I have a 2001 Dodge Stratus and was pulled over by an Illinois State Officer for not having a front license plate. The Officer asked would I like to take care of the fine now or later - I wasn't too sure what he meant - but thought he was giving me a ticket & an envlope and that I would have to send in a check for the fine. I said I would mail it in. He said this would not go on my record, gave me a receipt and KEPT my Driver's License. Is that appropriate???? He said that when I send in my money I would get my drivers license back.
I really have never heard of such a process AND - if I was to take care of it then and there - was I going to be paying the Officer? Sounds a bit illegal to me.
625 ILCS 5/3-413 requires that cars registered in Illinois display both a front and rear plate. If issued a citation, a driver can post either $75 cash, his Driver's License, or a Bond card (issued by auto club or insurance co.). When you post $75 cash, it will be marked on the citation that you utilized this amount of money for bond. The $75 is usually the same amount of the fine. You are technically not paying the fine when you post cash as bond. However, you can elect to plead guilty and forfeit that bond money to be used for the fine by the courts.
The offense is considered an equipment violation, and as such, does not count as points against your driver's license. It is however, recorded that you were issued a citation for the offense.
If you opted not to post cash bond, the Officer was correct in using your Driver's License as bond. You are given a copy of the citation to keep with you that serves as your Driver's License until the case is concluded, either by you pleading guilty and paying the fine, or by pleading not guilty and appearing in court. The license is returned to you by the Circuit Clerk of the county when the case is concluded and you have satisfied any requirements.
Officers are authorized in the Illinois Compiled Statutes to take bond in the form of cash, Driver's License, or bond card. You may want to look into obtaining an approved bond card if you want to avoid using cash or your Driver's License. Thanks for writing, hope this information is helpful.