Answer Man

Here’s how to recycle your old Illinois license plates

Q: I’ve received my new Illinois license plates. What is best way of disposing of old plates?

Judy Kampwerth

A: No reason to let this petty problem drive you crazy. Your safest and, hopefully, easiest bet is to go to your nearest secretary of state’s office. On Thursday, I stopped by the Belleville driver services facility at 400 W. Main St. and they cheerfully pointed out a tamper-proof blue trash can in which you can quickly and securely ditch your old tags. They’ll do the rest

Otherwise, you can throw them out with your recyclables. Plates were made of galvanized steel until 2004, when the switch was made to aluminum. However, with identity theft an ever-present threat, it’s recommended you bend, fold, spindle or otherwise mutilate them until they are unusable and unreadable.

If you weren’t aware, after replacing plates from 2000 and 2001 last year, Illinois is replacing plates from 2002 and 2003 this year because reflectivity declines with age, making them increasingly harder for law enforcement to read.

Today’s trivia

According to legend, how did Hofbräuhaus beer once save the city of Munich?

Answer to Friday’s trivia: Truly. Revolutionary. Theater. That’s how Boone, N.C., bills “Horn in the West,” a historical drama it has been presenting on its outdoor stage every summer since 1952. Called the nation’s oldest Revolutionary War drama, it brings to life the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and the hardy Blue Ridge Mountain settlers in their struggle to preserve their freedom before and during the War for Independence. For more details, go to

Roger Schlueter: 618-239-2465, @RogerAnswer