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If you’ve had your driver’s license suspended or revoked, the process of getting it reinstated can feel daunting. Unfortunately, you can’t simply apply to have your driver’s license reinstated. There are a few steps you’ll need to follow first, and one of them is getting SR-22 insurance.

Luckily, it isn’t a complicated process—all it takes is some know-how.

To start the process of getting your driver’s license reinstated, the first steps you’ll need to take will be to pay any related fines or penalties, complete community service, participate in a court-ordered program, or possibly even serve jail time. 

Every person’s process will be different, depending on the judgment put forward by the Court of Illinois Secretary of State.

Once you’ve done that, the next step you’ll need to take to get your driving privileges reinstated is getting SR-22 insurance. 

While getting SR-22 insurance is a relatively straightforward process, it can be costly.

This is because auto insurance providers who provide SR-22 insurance will flag you as a high-risk driver, and will likely raise the cost of your auto insurance coverage.

Key Point: High-Risk Drivers

 

A ‘high-risk driver’ is a term used to describe a driver who has a high risk of needing to claim from their auto insurance provider. Car insurance companies make most of their money from policyholders who don’t claim, so they increase the cost of coverage for high-risk drivers.

 

One of the reasons you may be considered high risk is needing SR-22 insurance, but other nondriving related factors such as having a poor credit score or unpaid child support payments can also get you classified as high risk to insure.

In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about SR-22 insurance, along with how to find the cheapest rate for SR-22 insurance in Illinois. 

We’ve researched various auto insurance companies in Illinois to compare quotes and help you find SR-22 insurance at the best rate in these counties:

  • Cook County.
  • DuPage County.
  • Lake County.
  • Will County.
  • Kane County.

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

Although it’s often called “financial responsibility insurance,” SR-22 insurance isn’t really an auto insurance coverage policy. 

Instead, it’s an add-on to your car insurance that proves you’re meeting the Illinois minimum auto liability coverage requirements.

Key Point: Minimum Auto Liability Coverage

 

Auto liability coverage is a type of insurance policy that pays for damage you may cause while driving your car to a third party’s property or the injury/death of another person. 

 

While every U.S. state has unique minimum liability requirements, three important aspects are always included:

 

  • Bodily injury coverage per person.
  • Bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • Property damage coverage per accident.

The minimum auto liability requirements in Illinois are:

  • $100,000 in bodily injury liability costs per person.
  • $300,000 for injuries per accident.
  • $100,000 in property damage coverage.
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $50,000 per accident.

All drivers in Illinois need to meet the minimum liability insurance coverage requirements above. 

If you need to carry SR-22 insurance, all it means is that you will need to carry a form that proves you meet these financial responsibility requirements.

Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?

Remember, if the Court or the Illinois Secretary of State has suspended or revoked your driver’s license after a major traffic violation, you will need to get SR-22 insurance to prove you’re meeting the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements before your driving privileges can be reinstated.

Some of the driving violations that could lead to your license being revoked or suspended include:

  • Being charged with multiple traffic violations.
  • An at-fault accident.
  • Driving after your car insurance policy lapses.
  • Driving without liability coverage.
  • Speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Fleeing the scene after an accident.
  • A DUI or DWI.
  • Getting a high number of points on your driving record.
  • Driving with expired license plates.
  • Failing to pay a judgment order.
  • Evading highway tolls.
  • Failing to pay child support.

If you were found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be subject to additional fines of between $2,500 and $25,000, and one to three years of jail time. 

Even in the case of a DUI or DWI, the process of getting SR-22 insurance is identical to any other major traffic offense.

Illinois mandates that you will need to carry SR-22 insurance for three years. 

If your traffic violations were severe, or you’ve committed multiple traffic violations, you may have to carry SR-22 insurance for a longer period.

Types of SR-22 Insurance in Illinois

Not all types of SR-22 insurance are the same. The amount that SR-22 insurance costs will depend on the type of insurance you need. 

Here are the three types of SR-22 insurance in Illinois:

Non-owner SR-22 insurance

You may think that because you don’t own a car, you don’t need to carry SR-22 insurance. However, if you plan to drive a car you don’t own, you will still need SR-22 insurance. 

Non-owner SR-22 is for people who:

  • Do not plan to own a car.
  • Do not share the same household as someone who owns a car.
  • May want to drive on occasion (e.g. rent a car or use a friend’s car).

Non-owner SR-22 insurance is usually the cheapest type of SR-22 insurance.

Owner SR-22 insurance

If you already own a car or want to purchase one, you will need to carry SR-22 insurance. 

Owner SR-22 insurance is for people who:

  • Own a car or want to buy a car.
  • Share a house with someone who does own a car.
  • Want to reinstate a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

Owner/operator SR-22 insurance

If you own multiple cars or frequently drive cars that you do not own (e.g. for work), you will have to file for owner/operator SR-22 insurance.

How to Get an SR-22 in Illinois

The first step to having your driver’s license reinstated is getting SR-22 car insurance. While this isn’t a complicated process, it can be quite difficult. 

This is because some car insurance companies may not provide coverage for SR-22 drivers because they are considered too high risk.

When you do find a car insurance company that offers SR-22 insurance, prepare for it to be significantly more expensive than your previous car insurance policy because you are considered a high-risk driver.

If you are struggling to find an auto insurance company that will provide car insurance coverage with an SR-22 certificate, you can contact the Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan for help finding an insurer. 

Key Point: Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan

 

The Illinois Automobile Insurance Plan is the last resort for high-risk drivers who cannot access car insurance by any other means. 

 

It’s usually significantly more expensive than getting car insurance with a traditional auto insurance company. If you maintain a good driving record for the duration you need to carry SR-22 insurance, you can look for cheaper auto insurance once you’ve fulfilled the requirements of your SR-22.

If you are able to find a car insurance company that offers SR-22 insurance at affordable rates, they will file your SR-22 insurance with the Illinois Secretary of State on your behalf. 

It can take up to 30 days for your SR-22 insurance to be filed, and you cannot reinstate your driver’s license or drive a car until you have received your SR-22 documentation.

Upon receiving your SR-22, you will need to keep it with you any time you’re driving a car. If you are caught driving without SR-22 insurance, you may be subject to the following:

  • A driver’s license suspension for up to three months.
  • A mandatory fine of between $500 to $1,000.
  • Court costs.
  • A $100 fee to reinstate your driver’s license.

If you are found to be driving without SR-22 insurance while your driver’s license is still suspended, your driver’s license will be suspended for an additional six months.

If you’re in a car accident without SR-22 insurance, you won’t be able to claim medical costs or costs for damage from the other driver. 

If you were at-fault in the accident, you will be personally liable for paying the other driver’s medical and damage costs.

How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in Illinois?

While SR-22 insurance is more expensive than standard car insurance, there are unfortunately some additional costs beyond simply the SR-22 certificate. These include:

  • A significantly higher car insurance premium.
  • Cancelation of any good driver discounts you were eligible for.
  • An admin fee to your insurer of between $25 and $50.
  • Paying all related fines and fees for the traffic violation.
  • A $250 fee to the Illinois Secretary of State for your driver’s license reinstatement.

It’s not actually the SR-22 insurance that will make your auto insurance rates more expensive. Rather, it’s the traffic offense that led to needing the SR-22 in the first place. 

Once you notify an insurer that you need an SR-22, they will be able to access your file with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Here, they will be able to see what driving violation you committed (e.g. speeding, DUI, reckless driving, etc.). 

The severity of the infringement is what determines how expensive your SR-22 insurance will be.

Key Point: Auto Insurance Rates

 

Your auto insurance rate is the amount you pay each month to your car insurance company for coverage. The cost of your auto insurance is influenced by the following factors:

 

  • Your age.
  • Your driving record.
  • Your location.
  • Your credit.
  • The value of your car.

If you already have car insurance, you should ask your current car insurance provider for a quote for SR-22 insurance. 

While it may feel like the simplest way to continue your coverage, auto insurance rates differ significantly from insurer to insurer.

To ensure you’re getting the best rate on your SR-22 insurance, you should compare quotes from multiple insurers.

Luckily, we’ve done the hard work of comparing insurance rates for you. 

The cheapest SR-22 insurance provider in Illinois is Bristol West with average monthly rates of $206.60. The second cheapest option is Mercury with average monthly rates of $224.60.

Here is a comprehensive list of some of the rates offered by various car insurance providers in these Illinois counties:

  • Cook County.
  • DuPage County.
  • Lake County.
  • Will County.
  • Kane County.

Provider

Cook County

DuPage County

Lake County

Will County

Kane County

Average

Bristol West

$241.00

$159.00

$286.00

$176.00

$171.00

$206.60

Mercury

$258.00

$176.00

$318.00

$201.00

$170.00

$224.60

The General

$420.00

$270.00

$1,328.00

$326.00

$292.00

$527.20

Elephant

$446.00

$290.00

$310.00

$304.00

$337.50

Alternatives to SR-22 Insurance in Illinois

SR-21 insurance

While SR-22 insurance is proof of financial responsibility in the future, an SR-21 insurance form that demonstrates you were adequately insured at the time of a car accident. 

If you were in a car accident in Illinois, you will need to contact your car insurance provider to have them issue an SR-21 certificate.

SR-22A insurance

SR-22 insurance comes with certain requirements. For example, you cannot allow your SR-22 insurance to lapse or commit another traffic violation while carrying an SR-22. 

If you do not meet the terms of your SR-22 insurance, you may be ordered to carry SR-22A insurance. This certificate shows car insurance providers that you’re very high risk to insure, because you’ve committed repeat traffic violations.

SR-22A insurance is significantly more costly than SR-22 insurance, and you will need to pay six months of your auto insurance rates upfront.

There are only three states in the U.S. that may require you to carry SR-22A insurance:

  • Georgia.
  • Missouri.
  • Texas.

If you carry SR-22A insurance and move to Illinois, you will need to inform your insurer in the state.

FR-44 insurance

If you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI or DWI), you will need to carry FR-44 insurance. 

Only two states in the U.S. use FR-44 insurance:

  • Florida.
  • Virginia.

If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI in Illinois, you will need to get SR-22 insurance. 

If you move to Florida or Virginia while you are still carrying SR-22 insurance, you will need to inform your insurer once you are in the state and then they may convert it to FR-44 insurance.

SR-50 insurance

If you commit a major traffic offense in Indiana, you will be required to carry SR-50 insurance. 

If you carry SR-22 insurance in Illinois and move to Indiana, you must inform your new car insurance company so that they can convert your SR-22 insurance into SR-50 insurance.

FAQs about SR-22 Insurance in Illinois

Does Illinois have SR-22 insurance?

Yes. You may need to carry SR-22 insurance in Illinois if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked after committing one of these traffic violations:

  • Being charged with multiple traffic violations.
  • An at-fault accident.
  • Driving after your car insurance policy lapses.
  • Driving without liability coverage.
  • Speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident.
  • A DUI or DWI.
  • Getting a high number of points on your driving record.
  • Driving with expired license plates.
  • Failing to pay a judgment order.
  • Evading highway tolls.
  • Failing to pay child support.

How long is an SR-22 required in Illinois?

You will have to keep your SR-22 insurance for three years. Depending on your personal circumstances, the Illinois Secretary of State may require you to carry an SR-22 for a longer period.

If your SR-22 lapses or you violate the terms, you will need to reinstate your SR-22 insurance and carry it for another three years.

Why do I need an SR-22 in Illinois?

SR-22 insurance shows that you are meeting the auto liability requirements as set out by the Illinois Secretary of State. These minimum auto liability requirements are: 

  • $100,000 in bodily injury liability costs per person.
  • $300,000 for injuries per accident.
  • $100,000 in property damage coverage.
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $50,000 per accident.

All drivers in Illinois need to meet the minimum liability insurance coverage requirements above. 

If you need to carry SR-22 insurance, all it means is that you will need a form that proves you meet these financial responsibility requirements.

How do I get SR-22 insurance in Illinois?

You won’t be able to file for SR-22 insurance yourself in Illinois. In order to get it, you will first need to pay any fines and penalties stemming from your traffic violation. 

Then, you will need to find a car insurer that offers SR-22 insurance, and they will file the documentation on your behalf.

What is the cheapest SR-22 insurance in Illinois?

The cheapest SR-22 insurance provider in Illinois is Bristol West with average monthly rates of $206.60. The second cheapest option is Mercury with average monthly rates of $224.60.

The cost of your SR-22 insurance will depend on a range of factors, including:

  • Your age.
  • Your driving history.
  • Which Illinois county you live in.
  • The total value of your car.
  • Your credit record.

Can I drive someone else’s car in Illinois?

You can only drive someone else’s car if you have one of the three types of SR-22 insurance:

  • Non-owner SR-22 insurance.
  • Owner SR-22 insurance.
  • Owner/operator SR-22 insurance.

If you don’t have SR-22 insurance, you may not drive someone else’s car.