Illinois Law for Driving Without Insurance

Illinois laws for driving without insurance include fines anywhere from $500 to $2,500, and an automatic license suspension of at least 90 days.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • The average cost of car insurance in Illinois is $907 annually
  • Driving without insurance results in fines from $500 to $2,500
  • Driving without insurance in Illinois results in an automatic license suspension of at least 90 days

Car insurance is more affordable to pay for than it is to forgo in Illinois. If you are caught driving without car insurance, you pay large fines and face major legal consequences.

Being caught driving without insurance even once is more expensive than just buying a basic policy to meet state requirements.

Being involved in a car accident without insurance in Illinois could mean the difference between living a life of financial freedom and going bankrupt.

Before you make the decision not to purchase car insurance, you should do the following:

  • look around and compare rates
  • find out what you must have
  • ask yourself if you can afford to be caught driving without insurance

Compare car insurance quotes today by using our free rate quote tool above to find the right coverage for your situation.

Is Car Insurance Mandatory in Illinois?

Yes, everyone must have car insurance in Illinois. It’s not an optional decision.

If you own a car, you must have at least $20,000 worth of property insurance, $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability insurance per person, and $50,000 worth of total bodily injury liability insurance per accident.

These amounts are the bare minimum for all drivers with a vehicle in Illinois, and it’s considered illegal to drive without at least this much insurance.

While buying only the required amount of auto insurance can save money, not everyone’s car will qualify for just the basic amount. Only people who own their vehicles outright can cancel their comprehensive coverage for the minimum state requirements.

If your car is financed or leased, your lender will require you to carry certain coverages as well.

If you finance or lease your car and do not carry insurance, your lender will purchase a policy on your behalf. All lenders check the insurance for all their vehicles monthly.

The moment you allow your policy to lapse or you cancel the policy, you receive a notice from your lender. The notice requires you to reinstate your insurance policy within the timeframe they allow.

If you do not, they will purchase a policy and apply it to your vehicle, and you pay for it. It won’t be a cheap or affordable policy.

Your best bet is to shop around for policies that provide you with the kind of coverage you need based on the ownership of your car. There are many ways you can find more affordable insurance, including asking for discounts.

Finding affordable car insurance is easier than you think, and it’s always cheaper to find car insurance on your own than it is to let your lender find it for you.

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Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

If you are caught driving without car insurance in Illinois, you face several problems. The first is a fine.

If you’re caught once driving without insurance, you pay a fine anywhere from $501 to $1,000. You also lose your driver’s license and your car’s registration for up to 90 days due to suspension.

If you purchase car insurance at this time and can prove you have a policy, you may pay another $100 to reinstate your license and registration.

If you are caught driving without insurance a second time before your license is reinstated, you pay the same $501 to $1,000 fine in addition to a second $1,000 fine for driving on a suspended license.

The state also suspends your license and registration for an additional 90 days. The reinstatement fee does not change.

If you are caught more than twice driving without insurance, the basic fine is $1,000, there is another $1,000 fine for driving without a license or plates, and you pay another $2,500 fine for being caught two prior times driving without insurance.

The $2,500 fee is issued if you’re involved in an accident without insurance no matter how many times you’ve been caught driving without insurance.

Three or more offenses is worth 120 days without your license or registration.

Once you have an insurance policy, you can pay $100 to reinstate your license and registration, and you’re required to prove you have a valid and active car insurance policy every month for three years.

How You Can Make Car Insurance More Affordable

If you’re unsure you can afford car insurance, don’t panic. You can find more affordable policies by comparing rates with different companies. If you are a good customer with your current car insurance company, you can negotiate your rates.

Negotiation works best when you’ve never been late making your car insurance payment in the past, when you don’t have any tickets or accidents on your record, and if you have good credit.

To ensure you are given the best possible rates when shopping for car insurance, take a moment to check your credit report. The major credit bureaus are legally obligated to provide all consumers with a free copy of their report on an annual basis.

This practice allows you to check for inaccuracies, dispute incorrect items, and correct any mistakes that might make your score lower than it should be.

Your job is to find a car insurance policy that fits into the budget. Sometimes it means getting creative and finding ways to lower the monthly budget to fit insurance into the mix.

You can lower your cable bill, call and ask for lower rates with your credit card companies, and even negotiate rates with other companies you pay monthly.

There are ways to make car insurance more affordable in Illinois, but it’s also important to realize paying for insurance is always cheaper than having none.

Compare car insurance rates right now by using our quote tool below. You could save hundreds of dollars in annual premiums!

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