If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve found yourself with a judge-mandated SR-22 filing requirement. This may be the case if law enforcement charges you with driving under the influence (DUI) or catches you driving while uninsured. You may even have had your driver’s license suspended entirely. On top of all these extra issues to deal with, you may be wondering how you can rent a vehicle. And is it even possible for you to rent a car as an SR-22 insurance holder?
In this article, we’ll cover what SR-22 insurance is and the prerequisites for renting a vehicle in Illinois, such as the age of the driver and the license requirements. Lastly, we’ll let you know about some alternatives to car rentals.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
Before we dive deeper into the topic of renting a car, let’s briefly review what SR-22 insurance is. The first thing to know is that, despite its name, SR-22 insurance is not so much insurance but more a proof of insurance. An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility mandated by the state that proves your auto insurance policy covers the legal minimum amount required.
So what happens in situations where a driver has gotten into serious trouble? These situations include DUIs, driving without insurance, or collecting a stack of severe traffic violations. In these cases, the state may ask you to file an SR-22, or you may even need to file one to reinstate your driver’s license if it’s suspended. In fact, here in Illinois, only high-risk drivers are ever asked to obtain SR-22 insurance. But remember that when it comes to SR-22s, each state’s exact requirements will vary.
How To Rent a Car With SR-22 Insurance
To rent a car in the state of Illinois, you must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid driver’s license. Notably, you are not required by the state to have auto insurance to rent a car. This is because the law requires rental car companies to provide the minimum coverage on their end.
So while you likely won’t need to provide proof of insurance to rent a car, you can certainly buy extra coverage from the rental company if you want to. Even so, every company’s policies vary, so it’s important that you read the fine print.
However, if you have a suspended license, you must file an SR-22 to get your driver’s license back because you won’t be able to rent a car without it. In short, as long as you have a valid driver’s license, you won’t need to provide proof of insurance. Additionally, having SR-22 insurance will not penalize you in any way when it comes to car rentals unless the court requires you to drive with an interlock ignition device, in which case, you’re not permitted to rent a car.
Consider Non-Owner Car Insurance If You Don’t Own a Car
Even though Illinois state law doesn’t legally require you to have insurance to rent a car, if you don’t own a car and frequently find yourself borrowing or renting vehicles, you may wish to have non-owner car insurance. This type of policy will cover you like any other auto insurance, regardless of the car you’re driving, including when you’re driving rental vehicles.
Potential Challenges of Renting a Car With SR-22 Insurance
Aside from if you have a license suspension, you shouldn’t encounter many obstacles to renting a car in Illinois when holding SR-22 insurance. But you may find yourself facing difficulties if the reason why you have SR-22 insurance is against the rental company’s policies. So it’s essential that you find out the requirements for specific insurance companies and states.
Other Challenges and Requirements
Though holding SR-22 insurance won’t prevent you from renting a car in Illinois, other factors may make the process more difficult for you. Some of the most common rental requirements are those governing minimum age, driving experience, or both. In Illinois, you have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car. And, even though you may be old enough to rent a car, in some cases, your age or driving experience can raise the rental price. This is because the company will consider you a higher-risk driver.
There may also be rules governing your credit card financing. The rental company may want you to have a minimum available balance on the card to finalize the rental. They may ask that it’s enough to cover the deposit or the cost of the entire rental period depending on the specific rental car company.
Alternatives To Renting a Car: Public Transportation and Rideshare Services
For whatever reason, do you still find yourself unable or unwilling to rent a car? If so, there are plenty of alternate options for getting around. In some major cities in the U.S., such as Chicago, there is an available public transportation system that can get you around, particularly in central areas.
You may also wish to use a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft, especially if you only need to make a few trips. Do you hold SR-22 insurance and want to consider driving for these companies? If so, they may not accept you since you’ll need to pass their rigorous background check.
Get an Instant Quote for SR-22 Insurance With American Auto Insurance
Overall, renting a vehicle as a holder of SR-22 insurance is possible. Depending on the rental company, you may encounter a few extra steps in the process, but ultimately, you’re not legally restricted from renting a vehicle in Illinois.
So are you ready to ease away from all the stressors that come with license suspension or an SR-22 requirement? If so, American Auto Insurance will gladly provide you with a free, instant quote for rates as low as $14 per month for an SR-22 insurance filing. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out online with any questions.