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"Ridiculous" Lines Jam Emissions Testing Facilities

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Hundreds of drivers stewed in frustratingly long lines at auto emissions testing sites across the Chicago area on Tuesday, as motorists scrambled to get their cars tested so they can get their new license plate stickers.

"This line is definitely ridiculous, so it's just … you gotta do what you gotta do, right?" one driver said while waiting for his turn in Naperville, where the line stretched more than half a mile out of the lot for the testing facility on Aurora Road, just off Route 59.

That driver said it took him roughly 30 minutes just to travel a couple hundred feet from Route 59.

Milburn Sims said it took him an hour to go 1 ½ blocks from Route 59.

"It's ridiculous," he said.


To make matters worse, Sims said he didn't start with a full tank of gas when he got in line.

"It's going to be a problem, I'm sure. We need a portapotty out here also, you know," he said.

A business owner in Bedford Park said the lines at the emissions testing facility near him have basically shut down his business.

Part of the problem behind the long lines is, from December until early April, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was not sending out notices about emissions tests. While the notices were suspended, the Illinois Secretary of State's office stopped requiring car owners to show proof they had passed an emissions test before renewing their license plates.

However, now that the Illinois EPA has resumed notifying drivers of their deadline to get an emissions test, the Secretary of State's office has said it will resume regular procedures for renewing license plate stickers on June 1.

Illinois EPA officials said the people lined up for emissions tests on Tuesday didn't have to wait in those long lines, because they could have gotten their plate stickers renewed without having to complete their emissions test.

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