Some car owners may be tempted to forgo auto insurance because they think they can get by without it. However, Illinois’ relatively new Instant Verification System makes it more difficult to evade the state’s minimum requirements. Below, you can learn more about the Illinois Instant Verification System and how it affects you as a driver in this state.
What Is the Illinois Instant Verification System?
The Illinois Instant Verification System is a new system that helps the state verify each driver’s insurance electronically. The Secretary of State of Illinois is the state office that implements and enforces this system. It created this system to replace manual checks of drivers’ insurance that were once common. This system is relatively new, being implemented on July 1, 2021.
What Is the Goal of the Illinois Instant Verification System?
The goal of this system is to minimize the number of uninsured drivers who get behind the wheel. It makes it easier for state officials to confirm which drivers have insurance and which don’t. As a result, drivers in Illinois are more likely to seek the proper insurance coverage to avoid the consequences of failing to comply with state law.
How Does the Illinois Instant Verification System Work?
The Secretary of State of Illinois will randomly verify your insurance coverage twice per year. If the state can verify your insurance, you don’t have to do anything. You may continue to drive as you normally would. If the state cannot verify your insurance, it will attempt the verification process again after 30 days. If the state is still unable to verify your coverage, it will send you a letter in the mail.
It’s your responsibility to respond to this letter as quickly as possible. If you carry auto insurance, you can call your insurance provider and request to speak with an agent. From there, you may give your agent the reference number at the top of your notice letter. Your provider should be able to make the appropriate adjustments so that your information appears in Illinois’ electronic system.
Even if you have insurance, you still need to respond to this notice in good time. Failure to take corrective measures before the due date on your notice letter will result in the suspension of your vehicle registration. To reinstate your registration, you’ll have to pay a fee of $100.
What Happens if You Don’t Have Insurance?
If you don’t have insurance and receive a notice letter from the Illinois Instant Verification System, you can seek auto insurance coverage immediately. While you can shop around for quotes, it’s important that you make this decision quickly to avoid any fines.
Once you can prove that you have a policy, you may ask your provider to rectify your notice letter. Remember that you’ll have to deal with a registration suspension, as you were driving without insurance prior to receiving the letter. You can address this issue by reinstating your registration online and paying the associated $100 fee.
Once you find a policy, it’s important that you renew it each year. If the Secretary of State of Illinois once again finds out that you don’t have a policy, you could face another registration suspension period, but this one would last for four months. You must also pay a $100 fine at the end of this period.
What Other Fees May an Uninsured Driver Face?
If you’re an uninsured driver, you won’t only have the threat of receiving fines through the mail. You may also receive a fine if a police officer pulls you over or you’re involved in a car accident. If a police officer attempts to verify your insurance in one of these instances and you cannot provide it, you’ll face a minimum fine of $1,500.
This amount is made up of two fines. The first fine is for $500, which is for operating an uninsured vehicle. The second fine is for $1,000, which is for driving without insurance and operating a vehicle with a suspended registration.
The best way to avoid fees from the state of Illinois is to have proper auto insurance coverage from the get-go. Start today by getting a quote for bodily injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance. Our team at American Auto Insurance will ensure that you get and maintain the appropriate coverage for a reasonable rate.
What’s the Minimum Amount of Insurance That Illinois Requires?
The minimum amount of insurance that Illinois requires is $25,000/$50,000/$20,000 in liability coverage. You may see providers express this required coverage as 25/50/20. This means that you must have the minimum following amounts of liability coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.
- $20,000 for property damage per accident.
Bodily injury liability insurance can cover expenses like lost wages, medical costs, and legal expenses for the affected party. In serious cases, the coverage for bodily injury liability insurance may extend to cover funeral costs. Property damage liability insurance can cover expenses that relate to damaged vehicles. It can also cover expenses like damage to a storefront, fence, light post, or another stationary object.
While you need to have minimum liability coverage of 25/50/20, you can always choose a plan with more coverage. Although having more coverage on your plan can raise your premium, you’ll pay lower out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident.
In addition to liability coverage, Illinois requires drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The state doesn’t require drivers to have certain coverage types, like collision coverage or personal injury protection. However, you may want to opt in to one of these coverage types for additional protection.
While you’re shopping for insurance in Illinois, it’s important to keep the state’s Instant Verification System in mind. This system helps the state confirm that all drivers have appropriate coverage. To get the coverage you need and remain in compliance with state law, you can contact our team at American Auto Insurance.
One of our agents will speak with you to determine your current situation. Whether you currently have coverage and are looking to switch to a different provider or are a new driver seeking auto insurance for the first time, our team is here to support you and secure adequate coverage for your vehicle.