Illinois' mandatory insurance law is one of the most significant consumer protection measures now on the books.
Complying with the Law
You are in compliance with the mandatory insurance law if you have vehicle liability insurance in the following minimum amounts:
- $20,000 - injury or death of one person in an accident
- $40,000 - injury or death of more than one person in an accident
- $15,000 - damage to property of another person
You must always carry your insurance card in your vehicle and show it upon request by any law enforcement officer. Your insurance company will send you an insurance card, usually when your insurance policy is issued or renewed.
Your signature on the Vehicle Renewal Registration Application affirms that your vehicle will be properly insured throughout the registration period.
Enforcement of the mandatory insurance law 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 insurance company and policy number. Your answers will be verified with the company you name. If you do not have 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 evidence 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
Contact an insurance agent to purchase liability insurance for your vehicle. Some companies do not sell insurance to vehicle owners who have been driving uninsured. If you have problems buying insurance, ask your insurance agent about the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan.
The Illinois Department of Insurance maintains a consumer services division that will answer any questions you might have about auto insurance. You may write:
Illinois Department of Insurance
Consumer Services Division
320 W. Washington St.
Springfield, IL 62767.
You may call: 217-782-4515.
Suspension and Reinstatement
The license plates of first time offenders are suspended until a $100 reinstatement fee and current evidence of insurance are provided. Repeat offenders are required to serve a four-month suspension period, pay the $100 reinstatement fee and provide current evidence of insurance before being eligible for reinstatement.
While the license plates are suspended no one may operate your vehicle; however, you may operate other vehicles that are insured.
To process the reinstatement, you may visit one of the Secretary of State facilities: Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago Central, Chicago North, Chicago South, Chicago West, Decatur, Granite City, Joliet, Libertyville, Lombard, Moline/Silvis, Naperville, Quincy, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, Tilton, Waukegan and Woodstock.
If you are unable to visit one of the facilities, the reinstatement may be processed by mailing the fee and evidence of insurance to:
Office of the Secretary of State
Mandatory Insurance Division
501 S. 2nd St., Rm. 429
Springfield, Illinois 62756-7000.
Liability insurance is required for all motor vehicles that must display license plates and are being driven, including cars, vans, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trucks and buses. Trailers are not required to have liability insurance.