In Illinois, drivers are required to have car insurance by 625 ILCS 5/3-707, which states that “No person shall operate a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy in accordance with Section 7-601 of this Code.”
Operating an uninsured vehicle in the state of Illinois is a petty offense, which carries up to a $1,000 fine for a first offense. Repeat no-insurance tickets, or cases where there is bodily injury, can result in even more significant fines. Additionally, since 2010 Illinois has had a law that makes it a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in jail) when an uninsured motor vehicle is involved in an accident with bodily injury.
It is also important to note that a no-insurance conviction in Illinois has consequences beyond the risk of a fine or jail time. That is because a person who is convicted of driving without insurance will have their driver’s licenses suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State, will have to pay a reinstatement fee of $100 at the end of the suspension, and be required to carry SR-22 insurance (which is more expensive than regular insurance). Thus, the effect of an Operation of uninsured motor vehicle conviction in Illinois extends much further than one might expect.
For that reason it is wise for every person facing a no insurance ticket in Illinois to work with their attorney to resolve the matter in the most favorable manner possible. Doing so can help preserve a person’s driving privileges and avoid fines or even jail time.