You might need to buy SR-22 insurance in Illinois after you’re convicted of a serious driving offense. More likely, you’ll need to file an SR-22 form with the state that proves you’re carrying the required amount of car insurance coverage.
Keep reading to learn more about when and why you may have to file an SR-22 form in this state, plus:
- How to get SR-22 insurance in Illinois
- How much SR-22 insurance costs here
- How long you have to file an SR-22
How Do I Get SR-22 insurance in Illinois?
Getting SR-22 insurance in Illinois is just like getting any other kind of car insurance in Illinois--with a couple of exceptions.
After you receive a notice from the Secretary of State’s office that says you need SR-22 insurance, you go and buy a standard auto policy like you would at any other time. Then the company that sold it to you files an SR-22 form with Illinois’ Driver Services Department.
That SR-22 form proves you’re carrying the liability car insurance coverage the state requires.
Illinois is like most states in that it makes you to file an SR-22--also called a “certificate of financial responsibility”--for:
- Driving without car insurance
- Driving recklessly
- Driving under the influence (DUI or DWI)
- Being cited for another major moving violation or serious driving offense
- Getting too many speeding tickets or other traffic citations
The state also may force you to file an SR-22 if you accumulate too many toll violations or if you fail to pay child support.
Don’t want to carry the state-required amount of car insurance or file an SR-22 form for three years in a row? Illinois allows people in this situation to:
- Deposit $70,000 in cash or securities with the Illinois State Treasurer
- File a surety bond
- File a real estate bond approved by a court of record
Where can I get SR-22 insurance in Illinois?
You can get SR-22 insurance in Illinois from most of the companies that operate in the state.
All of the biggest and best car insurance companies should agree to file an SR-22 form with the state on your behalf. That includes insurers like Geico, Progressive, and State Farm.
Two things to keep in mind when while shopping for SR-22 insurance in Illinois:
- Some insurance companies will charge you a fee for filing an SR-22.
- Not all insurers file SR-22 forms. If you need an SR-22, make sure you ask any company you contact while car insurance shopping if they’ll file it for you. If they can’t or won’t, look elsewhere.
How can I check my SR-22 status in Illinois?
To check your SR-22 status, contact the Illinois Driver Services Department. Have your driver’s license and Social Security numbers on hand when you do this. You’ll likely need both to find out if the state has received or accepted your SR-22 form.
Don’t feel like you have to check the status of your SR-22, though. Once it has received and accepted your SR-22 form, your insurance company will send you a copy of it and the Secretary of State will send you a letter about it, too.
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in Illinois?
What you pay for SR-22 insurance in Illinois depends on a few factors, but one thing is for sure: you’ll pay more for it than you would if you didn’t need to file an SR-22.
One reason for this is many car insurance companies charge a fee of $15 to $50 for filling an SR-22 form. Most only charge this fee once, rather than every time they file the form for you, but it’s still something to keep in mind here.
Another reason is most companies increase the car insurance rates of customers who need to file SR-22 forms. And they do this because of whatever prompted your state to require the SR-22 filing. Say you’re convicted of a DUI, for example. Having that on your driving record often raises your premiums by three to five times what they’d be without a DUI.
How Long Do You Need to File an SR-22 in Illinois?
You need to file an SR-22 for three years in Illinois to maintain your driving privileges.
If you let your SR-22 car insurance lapse during this period, or if your insurance company cancels your policy in that time, the state will suspend your driver’s license.
And that suspension stays in place until your insurer starts filing SR-22 forms again.
One major benefit of all this hard work: your car insurance rates will drop after the state removes your SR-22 requirement. They probably won’t drop as low as they were before, but they should be a lot cheaper than they’ve been since you started filing SR-22 forms.
Do I Need to File an SR-22 in Illinois if I Don’t Own a Car?
If the Illinois Secretary of State says you need to file an SR-22, you need to file it even if you don’t have a car--assuming you don’t want to lose your driving privileges.
One way to achieve this is to buy a non-owners policy.
Non-owner car insurance only covers the person who buys it and usually provides just bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. It doesn’t provide collision or comprehensive coverage.
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