If you're like me, you've had your Illinois license plate for so long, the paint is peeling off (see picture).

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The good news is, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has a program in place for motorists with peeling, chipping or rusting plates to get those plates replaced at no cost.

According to White, "There are nearly 9 million passenger vehicle owners in Illinois. When the license plates are unreadable, it poses a safety concern for the vehicle owner, other drivers and law enforcement."

That, plus the fact that not having readable plates on your vehicle is against the law, which can result is having to pay a $164 fine.

If you have damaged or degraded license plates, you can notify the Secretary of State's office by calling 800-252-8980 or by clicking here.

Once your new plates arrive, you're encouraged to recycle your old plates by taking them to a Secretary of State facility and disposing of them in the tamper-proof bin.

The nearest Secretary of State facilities are at 2512 Locust in Quincy, 130 Buchanan in Carthage and 202 West Jefferson in Pittsfield.

The effort to replace older plates began in 2017 and is nearing its halfway point. Officially, plates issued in 2008 and 2009 are being replaced this year.

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