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Illinois Car Insurance

Getting caught in an unexpected snowstorm while driving to your favorite deep-dish pizza joint is quite common in Illinois – which is why having good car insurance is a must.

Failure to have proper car insurance may result in a suspension of your driver’s license, or worse.


Illinois Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance

Illinois penalties for driving without car insurance include fines and license suspension. To make sure all drivers are in compliance with the law, enforcement is accomplished through a random questionnaire sampling process and the issuance of traffic tickets.

If the computer randomly selects your vehicle, you will receive a questionnaire asking for the name of your auto insurance company and policy number. If you do not have auto insurance or fail to return the questionnaire with the requested information, your license plates will be suspended.

If you are stopped for a traffic violation or involved in an accident, a law enforcement officer may issue a traffic citation if you are unable to provide proof of insurance. If convicted, your license plates will be suspended, and you will face the following fines:

  • Minimum $500 fine for driving uninsured
  • Minimum $1,000 fine for driving a vehicle while the license plates are suspended for a previous insurance violation

Illinois Car Insurance Laws

According to the Illinois Division of Motor Vehicles, Illinois‘s car insurance laws require all drivers to present proof of liability insurance when they register their vehicle. Illinois vehicle owners with cars registered in their name must be able to certify that they have insurance and that it meets state minimum requirements for:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person,
  • $50,000 for injury or death to two or more people, and
  • $15,000 for property damage


What is considered Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Illinois?

According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, all vehicle owners are required to comply with the mandatory insurance law and maintain the following minimum auto insurance limits for their vehicles:

  • $25,000 – bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
  • $50,000 – bodily injury or death of more than one person in an accident
  • $20,000 – damage to property of another person
  • $20,000 – uninsured motorist bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
  • $40,000 – uninsured motorist bodily injury or death of more than one person in an accident

Be sure to always have your insurance card in your vehicle and be prepared to show it to a law enforcement officer upon request.

Illinois DUI/DWI Laws and Penalties

In the state of Illinois, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that is classified as a violent crime. If you are convicted of a DUI, the offense will permanently remain on your driving record. If you are arrested and/or convicted, you may lose your driving privileges and vehicle registration, pay fines ranging from $500 to $25,000 or face imprisonment. When driving in Illinois, you automatically consent to submit to certain tests under the Implied Consent Law. These can include breath, blood and/or urine tests to determine if you were drinking or using any other drug or intoxicating compound before or while driving.

Below are some of the penalties for an Illinois DUI:

  • Failing Chemical Testing
    • First offense: Suspension of driving privileges for 6 months
    • Second or subsequent offense within 5 years: Suspension of driving privileges for 1 year
  • Refusing to Submit to Chemical Testing
    • First offense: Suspension of driving privileges for 12 months
    • Second or subsequent offense: Suspension of driving privileges for 3 years
  • Revocation of Driving Privileges
    • First conviction: Minimum one-year revocation
    • Second conviction within 20 years: Minimum five-year revocation
    • Third conviction: Minimum 10-year revocation
    • Fourth and subsequent conviction: Lifetime revocation

Illinois drivers over the age of 21 are considered driving under the influence if their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above 0.08. A person convicted of DUI with a BAC of .16 percent or more, or DUI while transporting a child under age 16, is subject to enhanced penalties, including additional fines, community service and jail time.
For more information of Illinois’s DUI/DWI laws and penalties, check out the 2019Illinois DUI Fact Book.

Illinois Cell Phone Driving Laws and Texting While Driving Laws

Illinois’s texting while driving law prohibits sending or reading text messages while driving. This law applies to all drivers of all ages. The Illinois cell phone driving law prohibits the use of cellphones in construction/road maintenance zones and school zones. Local municipalities may govern whether hands-free or hand-held cellphone use is permitted, regardless of the location or the driver’s age. Fines can range from $75 for a first offense to $150 for subsequent offenses.Illinois drivers are only allowed to text message if they are:

  • Reporting an emergency situation
  • Using the device hands-free or in voice-activated mode
  • Parked on the shoulder of a roadway
  • Stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park

Illinois SR-22 Insurance Documents

Illinois SR-22 insurance documents are required for drivers who have been convicted of driving without auto insurance. An SR-22 form may need to be filed for three years with the DMV, showing proof of financial responsibility. This filing is usually required after the suspension of your driving privileges has been lifted. Your insurer can electronically file SR-22 insurance documents to the state of Illinois for drivers that are required to keep and show valid auto liability insurance.

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