The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

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Driving without insurance in Illinois is illegal, and those caught doing so will face legal penalties. The penalties for driving uninsured range from hefty fines to license or registration suspension.

An uninsured driver is a driver who lacks sufficient coverage in the eyes of the law. The legal minimum amount of coverage all Illinoisans are required to carry is $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $20,000 in property damage liability per accident, otherwise called 25/50/20 liability coverage. All policies that meet the legal minimum liability coverage automatically include at least $20,000 in uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI/UIMBI) per person and $40,000 in UMBI/UIMBI per accident, or 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI. 

Keep reading to find out what happens to drivers caught driving without insurance and how to build your Illinois car insurance policy to avoid legal penalties. 

The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

Auto insurance in Illinois is required by law, and those who fail to carry the minimum legal amount of coverage or any coverage, face legal penalties on top of other consequences. The minimum legal amount of coverage Illinoisans must carry is 25/50/20 liability coverage and 20/40 UMBI/UIMBI. 

Carrying the minimum required coverage in the state can help guarantee your safety and the safety of others on the road. If you cause an accident, the victim or victims of that accident can use your liability coverage to help cover their medical expenses or vehicle repairs up to your policy limit after you pay your deductible. If you don’t have liability coverage, you’re liable for any expenses the accident victim may incur.

Carrying the minimum liability coverage will help you cover the expenses for which you’re liable and protect you from the legal penalties associated with driving uninsured. The costs corresponding with driving uninsured can tally up quickly, as you may be liable for fines, accident expenses, and reinstatement fees for your license or registration.

What’s the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

The penalty for driving without insurance in Illinois can range from an expensive fine, having your license or registration suspended, or a combination of the three. Drivers may face a $1,000 fine and have their license and registration suspended for months, or they may just have to pay a $500 fine.

The severity of the offense and the number of repeat offenses determine the penalty or penalties the driver may face. Suppose a driver has a clean driving record and accidentally lets their insurance policy lapse for a week. In that case, they may face a less severe penalty than a driver who has been driving without a policy for several years and has caused several accidents. Those who cause an accident while uninsured often face severe consequences.

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Illinois Fine for Driving Without Insurance

The fine for driving without insurance in Illinois begins at $500 and maxes out at $1,000. However, this isn’t the only cost associated with breaking the mandatory insurance laws in the Prairie State. 

Those who fail to comply with the insurance laws in the state and drive without sufficient coverage face fines, as well as the costs associated with needing to reinstate one’s license or registration. If you’re a repeat offender for this violation, the costs for reinstatement may be higher than a first offender’s.

It’s also important to remember that license or registration suspension can seriously impact how you earn and save money. If you depend on your vehicle to get to and from work, driving without insurance may threaten your employment.

Additionally, if you’re driving uninsured and cause an accident, you’re liable for all the expenses you and the victim incur due to the accident. This can include medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and legal expenses if the victim decides to sue you for damages.

All in all, it’s ultimately much more expensive to drive uninsured than it is to pay for a policy with the minimum legal amount of coverage. Illinois’s average full coverage policy is about $1,500 annually, or $750 annually for a minimum coverage one. The fine for getting caught driving uninsured can equal the total expense for a year’s worth of excellent insurance coverage.

While setting aside some funds for your premiums may take a bit of budgeting, an insurance policy is much easier to budget for than the potential financial ruin associated with driving uninsured.

Is Driving Without Insurance a Misdemeanor in Illinois?

Driving without insurance in Illinois isn’t a misdemeanor, but it’s a petty offense. Petty offenses do not carry a potential jail sentence, while misdemeanors do. The penalties for petty offenses are typically fines or other cash-based consequences. For driving without insurance, drivers may face hefty fines, and license or registration suspension, after which they must pay a fee to reinstate their license or vehicle.

Those caught driving without insurance will likely require an SR-22 form for several years following the incident. An SR-22 form is a waiver an insurer will file with the DMV on behalf of a high-risk driver to certify they have an active and sufficient insurance policy. While the act of filing an SR-22 isn’t very expensive, about $25 on average, the existence of it on one’s driving record may drastically increase one’s insurance premiums.

Insurers determine policyholders’ rates based on the risk they take when binding a policy. If an insurer deems a driver a high risk, that driver will have higher-than-average premiums. Those who have previously driven without insurance are typically categorized as high-risk drivers until they can continuously maintain sufficient insurance for several years. Increased premiums are yet another cost associated with driving uninsured.

In Illinois, driving without insurance is a bad stain on one’s record. It can be challenging for drivers with this history to find a cheap policy in the state, and many of the state’s top insurers may refuse to bind with such a risky driver. 

How To Get Auto Insurance Quotes in Illinois

In Illinois, the driving without insurance statute maintains that it’s illegal to forgo car insurance entirely. If you’re interested in binding a policy or checking out what rates you may be eligible for, you can start your journey by getting and comparing quotes online. Quoting with several insurers will allow you to tailor your insurance policy to meet your needs and budget.

Lucky for you, quotes are our favorite thing here at Clovered. You can use our free quoting tool to access your quotes in minutes. If you prefer to chat with an agent about your quote, you can call us at 833-255-4117 or email us at

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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