Vehicle liability insurance is mandatory in nearly every state, including Illinois. This law requires drivers to keep an active policy on all registered automobiles they own. Without one, you won’t be able to drive it on public roads, but how do officials verify your coverage? With this blog, you’ll learn precisely what the new verification system is and why it’s important to everyone who plans to spend time behind the wheel.
What Is the Electronic Liability Insurance Verification Program?
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Illinois’ Secretary of State launched the Electronic Liability Insurance Verification system in 2020. It impacts every registered vehicle in the state, including cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and buses. Trailers are exempt from Illinois’ liability insurance requirements, but if it has wheels and a license plate, and you can drive it, it qualifies under the new verification system.
At least twice a year, the agency will use a third-party vendor to confirm that a liability insurance policy covers your car. The program links the vendor with every insurer authorized to write policies in the state. That means it doesn’t matter if you have American Auto Insurance or another carrier; you must comply with statute 625 ILCS 5/7-601 to operate your vehicle on Illinois roads.
If your automobile fails the initial verification attempt, the vendor will recheck your insurance status after 30 days. This procedure allows car owners to change their policies if the vehicle was sold, stored, or is otherwise out of service. However, if the follow-up verification process still indicates that your car doesn’t have a liability insurance policy — and you haven’t notified the Secretary of State’s office that it’s out of commission — your registration will be suspended.
What Are Illinois Mandatory Auto Insurance Requirements?
Residents of The Prairie State must carry liability insurance on all registered motor vehicles. This coverage can help defray the cost of injuries and damages that you cause another driver, passenger, or pedestrian during an accident. Without this protection, the expense of a vehicle collision could lead to significant financial loss and even the loss of your driving privileges. Illinois’ minimum mandatory auto insurance requirements are:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident.
- $25,000 property damage per accident.
What if You’re Found Noncompliant?
If you receive a citation from the state that indicates your vehicle is noncompliant, American Auto Insurance can help set things right. You have only 30 days from the date of your letter to have your insurance agent provide proof that your vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy. So don’t delay. Contact us as soon as you receive your notice, so we can start working on your case immediately.
If your policy has indeed lapsed, you may have to take extra steps to have the penalty lifted. While your license plates are suspended, no one can drive the unsanctioned vehicle. However, that doesn’t mean that your driver’s license is suspended. You may still operate other automobiles as long as they’re insured and pass the verification process.
How To Get Your Suspension Lifted
To get your vehicle’s registration suspension lifted, contact us right away. While some insurance providers don’t work with uninsured vehicle owners, American Auto Insurance does. Our professional agents can provide you with a liability policy for your car and help you get your vehicle’s road-worthy privileges reinstated. Unfortunately, Illinois requires a $100 fee, which we can assist you in processing. That way, you can get the suspension lifted on your license plate and get back on the road the same day.
If this isn’t your first citation for noncompliance, you may have to wait longer to return to the driver’s seat. While we can provide you with instant coverage and proof of insurance, your registration reinstatement is out of our hands. That’s because repeat offenders must serve a four-month suspension before providing proof of coverage, paying the customary $100 fee, and legalizing their plates.
What Happens if You’re Pulled Over Without Insurance?
If a police officer stops you for a traffic violation or you’re involved in an auto accident, be prepared to provide evidence of state-mandated insurance. In Illinois, you must carry a physical card in the vehicle or have access to a digital copy. If you can’t show proof you’re covered, you’ll likely receive a citation. Thankfully, failure to carry auto insurance is a petty offense in this state, which means you won’t have to do jail time. However, you’ll have a monetary penalty to contend with, which can cost more than a six-month policy for some drivers.
If convicted of driving without insurance, the state will suspend your license plates, and you’ll face a fine of $500. If you’re ticketed while your plates are suspended due to a previous insurance violation, the minimum fine goes up to $1,000. Depending on the circumstances, the state may also require you to purchase a certificate of financial responsibility. This policy rider is known as an SR-22, and if you’ve had three or more related sentences, you could find yourself in this expensive situation.
What if You’re in an Accident With No Insurance?
You don’t want to get into a car wreck in Illinois without car insurance. Suppose you cause an accident, and there are injuries or property damage. In that case, you could face severe penalties from the state, as well as financial hardships if the other party decides to sue you personally — and they likely will. The fine alone can cost you as much as $1,000, and your driver’s license will be suspended for three months. Subsequent offenses will cost you even more, so if you think you’re saving money by skipping your monthly premium, think again.
Don’t let the stress of bi-annual insurance verifications keep you off the road. Contact American Auto Insurance and enjoy your commute knowing you’re protected. Our experienced team is here to ensure your vehicle complies with all of Illinois’ statutes. We make your life simpler with same-day policies, instant proof of insurance, and much more. So drop us a line now or call us at 773-286-3500 to get started.