Consequences of Operating Trucks Without Illinois License Plates

In People ex rel. Carpentier v. Arthur Morgan Trucking Co., 16 Ill. 2d 313, 157 N.E.2d 41 (1959), the State sought mileage taxes for trucks operated in Illinois by the defendant Missouri-based trucking company. The company had 125 trucks in its fleet. In 1951 and 1952, 17 of its trucks hauled sand, rock, and equipment from plants and quarries in or near East St. Louis, Illinois, to construction sites in the St. Louis area of Missouri. Also, some supplies were hauled from St. Louis to points in and around East St. Louis. On "several" occasions in 1951, drivers of trucks displaying Missouri plates were arrested in Illinois for failure to have Illinois plates, even though the trucks were operating in interstate commerce within 25 miles of Missouri and, thus, were not subject to Illinois license requirements under the states' reciprocity statutes. The arrests resulted in fines paid by the trucking company, as well as a disruption of business. The trucking company applied for Illinois licenses to prevent further arrests and disruption of business. The supreme court held that the trucking company made the Illinois applications under duress and that its failure to protest the license fees was not fatal. Arthur Morgan Trucking Co., 16 Ill. 2d at 320.