CHICAGO (CBS) – Illinois license plates are getting a new design.

Secretary of State Jesse White announced Tuesday the launch of a license plate replacement program beginning in January to replace the oldest license plates with newly designed plates.

The program will be launched due to a manufacturer’s rusting issue with the existing Illinois license plates. This program is at no cost to Illinois taxpayers or drivers.

The purpose is to ensure the continuation of older Illinois license plates be renewed throughout the years. License plates’ reflectivity diminishes with age, which impacts law enforcement’s ability to quickly and accurately identify license plate numbers, according to the release.

“This is a forward-thinking, long-term solution that does not require a complete replating overhaul, which would cost around $60 million,” White said in a statement. “This plan removes older plates and replaces them with newly designed plates within our current budget. This will ensure that plates are appropriately replaced with the ultimate goal being no license plate on the road will be more than 10-years old.”

Under the program, the oldest license plates will be replaced first. In 2017, passenger plates that were manufactured in 2000 and 2001 will be replaced. In 2018, passenger plates that were manufactured in 2002 and 2003 will be replaced.

Each year the office will continue to replace older license plates with the newly issued plate. The process will start again in 2027, replacing the plates issued in 2017. B-truck license plate replacement will begin in 2018.

“There are nearly 9 million passenger vehicle owners in Illinois,” White said in a statement. “This replacement program is mindful of Illinois’ state budget challenges, while also seeking to remove the oldest plates from our roads.”

Vehicle owners will receive a notice in the mail if they qualify for new license plates. Motorists who are not up for replacement may request a new license plate in January for a fee of $29.

New Illinois license plates (Credit: Illinois Secretary of State office)

New Illinois license plates (Credit: Illinois Secretary of State office)

The new plates’ redesigned logo features a half-portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the left, in the foreground of the Chicago skyline that merges into the silhouette of the state capitol dome. The font of ‘Illinois’ and ‘Land of Lincoln’ are simplified to a serif, rather than the prior script font.