As a motorist, in every state you must establish financial responsibility before being allowed to drive a vehicle. For instance, if you do not carry vehicle insurance then some states will allow you to leave a large deposit with the state. This is not the case in Illinois. The only way to prove financial responsibility is to purchase the minimum amounts of auto insurance that is required by the law.
Illinois liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles
For liability insurance, you must purchase a minimum of:
- $20,000 for bodily injury per person.
- $40,000 for bodily injury for two people or more.
- $15,000 for property damage.
In addition, you must also have:
Uninsured motorist coverage, for the same amounts illustrated above. This is for your own protection and it will cover you in the event an uninsured person hits you, causing damage to you, your passengers, or your vehicle. $2,500 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is required for medical expenses related to an accident for your passengers.
Proof of insurance and financial responsibility
At the time you register your car, all vehicle owners must file a form called FR-19 with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). This is your proof of insurance. This form is provided by your insurance company and may be faxed, mailed, or dropped off in-person at the MVA office. It states that you will maintain the coverage for as long as the car is registered. You must show this to a police officer or traffic officer upon request.
If you have no proof of auto insurance on file, you could face penalties. Not only could the courts punish you with additional fees, you could have your registration and license plates revoked, be jailed for a year, or pay $1,000 in fines if you have false proof of insurance. You may also be unable to register another vehicle until you pay off all the fines. Speak to an agent about your current auto coverage needs.