Illinois’s problem drivers are often required by law to buy SR-22 insurance. Unlike its name, the SR-22 insurance policy is not an actual car insurance policy.
An SR-22 certificate, on the other hand, proves that the driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage in the state. This certificate is reserved for drivers who have been convicted of a serious driving offense.
SR-22 insurance in Illinois
Illinois drivers who are convicted of traffic offenses must purchase an SR-22 in order to show that they have liability insurance. To reinstate their license, a driver who has had their license suspended for traffic offenses will need an SR-22. These are the situations where a driver might need to buy an SR-22 for Illinois.
- A DUI or DWI charge
- Reckless or negligent driving can result in a criminal charge
- Multiple traffic violations within a short period of time
- Multiple at-fault accidents within a short time
- A serious accident that results in injuries or death
- Driving without insurance (three or greater offenses)
- Failure to pay court-ordered support for children
Drivers in Illinois will have an SR-22 on file for three years regardless of any offense or violation. There are three types of SR-22 insurance:
- Operator’s certificate: Provides coverage for the driver while operating a borrowed vehicle.
- Owner’s certificate: This covers every vehicle owned by a driver. All vehicles must be registered under the driver’s ownership.
- Operators Owners Certificate: This certificate covers all vehicles owned by the driver and any borrowed vehicles.
Illinois law provides that drivers have the option of filing a Surety Bond with the DMV, submitting a real estate bond, or having their SR-22 purchased. Drivers from out-of-state can sign an Affidavit to waive the requirement for proof of financial responsibility.
Drivers with an SR-22 record in Illinois are responsible for renewing the certificate every year. The Illinois Secretary of State requires drivers to renew their SR-22 insurance no later than 45 days before the expiration date. Otherwise, they could face additional insurance-related suspensions.
Drivers who have their SR-22 canceled or lapsed due to failure to renew could be subjected to additional penalties and fines. The Secretary of State is legally required to notify driver’s insurance company if they do not receive a request to renew their SR-22 within 15 days.
Illinois SR-22s cost
SR-22 insurance is cheap in Illinois and affordable to file. Drivers with an SR-22 record will have to pay additional fees. Drivers who have their license suspended must pay a reinstatement fee. This fee is based on the severity and costs.
A DUI conviction means that a driver must pay $250 to have their license restored after suspension. The fine goes up to $500 for two or more offenses. The reinstatement fee for a traffic-related suspension is $70.
Drivers with an SR-22 will have higher car insurance rates. High-risk drivers are more likely than others to file insurance claims. Insurance companies will charge higher premiums in order to compensate for this risk. The driver’s insurance rates will remain high until the SR-22 is removed after three years.
Non-owner SR-22s for Illinois drivers
In certain circumstances, an Illinois driver may be required to buy an SR-22 even if they do not own a vehicle. Imagine that a friend borrows your car to do a quick trip, but is pulled over by police because they don’t have insurance. In such a case, the driver would need non-owner coverage.
Illinois drivers can obtain an SR-22 Operator’s Certificate. This is essentially a type of non-owner insurance. Non-owner insurance typically covers only bodily injury and property damages liability. It might also include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection (PIP), depending on the state.
Non-owner insurance covers drivers only. This insurance does not cover collision insurance, comprehensive coverage or any other coverage that the vehicle may require. In the event of an accident at fault, any vehicle damage would be covered out-of-pocket.
Questions frequently asked
What’s the difference between an SR-22 & an FR-44?
While SR-22s are similar to FR-44s, there are some key differences. FR-44 certificates can be issued only in Virginia and Florida, while SR-22 certificates can be issued in all states. Drivers are only required to have the minimum liability coverage in their state with an SR-22. Drivers are required to have at least $100,000 of liability coverage with an FR-44 regardless of state mandates.
What length of time do I have to keep an SR-22?
Illinois requires high-risk drivers to keep an SR-22 on the driving record for three consecutive years. This applies regardless of any type of offense or driver’s past history. The SR-22 is removed from a driver’s record after three years.
Does my state require SR-22 insurance?
Drivers with a record of serious traffic violations must have SR-22 coverage. Some states don’t have SR-22 laws. To find out if SR-22 insurance is required in their state, drivers can consult their state’s Department of Insurance.