City of Chicago

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the BACP guidelines for Public Passenger Vehicle Advertising?
    Advertising displayed on public passenger vehicles is part of the regulated appearance of the vehicles and, as such, may not be inconsistent with or undermine the City's existing regulatory interests in protecting and serving passengers and prospective passengers, which are expressed through the City's requirement of courteous and nondiscriminatory service and clear visibility of required licensing identification.
    1. The following is not permitted and may be grounds for suspension, revocation, rescission, or denial of an advertising display permit:
      1. Advertising that is untruthful, fraudulent, involving illegal activity, or in violation of city, state, or federal law.
      2. Advertising that is sexually explicit, defined as depicting genitals, pubic hair, buttocks, perineum and anal region, pubic hair region, or any portion of the female breast at or below the areola, whether such body parts are depicted as uncovered or less than completely and opaquely covered.
      3. Advertising that portrays graphic violence, such as through the depiction of human or animal bodies, body parts, or fetuses in states of mutilation, dismemberment, disfigurement or decomposition.
      4. Advertisements that contain swear words, obscenities, or racial, ethnic, or sexual slurs or abusive epithets.
    2. Additional conditions for an advertising display permit:
      1. Advertising displays must be maintained in a safe, clean, and undamaged condition.
      2. No chauffeur may be required to solicit or otherwise promote the product or service advertised in the display.
  2. How do I return to the application from this FAQ page?
    Click the back button on your browser to return to the application.
  3. I don't have a username and password. Can I still use this site?
    No, you must register by creating a username and password before using the site.
    Note one username and password per account and not individual users.
  4. I don't know my IRIS account number. Where can I find it?
    Email the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection for your account number at
  5. I don't have an email address. How do I submit an application?
    You cannot submit an on-line application without a valid email address.
  6. Why is the email address entered as part of the user profile important?
    The entered email address will be the email address that permit related notification, payment confirmation, and reminders will be sent.
  7. I forgot my username. What should I do?
    To retrieve your username, click the "Forgot username/password" link on the login page. The system will email the username(s) associated to the provided email address.
  8. I forgot my password. What should I do?
    To retrieve a temporary password, click the "Forgot username/password" link on the login page. The system will automatically generate a temporary password and email it to the email address provided when you registered your account.
  9. When will my permit expire?
    The permit will expire one year from the date of issuance.
  10. Not all of my public vehicle licenses are listed. Where are the rest of my licenses?
    Only active public vehicle licenses are eligible for advertising permits. Please email the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection at regarding any public vehicle licenses that are not listed.
  11. I applied and paid but now I want to cancel my application. Can I receive a refund?
    Application fees are non-refundable. Please email the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection at to cancel your application.
  12. I worked on my application, but don't see it today. What happened to it?
    Your application is saved only after agreeing to the Legal Terms and Conditions. If you exited from the application prior to the Terms and Conditions page, your application was not saved.
  13. I applied for an Exterior Advertisement Permit for advertising. Why do I need to get my vehicle inspected?
    The Municipal Code of Chicago requires a safety inspection of advertising equipment that modifies the vehicle manufacturer’s shape of the vehicle (rooftop, car topper, or 3D props advertising) or any installed equipment extrinsic to the vehicle.
  14. How do I schedule a vehicle inspection?
    After you have paid your application fees, e-mail the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Public Vehicle Office at to schedule vehicle inspections. Please list the license number(s) of the vehicle(s) that must be scheduled for inspection.
  15. The company employee or agent that set up the account is no longer with the company, how do I access the account?
    In order to access the account, you must have the username and password. You may e-mail to reset the email address associated to the account or reset the password using the Forgot Password functionality.
  16. I sold my medallion license. Does the new owner also receive the advertising permit?
    Permits are non-transferable. The new owner must apply for a permit to continue advertising on the vehicle.
  17. I have more questions. How can I contact the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection?
    If you have questions about the online application, your account, or your application, please contact the Department via email at