Insurance laws in Illinois are tough. Every driver on the road must have a liability insurance with coverage of at least $20,000.00 per person for bodily injury as a result of an accident. Failure to carry insurance has serious consequences.
Driving without insurance is a petty offense in Illinois. The statute citation is 625 ILCS 5/3-707. Because it is classified as a petty offense, it has a punishment of fine only. The defendant cannot be sentenced to jail. The maximum fine for a petty offense is $1,000.00.The statute says the minimum fine is $500.00.
That being said, a ticket for driving without insurance can result in jail at a later time. The reason is, driving without insurance will cause the Secretary of State to suspend that person’s driver’s license. Driving while license suspended is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty can be up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of $2,500.00.
Hence, one ticket for driving without insurance can lead many other problems.
If a person is found guilty of driving without insurance, the law requires him to show proof of insurance to the Secretary of State with a special certificate called SR-22.Failure to show proof of insurance will result in a financial responsibility suspension.
SR-22 insurance is available for purchase by most insurance companies. The insurance company will provide the SR-22 certificate monthly to the Secretary of State. The requirement for SR-22 insurance will last for at least one year. If the insurance company fails to show SR-22 compliance, the driver will pay the price. His or her driver’s license will be suspended.
State lawmakers increased the penalty for driving without insurance in 2010.
Now, if a person is driving without insurance and causes an accident resulting in bodily harm, that is a Class A misdemeanor (up to one year imprisonment and a fine of $2,500.00). As of the date of this article, the author has not seen anyone charged with a misdemeanor for failure to carry insurance, but there is a first for everything.