:
- Foreclosure (received a notice of foreclosure, entered into a consent foreclosure, gave a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or had a judgment of foreclosure entered on primary residence within last three years);
- Bankruptcy (liability for fines and penalties remain after obtaining a bankruptcy discharge);
- Student (attending high school, college, trade or vocational school with a valid student ID card);
- Senior citizen (65 and older);
- Active military (including reservists and national guard);
- Recently inactive military (discharged from the military in the last 180 days);
- Domestic Violence Victim.
- INCOME QUALIFICATION
DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION
- What is the City doing about driver’s license suspension and parking tickets?
The City is no longer suspending driver’s licenses for non-driving offenses like parking tickets. The City can still suspend driver’s licenses for driving violations, like speeding tickets. This change does not affect previously suspended licenses.
- Do I get my driver’s license back if it’s currently suspended for parking tickets?
If you want your driver’s license back immediately, you will need to get on a payment plan with the City.
- Is your debt forgiven if you get your license back?
No, you are still responsible for your debt when your license is no longer suspended.
- What will getting on a payment plan do?
Getting on a payment plan may allow you to get your driver’s license back if it’s been suspended for City past due parking, compliance or automated fines, release your car if it’s been booted or towed for non-payment of fines and allow you to be eligible to work at City jobs.
Fresh Start Debt Relief ProgramThe Fresh Start program may provide relief from City vehicle ticket debt to individuals who receive a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, by forgiving older vehicle ticked debts and penalties for people who pay some recent ticket debts through a payment plan.
- Where can I find more information on the changes to payment plans?
- If somebody is currently on a payment plan, would they be able to transfer onto a new payment plan with better terms once those roll out?
Yes, please call the Department of Finance at 312-744-7275(PARK) for more information.
- I don’t have access to a computer, how can I take advantage of the online payment plans?
You can come in person to City Hall at 121 N. LaSalle and access computers in the Payment Center in Room 107.
- When do I need to request the extension by?
Vehicle owners have 24 hours to make a payment or get on a payment plan to have the boot released. Similarly, if you need an additional 24 hours, you must make the request to the Department of Finance within the first 24 hour period.
- How do I get the 24-hour extension if my car is booted and I need more time to pay?
Call the Department of Finance at 312-744-7275(PARK).