Driving Without a License: Consider the Risks

Driving Without a License: Consider the Risks (Provided by Andrea Eagles, State Farm Insurance) 

Many people driving on the roads in Illinois have chosen to do so without the protection of a valid driver’s license. It is, of course, against the law, but further, many do not realize the full scope of this risk. Without a valid driver’s license, your eligibility for insurance coverage is compromised. All insurance companies in Illinois will not allow coverage for an unlicensed driver.  Without insurance, if you are ever involved in an accident, you will be required to pay out of pocket for all expenses. In the end, this choice could cost you your assets, income, future driving privileges and more. 

In Illinois, the Mandatory Insurance Law states that you must carry at least the minimum liability coverage to be able to regularly operate a vehicle. To enforce this Mandatory Insurance Law, the state carries out random insurance checks. If your vehicle is randomly chosen by the state’s computer systems, you will be required to show proof that your vehicle has been continuously insured AND that you are currently licensed. If you cannot show that you have been insured AND licensed, your license plates will be suspended and you can be fined up to $1000. Additionally, if you are pulled over for a traffic violation, or if you are involved in an accident (even if you are not at fault), and you cannot show proof of insurance or a valid license your future driving privileges/opportunities will be revoked. 

The separate punishment for being caught driving without a license is even more steep than the above. In Illinois, driving without a valid license is a Class B misdemeanor offense. The potential penalties for this offense include up to 180 days in jail, and a maximum fine of $1500.  

Insurance and Licensed Driving protects you and others:

Though driving without insurance or a license may be saving you the burden of relying on others for transportation or the premiums associated with insurance and license renewals, the benefits do not outweigh the risk. We never plan on being in an auto accident, but accidents happen. And when they do, the cost to repair even minor body damage on an average vehicle can be in the thousands. Before driving without insurance or a license, consider what you may have to lose. 

Protect your current position in life:

We all have homes, apartments, belongings and loved ones that we want to protect. If we are unable to pay the costs associated with a loss to property damage or bodily injury as a result an auto accident, many of those things can be lost. Income can be held or docked until the full amount of damages has been repaid by you. Your assets may be seized or may need to be sold to pay the balances associated with costs of an uninsured loss. If all other options and savings have been exhausted, you may also be forced to rely on your loved ones, and their savings and assets, to help you repay the costs of your decision to drive without insurance. In short, the financial burden now of keeping your vehicle and yourself insured is quite small in relation to the huge potential losses that can occur if you choose to drive uninsured or unlicensed.

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