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SPRINGFIELD -- People who need to renew their Illinois driver's licenses have about a week left before the cost of doing so triples.

The cost of renewing a standard Illinois driver's license jumps from $10 to $30 on Oct. 11.

Drivers have to renew their licenses every four years, and the $10 fee has been the same since 1983.

But this year, lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn raised a number of taxes and fees in order to pay for a $30 billion program to build roads, schools and bridges. The driver's license fee increase is among them.

Some qualifying drivers can renew online until Oct. 11 for the $10 price tag. Because of the weekend and Columbus Day, the new $30 cost will first be charged at driver's license facilities on Oct. 13, said secretary of state spokesman Henry Haupt.

Quinn and lawmakers have touted the construction plan for its potential to generate jobs during the recession. Secretary of State Jesse White, though, said he doesn't want to be blamed for the fee increases as drivers pour into his offices.

"Of course, I have within my offices the ability to put up signs that say 'I didn't do it,'" White said this week at campaign event.

Drivers can renew their licenses up to a year early, Haupt said. So eligible people looking to save $20 can renew their licenses early this week.

Haupt said driver's license facilities have seen "a little bit of an increase" in traffic recently with people wanting to beat the deadline.

Also, as part of the construction plan, the cost of vehicle registration will rise from $79 to $99 for people who need a new license plate sticker starting in January 2010. That rate would be the highest flat rate in the country.


By the numbers

Starting Oct. 11, renewing a driver's license in Illinois will cost $30 every four years. Now, it costs $10. Here's what some neighboring states charge for a standard license.

Iowa: $8 for a two-year renewal and $20 for 5 years.

Indiana: $21 for six years

Missouri: $22.50 for three years and $45 for six years.

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