Every state has its own driving laws, and the Land of Lincoln is no exception. Whether you live in Illinois or are only passing through, make sure you know the rules of the road.
Illinois Insurance Requirements
Like other states, Illinois requires all drivers to maintain auto insurance. Although drivers may purchase more insurance – and doing so may provide important protection – they are only required to carry the following minimum insurance amounts under the law:
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury or death per accident
- $20,000 in property damage
Drivers are required to carry their insurance card with them in the vehicle and must show it to law enforcement upon request. Insurance is also required when registering vehicles. Need Illinois Auto Insurance? You can get a quote online here.
Illinois Licensing Requirements
You must have a valid driver’s license to drive in Illinois. When moving to the state, drivers must obtain an Illinois license within 90 days.
New drivers must pass a written exam and a driving exam. Vision screening is also required.
Illinois uses a graduated driver license program for teen drivers.
- At age 15, teens can get a permit.
- At age 16 to 17, teens can get a restricted license.
- At age 18 to 20, teens can get a full license.
Teen drivers must meet the testing and practice requirements, and they face additional restrictions until obtaining a full license. See the state site for more details.
Drunk and Drugged Driving in Illinois
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal in all states, including Illinois. In Illinois, drivers with a blood alcohol level (BAC) or .08 or higher are not permitted to drive, but people with a lower BAC may still be convicted of a DUI if it is determined that their driving was impaired. Driving under the influence of other substances, including medical marijuana, is also illegal.
If convicted of a DUI, a driver may face fines and imprisonment. Driving privileges will be suspended for a minimum of one year for the first conviction, five years for the second conviction, 10 years for the third conviction and permanently for the fourth conviction. Drivers with DUI convictions may need to have a breach alcohol ignition interlock device installed.
General Safety Laws for Driving in Illinois
Driving laws are meant to keep the road safe for everyone. Here are some of the key safety laws to know in Illinois.
- Distracted driving. No drivers may use handheld devices, such as cell phones or smartphones, or headsets while operating a vehicle. Drivers age 19 and older may use a hands-free device or Bluetooth technology.
- All drivers and passengers above the age of eight must use a seat belt, whether they are sitting in the front seat or in the backseat. Passengers under the age of eight must be secured using an appropriate child restraint system. As of January 1, 2019, children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing restraint system unless they weigh more than 40 pounds or are more than 40 inches tall. The driver is responsible for making sure that all passengers are using seat belts or child restraint systems.
- Drivers are generally allowed to make a right turn on a red light, but only after coming to a complete stop. The driver must yield the right of way to other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. The driver should signal 100 feet before turning in business or residential areas and 200 feet before turning in other areas.
- Construction zones. Drivers must slow down in construction zones. Because hazardous road conditions may exist, reduced speed limits must be obeyed regardless of the time and even if no workers are present.
- School zones and buses. The speed limit is generally 20 mph in school zones on school days between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when children are present. Drivers must yield the way to anyone in the crosswalk area. Drivers must stop for school buses with flashing lights and an extended stop signal arm in all cases except when the driver and bus are going in opposite directions on a four-lane roadway.
- Special situations or laws may be indicated through the use of traffic signs. Obey all traffic signs, even if they are more restrictive than normal laws. For example, some signs may establish lower speed limits or prohibit right turns on a red light.
Traffic Stops and Tickets in Illinois
If you are stopped by law enforcement, slow down and pull over to the right. Avoid stopping where it is unsafe to do so, such as on a bridge or curve. Stay in the vehicle with your hands on the steering wheel. Be prepared to show your license and proof of insurance but inform the police officer before retrieving information.
Illinois does use some speed cameras and red light cameras, so you may receive a ticket for violations captured on camera.
Reporting a Crash
If you are in a car crash, you must stop. Park your vehicle in a safe place that does not obstruct traffic if possible. First help any injured people and call 911. Exchange names, contact information, driver’s license numbers and license plate numbers with the other people involved.
Crash reports are required if there is any injury, death or property damage of more than $1,500. If a driver is uninsured, the crash must be reported if there is any injury, death or property damage of more than $500.
You must report the crash to the police within 30 minutes. If the police do not come to the scene, go to the nearest police station to report it. Additionally, you must report the crash to the Illinois Department of Transportation within 10 days. This is true regardless of who caused the accident.
Keep in mind that there are many more driving laws than what we can include here, and that state rules can change from year to year as new laws are passed. This is just a look at some of the most common driving laws that come up. For up-to-date laws and additional information, visit the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State at CyberDriveIllinois.com.
Last but not least … If you’re driving in Illinois, you’ll need great auto insurance. Fortunately, you can get coverage online in just a few clicks with Jupiter Auto Insurance. Get a quote now.