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Chicago Sports-Themed License Plates Contributing To Public Schools

Illinois driver’s who sport Chicago team-themed license plates help contribute $13 million to the Professional Sports Team Education Fund, which gets allocated to the Common School Fund for K-12 public schools.

Ever pulled up behind someone at a red light and noticed their Chicago sports-themed license plates? Whether you support the club that’s displayed on their vehicle or not, there’s a benefit of that unique plate.

Recently, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office released statistics of Chicago sports-themed license plates. They describe what benefit comes from the extra cost that people take on when showing their fandom. They also released a breakdown of how many unique plates are on the road and who is represented the most.

The Illinois driver who wants to change their plates pays the necessary fees and extra when adding a team theme. Those fees depend on a few different factors. The breakdown below is also listed directly on the Secretary of State’s website. The numbers pertain to the Chicago White Sox, but teams like the Bears, Blackhawks, or Cubs have similar price-points.

sports-themed license plates
Photo: Illinois Secretary of State

Random-Number License Plates

  • Newly acquired vehicle/first-time issuance – $341 ($150 title fee + $151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee)
  • Currently titled vehicle/first-time issuance – $191 ($151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee)
  • Current plates expire within 90 days – $220 ($151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $29 replacement fee)
  • Current plates do not expire within 90 days – $69 ($40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $29 replacement fee)
  • Annual renewal – $178 ($151 registration fee + $27 Chicago White Sox license plates fee)

Vanity License Plates

  • Newly acquired vehicle/first-time issuance – $435 ($150 title fee + $151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $94 vanity fee)
  • Currently titled vehicle/first-time issuance – $285 ($151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $94 vanity fee)
  • Current plates expire within 90 days – $314 ($151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + 94 vanity Fee + $29 replacement fee)
  • Current plates do not expire within 90 days – $163 ($40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $94 vanity Fee + $29 replacement fee)
  • Annual renewal – $191 ($151 registration fee + $27 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $13 vanity fee)

Personalized License Plates

  • Newly acquired vehicle/first-time issuance – $388 ($150 title fee + $151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $47 personalized fee)
  • Currently titled vehicle/first-time issuance – $238 ($151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $47 personalized fee)
  • Current plates expire within 90 days – $267 ($151 registration fee + $40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $47 personalized fee + $29 replacement fee)
  • Current plates do not expire within 90 days – $116 ($40 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $47 personalized fee + $29 replacement fee)
  • Annual renewal – $185 ($151 registration fee + $27 Chicago White Sox license plates fee + $7 personalized fee)

Breaking Down The Numbers

There are 71,299 Chicago sports-themed license plates on the roadways in Illinois, at the time of the release of the statistics. White Sox fans are out in front of that total, accounting for 21,890. Blackhawks supporters compiling 19,848 have the second-highest total. 13,970 Cubs plates are present, and the lowest total comes from Bears fandom with 8,620.

sports-themed license plates
Photo: Illinois Secretary of State

Supporting Public Schools

So, how does the purchase of these specialty plates support public schools? With every purchase made, they allocate funds to the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund. They deposit these funds every six months into the Common School Fund and use them for kindergarten-through-12th grade schools. Anyone can see their county’s Common School Fund, but note that other streams of contributions exist as well, like the Illinois Lottery. However, from license plate purchases alone, about $13 million aided K-12 students and teachers.

Have you thought about rocking your favorite team on the road but can’t justify the extra cost that goes into it? You can feel better about it knowing a portion of the money goes to a good cause. For now, White Sox fans can hoist the sports-themed license plate trophy for most pieces of metal on the pavement.


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