If you live in Illinois and you have had your license suspended or revoked after a serious traffic violation, you may be required to file an SR-22 with the Illinois Department of State. This article will explain the basics of Illinois SR-22 insurance, including the application process, average costs, and frequently asked questions.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
An SR-22 is not a separate insurance policy, but a document filed by your insurance provider with the Illinois Department of Transportation. The “SR” stands for “safety responsibility.” The SR-22 document (also called a Certificate of Financial Responsibility) proves that you carry the minimum auto insurance coverage required by the state of Illinois. Illinois requires that all drivers maintain the following car insurance minimums:
- Per-person bodily injury liability of $25,000
- Per-accident bodily injury liability of $50,000
- Per-accident property damage liability of $20,000
- Per-person uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000
- Per-accident uninsured motorist coverage of $50,000
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?
An SR-22 is required for anyone determined to be an at-risk driver by the state of Illinois. Most SR-22 policies result from a driving violation, but there are situations unrelated to driving that can also result in an SR-22 requirement. Here are all the offenses that can result in an SR-22 in Illinois:
- Driving under the influence or other serious driving offenses
- An accumulation of less serious driving violations, such as speeding, reckless driving, or failure to obey traffic signals
- Driving without insurance coverage three times or more
- Being found at fault in a traffic accident without insurance
- Failure to pay damages for an accident in which you were at fault
- Failure to pay required child support
- Failure to continuously maintain an SR-22 for a minimum of three years
- Tollway fare evasion
How To Get SR-22 Insurance in Illinois
If you already have auto insurance, getting an SR-22 is straightforward. Simply apply for an SR-22 option through your insurance company. Unfortunately, most people in need of an SR-22 will have their insurance canceled when their driving license is suspended or revoked. If your auto insurance is canceled, use the following steps to get SR-22 insurance:
Find an Authorized Automobile Insurance Carrier
Apply for insurance coverage online, in person, or over the phone. Be sure to specify that you require an SR-22 during the application process, as not all companies in Illinois offer SR-22 insurance. You may need to purchase SR-22 coverage from an insurance company that specializes in high-risk insurance.
Pay the SR-22 Filing Fee
Expect to pay a flat fee between $15 and $50 when your insurance company files your SR-22 form with the state.
Your Insurer Files Proof of Insurance
After purchasing your coverage and paying the filing fee, your insurance provider must file your SR-22 form with the Illinois Department of State. You cannot file the form yourself. Processing time for SR-22 forms can take up to 30 days, after which you will be able to get your vehicle registration and driver’s license reinstated.
Verify Your SR-22 Insurance
Call the Illinois Driver Services Department at 217-782-3720 to verify that your SR-22 form was received and processed. If your SR-22 form has been processed and your license reinstated, you can resume driving immediately.
Average Cost of Illinois SR-22 Insurance
You will pay more for SR-22 coverage in Illinois. Insurance carriers often charge much more for SR-22 policies because drivers that need such coverage are considered high-risk by the state. As a general rule, you can expect to pay between 50% and 80% more than a comparable driver without an SR-22. For instance, an SR-22 with USAA costs $495 per year for auto insurance that meets Illinois minimums. The same coverage costs $1,072 per year with an SR-22 policy, an increase of 117%.
Your SR-22 costs may vary depending on your driving history, age, and specific driving violation. Compare prices from multiple insurance companies to get the most cost-effective SR-22 rate possible.
Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance
If you find the cost of SR-22 insurance too steep and don’t own a vehicle, non-owner SR-22 insurance may be a viable option for you. Non-owner SR-22 insurance can be up to 90% cheaper than regular SR-22 insurance. In the state of Illinois, you can only apply for non-owner SR-22 insurance if:
- You do not own a vehicle
- You cannot use the vehicle of someone you reside with (such as a spouse or roommate)
If you currently own a vehicle and wish to apply for non-owner SR-22 insurance, you must sell your vehicle before beginning the reinstatement process.
FAQs About Illinois SR-22 Insurance
Are There Any Alternatives to SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?
There are two alternatives to SR-22 insurance in Illinois, but they are quite costly. Illinois law allows you to guarantee minimum state insurance requirements by depositing $70,000 in cash, real estate bond, surety bond, or securities. The second alternative is to move out of state, allowing you to file an affidavit waiving your responsibility to file an SR-22 in Illinois. This second alternative is not available to most drivers, as most states have similar requirements. Most likely, you will need to purchase SR-22 coverage in your new home state.
How Long Do I Need To Maintain SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?
The Illinois Department of State requires drivers to maintain an SR-22 policy for three years. Your SR-22 period begins when your license is reinstated by the state. If you haven’t renewed your SR-22 insurance 15 days before the expiration date, your insurance carrier is required by law to notify the state. If you allow your policy to lapse or if your insurance company cancels it, you must start the SR-22 reinstatement process over again.
How Do I Cancel My SR-22 Rider?
You can eliminate your Illinois SR-22 after fulfilling your state-ordered SR-22 requirement. Check with the Illinois Department of State to get a definitive final date before canceling your policy. Dropping your SR-22 rider too early can result in expensive fees or additional SR-22 years. Contact your insurance company on your cancellation date and they will cancel your SR-22.
If you have been deemed an “at-risk” driver, an SR-22 can help you get behind the wheel again. Although it is generally more expensive, comparing SR-22 policies from several companies can ensure that you get the best rate possible. After your three-year SR-22 period is complete, you can often return to normal insurance and lower rates.
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