Operation of Uninsured Motor Vehicle
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Illinois law states that no person shall operate a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy (625 ILCS 5/3-707). In Illinois, the driver is responsible for making sure that the vehicle is covered even if it is not their vehicle. The law goes on to state that any person who fails to comply with a request by a law enforcement officer to display evidence of insurance shall be deemed to be operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
This means that you should always carry a paper copy of the insurance policy within any vehicle that you drive. If you are unable to provide insurance, an officer will almost certainly issue you a ticket for no insurance.
If you are issued a ticket for no insurance, a court appearance is required and it is advised that you have an attorney represent you. A conviction for no insurance can mean fines up to $2,000 as well as a driver’s license suspension for 3 months, or in some cases, even longer.
After a conviction for no insurance, you will be required to pay the Secretary of State’s office a reinstatement fee before your driving privileges will be reinstated. You likely will also be required to purchase an SR-22 insurance policy. Even if sentenced to court supervision for no insurance, the SR-22 requirement with the Illinois Secretary of State will still likely be triggered.
If you are charged with driving without insurance, an experienced traffic ticket attorney may be able to help you avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction.
Quick Answers about Insurance
Do I have to go to court if I get a ticket for no insurance?
In most cases, an attorney can appear on your behalf for this type of ticket. In order to handle your case effectively, we will need copies of any insurance policies you had on the vehicle at the time you were stopped or that you acquired after the traffic stop. We will also require you to sign an affidavit that authorizes our attorneys to appear in court on your behalf.
What is SR-22 insurance?
Many Illinois residents are unsure of what SR-22 is.
SR-22 is like a regular insurance policy except that it files a document with the Secretary of State’s office letting them know that you have valid insurance. Sometimes, it is referred to as “high risk” or “financial responsibility” insurance.
The insurance company of anyone required to obtain SR-22 insurance sends proof of coverage to the Secretary of State. If SR-22 insurance expires or is canceled, the Secretary of State’s Office will immediately suspend that person’s driver’s license. This suspension will not be lifted until SR-22 insurance has been reinstated.
You are also able to get a non-owners SR-22 policy. This covers you even if you do not have a vehicle. This type of policy covers you driving anyone else’s vehicle. You can even get an SR-22 policy if your license is suspended. Some people are concerned with the cost of the SR-22 policy. By shopping around, you should be able to find one that can be affordable for you.
What is “post compliance insurance?”
This is the same as any other insurance. It just means that you obtained it after receiving a citation for operating a motor vehicle without insurance. By purchasing it, you are not in compliance, but it is after (or “post”) receiving the violation.
Should I obtain insurance after receiving the citation?
Yes. In almost every situation helpful to show the court that, although you didn’t have insurance at the time you were stopped, you now have insurance. This is much better than just never getting it.
What is court supervision?
Supervision means that you must meet the court’s requirements. Typically this means is that as long as you pay the court fines on time and do not get any more convictions during your supervision period, your supervision will be terminated satisfactory and you will avoid having a conviction on your record.