311 Frequently Asked Questions...

Can I call 311 from my cell phone?

Yes. Actually, about 1/3 of the calls placed to 311 are now made using a cellular phone. If for some reason you cannot get through on your cell phone, you may call 312.744.5000.

Do I have to give my name when I call 311?

You may remain anonymous when you call 311. However, the City departments responsible for delivering the service(s) you are requesting may wish to contact you for follow up or to clarify an aspect of your request, so you may wish to leave your name and a daytime phone number. Your contact information will only be shared with the City department working on your request.  

Does every service request have a tracking number?

Yes. When you request a service, simply ask the operator to give you the number so you can track the progress of your request.

What are the most requested City services in Chicago?

  • Street Light Out
  • Garbage Cart Black Maintenance/Replacement
  • Rodent Baiting/Rat Complaint
  • Tree Trim
  • Graffiti Removal
  • Pothole in Street
  • Abandoned Vehicle Complaint
  • Tree Debris
  • Alley Light Out
  • Sanitation Code Violation

What are the most requested non-emergency Police Reports in Chicago?

  • Theft
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Lost Property
  • Telephone Threats
  • Burglary (Garage)
  • Deceptive Practice
  • Harassment by Telephone
  • Assault

What if it is taking too long to get my service?

City departments respond to service requests in the order in which they come in, for the most part. They try to deliver the services in a reasonable length of time, depending on conditions (such as weather emergencies). You can call 311 and ask the operator to check on the status of your request. Operators can check the system using the 10-digit service request number assigned to your request (e.g., SR #18-12345678) or by using your address. You can also use Service Tracker to check the status of the following 13 service requests: Abandoned Vehicle Complaint, Alley Light Out, Building Violation, Graffiti Removal, Pavement Cave-In Survey, Pothole in Street, Restaurant Complaint, Rodent Baiting/Rat Complaint, Sanitation Code Violation, Street Cut Complaint, Street Light Out, Traffic Signal Out and Tree Debris.

When should I call 311 vs. 911?

You can call 311 to find out what Police District and beat you live in, as well as the date, time and location of your next beat meeting.  Also calling 311 allows you easy access to non-emergency police services, from filing police reports to talking to police personnel in your district.  You should call 311 if the incident that you are reporting has occurred and the offender is gone from the scene.  You should call 911 if the incident you are reporting is in progress and the on-site presence of a police officer is necessary to help resolve the matter (e.g., burglary in progress, incident involving injuries, quieting loud neighbors, etc.).

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