If you’ve recently bought a car and are ready to start looking into car insurance options, you might be wondering, what is the penalty for driving without insurance? In Illinois, driving without insurance can come with hefty fines and even license suspension. Read on to learn more.
Is It Illegal To Drive Without Insurance?
Yes, it is illegal to drive without insurance in Illinois and across 48 of the 50 United States. The cost of an accident is likely to be beyond anything most people can afford to cover themselves - just think of the medical bills and cost of car repairs that could quickly add up in one moment that you couldn’t have anticipated. Auto insurance is required to ensure that all drivers can cover damages caused should an accident happen, via their insurance policy. The penalty for driving without insurance varies across the US.
In Illinois, liability insurance must be purchased at minimum, and must cover:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 property damage per accident
What Happens If You Drive Without Insurance?
If you choose to drive without insurance, you'd could get caught simply when getting pulled over by police for a routine traffic stop, or through a department of motor vehicles verification system. If you choose to drive without insurance in Illinois, you can expect penalties including:
- A fine for driving without insurance coverage, usually of $500-$1000 for a first-time offender, with possible higher fines for repeat offenders.
- Your license to be suspended.
- A license reinstatement fee of $100.
- An additional $1000 fine if a previous violation means your license plates are already suspended.
- Requirement of an SR-22 for up to 3 years, or more.
NEW - ILIVS Illinois Insurance Verification
ILIVS is a new State program that aims to crack down on uninsured motorists by requiring all drivers to verify their insurance. The goal is to reduce the number of Illinois motorists driving while uninsured. This upgrade to the state’s mandatory insurance verification program began enforcement on July 1, 2021.
Auto insurance is the law in Illinois. If you don’t have it, the new Illinois Insurance Verification System will catch it.
According to Secretary of State Jesse White, “The message is simple: if you don’t have auto insurance, get covered now. It is the law.”
License Plate Suspension
As mentioned above, license plate suspension is part of the penalty faced by those driving without insurance in Illinois. License plate suspension means that your driving privileges have been removed. You cannot legally drive until you have reinstated your license plates and have proof of insurance.
Reinstate License Plates
If your license plates are suspended due to driving without insurance in Illinois, you will be required to pay a $100 reinstatement fee to reinstate your license plates and show proof of insurance. If it’s the first time you’ve been caught driving without insurance, you won’t have to wait long before you can reinstate your license plates and continue driving. However, with subsequent offenses as an uninsured motorist, your right to drive might be on hold, as you may face a longer suspension before you can reinstate your license plates.
Can You Go To Jail For Driving Without Insurance in Illinois?
Driving without insurance in Illinois is considered a petty offense. There is, therefore, no jail time associated with driving without insurance in Illinois.
Can You Drive Someone Else's Car Without Insurance?
As long as the car you are driving is insured, you should be fine. Remember, auto insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. It is a good idea to have some understanding of the coverage the car you are borrowing has, and to have a copy of the policy available in case an accident should occur while you are driving.
Uninsured Car Accident
Illinois is an at-fault state, so if you get into a car accident without insurance, what happens next will depend on who is determined to be at fault. Take photos and record the scene of the accident to ensure honesty from both parties. If the driver at fault does not have insurance, it is possible to sue the driver for damages.
The cost of medical bills, car repairs, and property damage can quickly add up, and an accident can mean a court case and financial ruin for an uninsured driver found to be at fault.
Driving with affordable car insurance is a far more sensible choice financially, than the potential cost of driving without insurance, factoring in the likelihood of fines, and even an accident.
Contact United Auto Insurance for affordable car insurance today by phone at 773-202-5000 or online at UAI.com.