All the procrastinators who waited until last minute to try and get their Chicago city vehicle stickers crashed the computer system Tuesday night as the midnight deadline to buy them loomed.
“It starts, it stops, it stops, it starts, it goes down, it comes back up, one will print out, none will print out; but I went to the counter and I just said a prayer and I got it right away,” said Gloria Hemingway as she walked out of the Currency Exchange at 35th and Indiana with her sticker and a big smile on her face.
Wanting to avoid a publicity nightmare, the city clerk’s office announced that because of the computer problems it was going to waive the $60 late fee for those who could not buy their stickers on time. Residents will have until midnight Wednesday instead.
But before that news, there was a lot of frustrated people.
“Well I've been to four currency exchanges and all the systems are down or their slow or they just stopped in the middle of giving somebody their information,” said Angie Henderson, who left in frustration.
The long lines required a lot of patience.
“This system worked fine all day long until about five. At 5 o'clock it became slow and now it's nonexistent. We're printing a sticker out every 20 minutes so I don't know whose fault it is, but it's not ours,” said Gary Gagerman, the manager of the Currency Exchange at 35th and Indiana.
The city clerks office acknowledged the computer problems and even its website was unable to process purchase requests for a while. Those who were able to get their stickers, though, were grateful.
“I'm happy man, I'm a very happy man after staying there for an hour I was about to walk out the door, glad I didn't,” said Bennie Robinson.
One woman said standing in the long lines was her penance for procrastinating.
“But it's my fault, I waited till the last minute so I can't be mad at nobody but myself,” said Suzanne McCray.
FOX 32 called 14 currency exchanges Wednesday morning whose computers were not working.
The city clerk’s office said if anyone does get a ticket on Wednesday for not having their new sticker they will provide an affidavit to help them get that ticket expunged.