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  • David A.F. Sweet

Austin Drives Success of Annual Vehicle-Sticker Program

By David A. F. Sweet Claudia Austin has a number of roles with the City of Lake Forest. She sits at the front counter in the Finance Department at the Municipal Services Building, where her primary responsibilities are cash receivables and financial deposits. She also serves as the Real Estate Transfer Tax Administrator.Every spring, though, her attention shifts to helping to implement the City of Lake Forest’s vehicle-sticker program. Claudia took time to speak with Lake Forest Love about what that entails.

What group is on this year's sticker, and why was the group chosen?

Each year, the City selects an organization to feature on the vehicle sticker. Last year, the Lake Forest Library was featured and, in honor of its 50th anniversary, the Gorton Center is featured on the 2024-25 vehicle sticker.  Gorton Center's mission is to be the gathering place in the heart of our community where people connect, converse, learn, listen, play and perform.

"We are diligent in completing the order in a timely fashion to ensure a quick turnaround for all residents," said Claudia Austin about the vehicle-sticker program.

Is there anything else new or different with this year's vehicle sticker?

For the first time, we are fulfilling every order in-house.  The City issues an estimated 16,000 vehicle stickers each year.  Therefore, all mail-in orders and those placed online are processed by the entire Finance Team.  We are diligent in completing the order in a timely fashion to ensure a quick turnaround for all residents. 

What benefits do Lake Forest residents get with the vehicle sticker?

City ordinance requires all motor vehicles registered to a City of Lake Forest address to have a Lake Forest vehicle sticker displayed.  Any vehicle without a City vehicle sticker displayed is subject to fine or penalties. 


The additional benefit of the vehicle sticker is free entrance to Forest Park Beach and free entrance to the Compost & Recycling Center.  Parking at Forest Park Beach without a City vehicle sticker or Forest Park Beach parking sticker will result in a citation for ordinance violation. 

Gorton Center is featured on the new City of Lake Forest vehicle sticker.


What methods can Lake Forest residents use to order one?

There are three primary ways to get your vehicle sticker(s). 

1. Mail-in-order. Send your check payment along with your renewal notice and your vehicle stickers will be mailed to you within 1-2 weeks of receiving your order. You can also drop your envelope in the white drop boxes at the Telegraph Road train station parking lot and on Bank Lane.

2. Online order. Sign into or log into the Lake Forest Now Mobile App on your smart phone and purchase your vehicle stickers. Your stickers will be mailed to you within 1-2 weeks.

3. In-person order. Please stop by at the Municipal Services Building from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and say hi to me at the Finance Department front counter.  I love to greet residents and issue vehicle stickers in person!


What is the deadline, and what happens if someone misses the deadline?

The vehicle sticker year follows the City’s fiscal year, so it’s valid May 1 to the following April 30.  The deadline for purchasing and displaying the current 2024-2025 stickers is April 30, 2024.  Beginning May 1, a 50 percent late fee is added, and the resident will be at risk of receiving a citation for ordinance violation from the Police Department. 



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