If you drive on Illinois roadways, then you are subject to the mandatory insurance law in the state. It is one of several measures that help to protect you and other motorists should something unexpected happen when you are behind the wheel.
You must always carry your proof of insurance in your vehicle to comply with this law. Law enforcement officers can request it during a traffic stop. Your insurance provider should issue you a card that can be printed online or sent to you through the mail upon issuance or renewal of a policy.
When you sign the renewal registration for your vehicle, you affirm that it will be covered under the mandatory insurance law.
How to Be in Compliance
There are specific coverage limits that you must carry with your policy to be in compliance with the mandatory insurance requirement in Illinois. The minimum you must have is a 25/50/20 plan for your vehicle.
That means you must have $25,000 in coverage of the injury or death of an individual in an accident. There must be $50,000 if an injury or death occurs to multiple people. Then the third part of the policy requires coverage for up to $20,000 in damage to the property of another individual.
You can carry any coverage above this minimum if you prefer, but your insurance must include this base amount. If you have been driving without insurance in Illinois already, you may find some hesitancy with service providers to issue a policy.
The Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan is an option for those with eligible risks to receive coverage when they cannot do so on the voluntary market.
Enforcement of the Mandatory Insurance Laws
There are two methods of enforcement for the mandatory insurance laws in Illinois. The first option involves contact with a law enforcement officer. If you are involved in an accident or stopped for any reason, then you must provide proof of insurance. If you are unable to do so, then your license places will be suspended and a minimum $500 fine issued. The minimum fine rises to $1,000 if you drive a vehicle with suspended plates from a previous insurance violation.
A computer also randomly selects vehicles to send out a questionnaire regarding your insurance information. You must submit the answers by the requested date. If the insurance policy cannot be verified, then your plates will be suspended.
What Happens If I Don’t Have Insurance?
In addition to the fines and suspension of the license plates, the mandatory insurance laws in Illinois require you to pay a $100 reinstatement fee as a first-time offender. You must also show current evidence of vehicular coverage.
If you have already received an insurance violation, then there is a required four-month suspension period before you can pay the $100 reinstatement fee.
You must visit one of the Secretary of State locations to process your reinstatement. If you cannot do so, then the fee and evidence of insurance can be mailed to the Office of the Secretary of State in Springfield.
This law applies to all motor vehicles that are being driven and must display a license plate. Only a trailer is not required to carry liability insurance under the current law.