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Officials tweaking new licenses plates to make more legible

State officials say that they're making changes to Illinois' newly designed license plates to make them easier to read. | Sun-Times file photo

Illinois’ new license plates are about to get a touchup after complaints that the new ones aren’t as easy to read as the old ones.

The new design, unveiled last fall to mixed reviews, is going to get some darker ink in some places and a lighter gray will be used for Abraham Lincoln’s face.

“We do think they’re legible. . . . We’re just trying to make them better,” said Dave Druker, spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White.

About 150,000 of the new plates already have been sent to motorists. Druker said there are no plans to recall those plates, saying they are a tiny fraction of the 10 million plates to be distributed statewide.

In ordering the redesign, White said the old plates were becoming less reflective, which made them difficult to read for authorities.

Druker said the secretary of state’s office received complaints about the new design but did not keep count of complaints received.

The new plates feature Chicago’s skyline, a barn with a windmill, the Capitol and part of Abraham Lincoln’s face.

Some people, including Caryn King of Springfield, have criticized the new plates. They object to the design combination and say it’s hard to read.

The secretary of state’s office will gradually send replacements for passenger vehicles at no extra cost.

Contributing: The Associated Press