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Last updated: June 28, 2023

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

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Although car insurance is a requirement in Illinois, not everyone adheres to the law. In 2019, the last time the Insurance Research Council released data, 12 percent of drivers lacked insurance in Illinois, which is exactly equal to the national average. But driving without insurance comes with consequences. That’s why it’s best to get the state’s minimum requirements, or more coverage if possible.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

Here’s what happens if you’re convicted of driving without insurance — in other words, if you lacked proof of insurance when you were pulled over.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Proof of Auto Insurance

If you are caught driving without insurance in Illinois, you’ll be fined $500 at a minimum. If your license plates were suspended for a previous violation of driving without insurance, that minimum increases to $1,000. Your license plate will remain suspended until you demonstrate proof of liability insurance and pay the $100 reinstatement fee. Repeat offenders will face a four-month suspension and the same reinstatement fee of $100.1

All in all, if you want to keep your driving privileges and not pay a $100 reinstatement fee, make sure you’re capable of showing proof of insurance whenever you’re driving.

What Insurance Amounts and Proof Are Required?

Illinois requires the following minimum insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage coverage per accident
  • $25,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 per accident

If you purchase more than the minimum amount required for uninsured motorists coverage (UM), you must also get underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). The limit for this insurance should be the difference between the UIM and the liability limits of the at-fault driver.2


Your proof of insurance can be paper or electronic, such as a digital insurance card that’s most likely accessible via your insurance provider’s mobile app.


An SR-22 is a form that proves you have the minimum coverage the state requires. Illinois can require that your insurance company file an SR-22 with the secretary of state’s office if you’ve had any of the following:

  • Safety responsibility suspension
  • License revocation
  • Unsatisfied judgment suspension
  • Mandatory insurance court supervision
  • Three or more functions for mandatory insurance violations

Expect to pay more for insurance with an SR-22, as it indicates you’re a high-risk driver.

How to Get Insurance After a Lapse in Coverage

Maybe you took a chance and drove without insurance, or maybe you didn’t have a car for a few years and let your car insurance lapse. Either way, you’ll have a harder time finding insurance after a lapse in coverage. Here are some best practices to follow when obtaining coverage again.

  • Find a company that will accept you: Many insurance companies don’t accept substandard drivers, which may include those with lapses in insurance. You may have to request quotes from multiple providers to find one willing to cover you.
  • Compare rates: Once you’ve received several quotes, compare them to identify the best coverage at the lowest rates.
  • Consider usage-based insurance: One way to avoid high premiums after a lapse in coverage is to sign up for usage-based insurance, or UBI. Rather than charging a flat rate per policy period, UBI takes into account your actual driving behaviors, like how fast you accelerate, how hard you brake, how much you drive, when you drive, and other factors. If you drive safely and rack up fewer miles, you’ll save money.
  • Maintain a clean driving record: Keep your rates low by avoiding speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and DUIs. Eventually, your costs will lower to normal, as long as you avoid a bad driving record and maintain your coverage.

Appealing Your Fine

If you were convicted of violating Chapter 15 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, which includes driving without insurance, the state will not revoke your fine. However, for fines that fall outside of this legislation, you can file a motion to your local circuit court, explaining why you believe your fine should be revoked or requesting a new pay schedule. Here are some of the acceptable reasons your fine could be revoked:

  • Change in marital status/children
  • New financial burdens
  • Other hardships that make the fine difficult to pay
  • Personal or family illness
  • Reduction in income

If the circuit court denies your motion, you can appeal it with the state court, which will have an Appellate Defender represent you.3

Other Car Insurance Laws in Illinois

What happens if you get into an accident, your insurance company cancels your policy mid-term, or you have a bad credit score? We’re answering all of your burning questions about car insurance laws in Illinois.

At-Fault System

Illinois’ at-fault system means that in an accident, the at-fault party is responsible for the other party’s property damages and bodily injuries. In other words, if someone hits your car, they are responsible for your losses.

Modified Comparative Negligence Laws

Imagine someone hit your car and their liability limits weren’t high enough to cover your losses or “make you whole,” as this concept is known in the insurance world. If that’s the case, you can sue the other party in civil court, but only if you were declared 50 percent or less at fault in the accident. If you were 51 percent or more at fault, you won’t receive any compensation from the other party.

Cancellation and Nonrenewal Laws

Insurance companies may cancel your policy mid-term or not renew it at the end of its term. However, the state requires that insurers give you advance notice before your policy expires.

  • Mid-term cancellation: 30 days’ notice
  • Mid-term cancellation due to nonpayment: 10 days’ notice
  • Nonrenewal: 30 days’ notice


Do you own more than 25 motor vehicles? If so, you may be able to self-insure at the discretion of the Director of the Department of Insurance. If they allow it, you’ll receive a certificate of self-insurance, but you’ll have to first prove you can pay any judgments against you.

Pricing Discrimination

Laws in states like Massachusetts prevent insurance companies from basing pricing on the applicant’s credit score, gender, or marital status. But unfortunately for men and/or people with bad credit scores, that’s not the case in Illinois — here, they’ll see higher rates than women and/or people with good credit. As far as marital status goes, companies can take it into account, although not as part of someone’s credit score. Still, if you’re married, expect lower rates compared to your single days.

Low-Cost Insurance

Can’t find affordable costs for car insurance in Illinois? If you’re unable to get insurance in the voluntary market, the state will require that an insurer covers you through the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan (IAIP). All insurers licensed in Illinois are required to participate in this program, insuring people who have tried and failed to get insurance within the past 60 days.


For more information on IAIP options, speak to your agent or broker directly. You must have a valid driver’s license or be eligible to obtain one to participate in the IAIP.

To contact AIPSO, the Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office responsible for the IAIP, use the following information.

  • Mailing address:
    • Central Region
      P.O. Box 6530
      Providence, RI 02940-6530
  • Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT
  • Phone: 888-706-6100
  • Fax: 800-827-6260
  • Email: ilaip@aipso.com4

Vehicle Registration

Insurance and registration go hand-in-hand. But which comes first?

Do You Need Insurance to Register a Vehicle in Illinois?

You’ll need insurance to register a vehicle in Illinois unless the vehicle is a trailer. Use the below contact information to get new registration or renew your registration for your vehicle.

Registration method New registration Renewal registration
Phone 800-252-8980 866-545-9609
Mail Illinois Secretary of State

Vehicle Services Department
501 S. 2nd. St., Room 014
Springfield, IL 62756-6666

Illinois Secretary of State

Vehicle Services Department
501 S. 2nd. St., Rm. 011
Springfield, IL 62756-6666

You’ll be required to pay one of the following fees based on your vehicle type and weight and your type of license plate.

Vehicle type Renewal fee
B-Truck $151
B-Truck personalized $158
B-Truck vanity $164
C-Truck $218
Motorcycle $41
Motorcycle personalized $48
Motorcycle vanity $54
Passenger $151
Passenger personalized $158
Passenger vanity $164
Persons with disabilities $151
Persons with disabilities personalized $158
Persons with disabilities vanity $164
RT (recreational trailer) 10,001 lbs and over $50
RT (recreational trailer) 3,000 lbs or less $18
RT (recreational trailer) 3,001 lbs-8,000 lbs $30
RT (recreational trailer) 8,001 lbs-10,000 lbs $38
RV (recreational vehicle) 10,001 lbs and over $102
RV (recreational vehicle) 8,000 lbs or less $78
RV (recreational vehicle) 8,001 lbs-10,000 lbs $90

You also have the option of completing the renewal process in person at an Illinois Secretary of State (ILSOS) facility. Bring your renewal notice, plus payment in the form of either a check, credit card, or cash. We don’t recommend using a traveler’s check, as it will incur additional fees.


If you want to avoid license suspensions and fees, purchase the minimum insurance Illinois requires. However, if you want to avoid paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the line, we recommend full-coverage car insurance, which will pay for your medical and property damage costs in addition to the other party’s after an accident.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drive a car without insurance if I just bought it in Illinois?

No, you cannot drive a car without insurance if you just bought it in Illinois. You must have insurance to drive at all, according to 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes (ICS) 5/7-601.

Is driving without insurance a misdemeanor in Illinois?

Driving without insurance in Illinois is only considered a misdemeanor if you caused bodily harm to another person. In this case, it would be a Class A misdemeanor, according to 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes (ICS) 5/7-707.

What happens if you get pulled over without a license in Illinois?

If you are pulled over without a license in Illinois, you may be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, according to 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILSC) 5/6-101. You could face any of the following penalties.

  • Imprisonment: Less than one year
  • Probation: Less than two years
  • Fine: $75 to $2,500 per offense


Can a cop give you a ticket without pulling you over in Illinois?

Yes, a cop can give you a ticket without pulling you over in Illinois by using radar units that detect speed. Illinois also allows for “automated traffic law enforcement system(s),” devices that work with red light signals to record videos of cars entering intersections, according to 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes (ICS) 5/11-208.6.


  1. Mandatory Insurance. Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.

  2. Auto Insurance Shopping Guide. IDOI. (2023).

  3. Revocation of Fines. (2023).

  4. Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan. AIPSA. (2023).