SR-22 in Illinois: What You Need to Know

Illinois drivers with serious convictions must carry SR-22 insurance, which confirms their policy meets the state’s minimum liability requirements.
Written by Jennifer Yirinec
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
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SR-22 form
is a financial responsibility insurance certificate that your auto insurance provider files with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. Although it is often referred to as "SR-22 insurance," it’s not an insurance policy—it’s a legal document certifying you have met the state’s minimum insurance requirements.
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What is an SR-22 in Illinois?

An SR-22—also referred to as "financial responsibility insurance" or a "financial responsibility certificate"—is a legal document filed by an auto insurance company with the Office of the Secretary of State in Illinois to confirm a high-risk driver carries the state-required minimum liability insurance in addition to
personal injury protection
(PIP) coverage.
Illinois’ coverage minimums for SR-22 insurance are the following:

Who needs it?

You may need an SR-22 certificate in Illinois if your driving record contains a mandatory insurance violation such as the following:
  • Reckless or
    distracted driving
  • Driving without insurance or the minimum state-required insurance
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Unsatisfied judgment suspensions or revoked license
  • Repeat or severe driving violations
  • Driving while under the influence (
    ) or driving while impaired (DWI)
Illinois’ Office of the Secretary of State will notify drivers with a mandatory insurance violation that they are required to obtain SR-22 insurance, which they must do within 90 days.
Key Takeaway High-risk drivers with a mandatory insurance violation on their record must obtain an SR-22 in the state of Illinois to avoid license suspension or to reinstate their license.

How to get it

You can get SR-22 insurance in Illinois through an auto insurance provider who is authorized to write SR-22 policies in Illinois and who has power of attorney on file for the state.
Your insurer must submit this financial responsibility certificate from their home office directly to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. After the documentation is processed (which can take up to 30 days), you will receive a copy of the filing from the insurance company and a letter acknowledging receipt of the SR-22 from the Secretary of State’s office.
In Illinois, you are required to maintain an SR-22 policy for three consecutive years. If your policy expires or is canceled, your insurer is required to alert the state, and your license will be suspended until you reinstate your insurance.
Note that Illinois requires you to renew your policy at least 45 days in advance. If you have not renewed your policy within 15 days of its expiration date, your insurer must notify Illinois’ Secretary of State’s office.
Key Takeaway An SR-22 in Illinois is filed with the Secretary of State’s office, which requires you to maintain your insurance policy for three consecutive years.

How much does it cost?

The cost to file an SR-22 certificate in Illinois varies depending on the insurer and can range from $0 to $50. While the cost to file may be low, the biggest expense comes from the increased premiums that accompany an SR-22.
Just how much your premiums will increase depends on your auto insurance provider and a combination of the following factors:
  • Number and type of prior convictions
  • Vehicle age and type
  • Driving amount
  • Geographical location
  • Personal details (age, marital status, education, occupation)

How an SR-22 impacts your insurance in Illinois

An SR-22 filing in Illinois will raise your insurance premiums. However, you can minimize this expense in the following ways:
  • Compare quotes from multiple providers: Different insurers will quote you different amounts for SR-22 insurance, so it’s crucial to shop around for a
    cheap car insurance
    takes the hassle out of insurance shopping by automatically comparing quotes from the top 50 insurance companies in the nation to find you the best price.
  • Try non-owner SR-22 insurance: If you stick to driving a car borrowed from friends or family, you can reduce your SR-22 insurance costs by obtaining a non-owner policy.
  • Take advantage of discounts: Some insurers will offer a discount for taking a
    defensive driving course
    or DUI course or for paying in full for your policy up front.
Typically, after you have held financial responsibility insurance for three consecutive years, Illinois will lift the requirement and your premiums will start to decrease.
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