Safety and Financial Responsibility Law Driver Services

The Illinois Safety and Financial Responsibility Law applies to all traffic crashes resulting in personal injury claim in excess of $500, death or property damage in excess of $500. Within 10 days after a crash occurs, a motorist is required by law to file a crash report with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). After investigation, IDOT certifies to the Secretary of State's office the names of uninsured motorists involved in the accident.

If the evidence supports probable liability (at least 50 percent at fault) on the part of the person or persons certified as uninsured and the crash involves property damage in excess of $500, personal injury claim in excess of $500, or death, the Secretary of State's office notifies the motorist that his/her driver's license and/or vehicle registration is suspended.(625ILCS 5/7-201)(2).

To contest the suspension, the motorist receiving the suspension notice must write a request to schedule a hearing at a Driver Services facility to contest the preliminary finding of probable liability. All parties involved are notified of the hearing and are encouraged to attend. If the preliminary finding is upheld, the individual(s) certified must show evidence of compliance with the Safety Responsibility Law, or face the pending suspension of his/her driver's license and/or registration privileges.

The motorist's license/registration remains suspended until compliance is met. In addition, the motorist must establish proof of financial responsibility, through a SR-22 insurance certificate. The SR-22 must be maintained for a period of three years (except in cases of evidence of non-liability, or IDOT rescission).

Reinstate License/Registration

The Safety Responsibility Law offers several ways to return one's license or registration to good standing. However, if the uninsured motorist and/or vehicle owner does not meet one of the following methods of compliance before the suspension goes into effect, he/she will be required to carry the SR-22 insurance policy for a period of three years. All Safety Responsibility suspensions require a $70 reinstatement fee.

Paying Fees

Damages Caused by an Uninsured Motorist

The Secretary of State's office may suspend driving privileges as the result of an Unsatisfied Judgment from a civil court. Under this procedure, the person who suffered damages from the uninsured crash takes action in court, and the uninsured motorist is ordered to satisfy the judgment. If the judgment remains unsatisfied (unpaid) for thirty days, the court orders the Secretary of State's office to suspend the individual's driver's license/registration. Upon receipt of an Unsatisfied Judgment, the Secretary of State's Safety and Financial Responsibility Section enters a suspension (Type Action 06) on the driving record of the defendant. The suspension remains in effect until the requirements set forth by the court are met. If the judgment is for $500 or more, Financial Responsibility Insurance (SR-22) must be filed with our office and maintained for three years.

Methods of Compliance for Unsatisfied Judgment

Most of the methods of compliance require the filing of SR-22 insurance, which must be maintained for three years. Cancellation of the insurance will result in a driver's license suspension.Unsatisfied Judgment Suspensions require a $70 reinstatement fee. The methods of compliance for Unsatisfied Judgment include: