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Navigating your Certificate of Financial Responsibility: The Ultimate Guide to SR-22 Insurance in Illinois

This is a comprehensive guide to SR-22 insurance. Feel free to jump around from section to section. Simply click on one of the questions below to find an answer:

 

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Who Should Read This Guide?

At American Auto Insurance, we get a lot of questions from potential customers about SR-22 insurance. We prepared this guide to help our existing customers, potential customers, and anyone else interested in learning a little bit more about SR-22 insurance.

If you’ve experienced a lapse in your driving privileges or auto insurance coverage, you may be required by the Illinois Secretary of State to obtain SR-22 insurance.

American Auto Insurance understands the complexity and frustration of working to get your driving privileges reinstated. We’ve been in business for over 30 years. Over the years, we’ve understood the unique issues facing SR-22 customers. We’ve prepared this guide to help answer some of the most common questions we receive.

About American Auto Insurance

American Auto Insurance specializes in providing low-cost SR-22 insurance to Illinois drivers. We’ve been helping people with less-than-perfect driving records for over three decades while maintaining an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

American Auto Insurance is headquartered in Chicago and serves drivers throughout Illinois, including major hubs in Springfield, Champaign, and Peoria. We work with Illinois drivers only. If you are located outside of Illinois, be sure to check the rules in your state.

What is SR-22 insurance?

An SR-22 bond is an official document that most states, including Illinois, require for high-risk auto insurance policies. Also called a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, the SR-22 form verifies a high-risk driver has obtained car insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements.

Why is it called SR-22?

The “SR” in “SR-22” stands for “safety responsibility.” 

All Illinois drivers are required by law to have up-to-date auto insurance and the penalties are spelled out on the Secretary of State’s website.

In the event of an accident, your insurance covers any expenses as a result of damage to your vehicle or others’ vehicles, as well as any injuries to drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.

An SR-22 form is also called a Certificate of Financial Responsibility.

It’s an insurance certificate that shows that you have financial responsibility for accidents, damage, or injuries that occur when you’re behind the wheel.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact a member of our team.

SR-22 Insurance Explained

Technically, an SR-22 is not a type of insurance policy itself. An SR-22 is a document proving to the state of Illinois that you have an auto insurance policy.

For drivers who are considered high-risk or have had their license revoked, the state requires an SR-22 form, or Certificate of Financial Responsibility, along with the policy you have purchased.

A policy requiring an SR-22 will meet Illinois’ requirements for minimum liability auto insurance. If you have an SR-22, your auto insurance company must notify the state if your insurance policy expires or goes unpaid. The state can then suspend or revoke your driver’s license. This keeps the high-risk driver accountable to maintain their auto insurance.

Have you been required to get an SR-22? If you’d like to speak directly with an agent to learn more, contact American Auto Insurance to speak with a friendly representative.

Why do I need an SR-22?

police officer interacting with driverSR-22 auto insurance documentation is typically required for high-risk drivers who have had a license revoked or have committed certain violations. In Illinois these include:

  • Multiple traffic violations
  • Driving without auto insurance
  • A DUI conviction
  • Expired license plates
  • A revoked or suspended driver’s license
  • Excessive unpaid tollway fares
  • Failing to maintain a previous SR-22 policy for at least 3 years

If you’re required to obtain SR-22 insurance, the Illinois Secretary of State office will tell you. If you’re not sure whether you need an SR-22 or are still required to have one, contact the Illinois Secretary of State office at 800-252-8980.

If you’d like help working with the Secretary or State or if you have additional questions, Talk to a friendly American Auto Insurance agent.

How do I get SR-22 insurance?

According to information on the Secretary of State’s website, “To obtain an SR-22, you must contact an insurance company authorized to write SR-22 policies for Illinois.”

In other words, SR-22 insurance cannot be acquired from the government. You must connect with a private auto insurance company like American Auto Insurance who can submit a “Financial Responsibility Certificate” on your behalf.

  1. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office will notify you if you need an SR-22. Then, contact an auto insurance company to get your SR-22 insurance quotes. Be aware that not all insurance companies provide SR-22 insurance, so you’ll need to find one that does. American Auto Insurance provides cheap SR-22 insurance in Chicago & Champaign. Contact us for a quote.
  2. Once you’ve secured an auto insurance policy, your insurance company will file an SR-22 form with the Illinois Secretary of State office. The SR-22 form can be filed as a paper document or electronically. At American Auto Insurance, we use electronic filing to ensure your SR-22 is done quickly and easily.
  3. After the form has been filed and processed, the state of Illinois will notify you. You will have your driver’s license and vehicle registration (if applicable) reinstated.

How long will I need SR-22 insurance in Illinois?

If you have an SR-22 in Illinois, you must maintain it for 3 years. This means your auto insurance policy must continuously be current and paid. If your policy expires or there is a lapse in your coverage, your auto insurance provider is required to alert the state. The state can then revoke or suspend your driving privileges, and you will need to start the process over again.

You must renew your SR-22 insurance at least 45 days in advance of your policy’s expiration to avoid future driver’s license suspensions. At 15 days before your policy’s expiration date, your auto insurance provider must let the state know if you have not yet renewed.

When you’ve successfully completed your 3 years of SR-22 insurance, you will need to let your auto insurance company know you no longer require it. This may mean you get a different policy altogether. At that time, it’s smart to talk to your auto insurance agent about finding a lower-cost policy.

How much does SR-22 insurance cost?

mother driving with children in the carGetting your driving privileges reinstated will require you to pay the necessary fees for a driver’s license and registration. Aside from that, your SR-22 insurance policy cost, like that of any auto insurance policy, will be based on a variety of factors.

Because SR-22 insurance is required for high-risk drivers specifically, these policies sometimes carry higher premiums. For this reason, it’s important to choose an auto insurance provider who understands the SR-22 process and can give you a cheap SR-22 insurance policy—helping you get back on the road while saving you money.

Are there alternatives to SR-22?

As an alternative to SR-22 Insurance, an individual can make a $70,000 cash deposit with the Illinois State TreasurerThe Secretary of State will verify the deposit by issuing you a certificate. 

A real estate bond or surety bond are other alternatives to SR-22. With a real estate bond, two other individuals use their own real estate property to insure you up to $70,000 in Illinois. A surety company will issue you a surety bond for $70,000 in Illinois, paying for any damages or claims made against. The Secretary of State will need a copy of either bond, for proof of purchase.

In the event your protection passes, your safety net provider is required—by law —to tell the Department of Motor Vehicles office. Your permit will be suspended until your protection has been reestablished.

Non-owner SR-22 insurance in Illinois

sample SR-22 Form From Illinois Office of the Secretary of State - Not Suitable for UseDo you need your driver’s license reinstated for work or other purposes, but you don’t currently own a car? Or maybe you need a less expensive path to obtaining SR-22 insurance so you can start driving again? Non-owner SR-22 insurance is an option. 

With a standard SR-22 insurance policy, you’re covered as the owner and primary driver of a specific vehicle. Non-owner SR-22 insurance, on the other hand, will cover you as a driver of any vehicle you do not own, such as a car you rent or borrow. That way, you can follow Illinois legal requirements while still driving someone else’s car!

It is worth mentioning that a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy costs considerably less than other policies since it only covers a person for liability. Regardless, in most states, if the other person is at fault, their insurance should cover the costs of an accident. However, a non-owner policy may not cover the vehicle owned or frequently used by the convicted driver.

Although the risk to the vehicle you are driving remains, the higher limits you purchase for a non-owner policy to cover will give you greater assurance in the case of an expensive accident.

To sum up, then: If standard SR-22 insurance is too expensive, a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy is a great way to save money while meeting your 3-year SR-22 insurance requirement. 

To qualify for a non-owner policy you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Meet the state’s other requirements for having your driver’s license reinstated.
  • Do not currently own a vehicle.
  • Not permitted to drive the vehicle of any driver within your household (such as significant other, roommate, or family member).

Do keep in mind if you are ordered by the court to obtain an interlock device or IID, you may not be able to get non-owner policy insurance.

I Need Cheap SR-22 insurance. What Should I Do?

Going through the ordeal of having your driver’s license revoked or suspended can be stressful and expensive. Between the requirements and cost, it can feel like a never-ending cycle. Choosing the right auto insurance company can make your reinstatement process easy on you and easy on your wallet.

At American Auto Insurance, we want you safely behind the wheel again as soon as possible. Our cheap SR-22 insurance helps achieve that.

Need cheap SR-22 insurance? Get a fast and free quote.

Have additional questions? American Auto Insurance can help.

If you want to know more about coverage for SR-22 Chicago or SR-22 Illinois, cheap SR-22 insurance, or what the best options might be for you, contact American Auto Insurance. We’ll help you get back on the road legally and safely.

 

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