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Penalties in South Carolina if you don’t have car insurance

  • Auto Insurance
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 4 minutes

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Uninsured motorists are a significant issue that is only getting worse. The bottom line is that insured drivers foot the bill for uninsured drivers to the tune of billions (yes, billions) per year. That makes it illegal to drive without car insurance in South Carolina.

Is it mandatory to have car insurance in South Carolina?

All states have enacted legislation to reduce the issue by making it more difficult and costly for drivers to drive without car insurance in South Carolina. If you drive without car insurance in South Carolina, or if you’re thinking about dropping your insurance to save a few bucks, it’s time to learn about the penalties for driving without insurance in the state.¬†

South Carolina mandates that all drivers maintain a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage at all times. The current minimums are $25000 per person for injury or death, $50000 for all persons involved in a single accident, and $25000 for property damage.

What is the penalty for driving without insurance and registration in SC?

The state will seize your car’s registration and license plates if you are found driving for the first time without insurance or the $550 uninsured motorist cost. By paying the uninsured motorist fee or presenting documentation of insurance coverage within 20 days, you can avoid severe penalties.


South Carolina car insurance

What to expect if you don’t have car insurance

South Carolina uses Automobile Insurance Liability Reporting System (AILR). This is how AILR works: When you cancel your car insurance in South Carolina, your former car insurance company will send an electronic cancellation notice to the DMV. After that, the DMV will immediately give you a letter stating that you have 20 business days to submit recent insurance coverage proof. No issue if you switched insurance providers without a coverage gap. Inform your new car insurance company of the letter, and they should be able to contact the DMV right away. 

However, if you do not respond to the letter within the allotted 20 days, you will have a problem. Your license plate and car registration will almost certainly be withheld. Your driving privileges could be revoked. There’s no way around it. First and foremost, you must buy new insurance and provide proof of coverage to the DMV. Then you’ll have to pay reinstatement fees of up to¬†$400.¬†¬†

Car insurance South Carolina

What happens when you drive without car insurance?

Your driver’s license will be suspended (if it hasn’t already been) and will stay suspended until you pay a $550¬†uninsured motorist fee and have the insurance provider file an SR-22 form for the next three years.¬†¬†If you’re caught driving a car you don’t own, your license will be revoked for thirty days, and you’ll have to pay a¬†$100¬†reinstatement charge.¬†

Uninsured and in an accident

Apart from the state’s fines, there’s the issue of being involved in an accident where you are at fault. These accidents can result in property damage and personal injury. The costs of property loss, and, more specifically, the costs of severe personal injury, can be staggering. Paying for your accident victims’ injuries can wipe out a lifetime’s worth of savings in a moment.¬†

What is the average car insurance in South Carolina?

South Carolina drivers pay an average of $321 per month and $3741 per year for car insurance. South Carolina is the ninth most expensive state in the country for car insurance rates. This with 28% higher than the national average. When deciding the cost of their policies, South Carolina auto insurers consider a variety of factors. Such as age, credit history, driving record, and location. Way.com listed the best auto insurance companies in the state based on affordability, customer loyalty, financial power, and other factors. The rankings on Way.com will assist you in locating the most reliable quotes and appropriate coverage choices. 

Comparing car insurance rates from some of South Carolina’s most well-known companies could save you up to $528. A liability-only policy is the most cost-effective choice for drivers looking for inexpensive auto insurance in South Carolina. This form of insurance only satisfies the state’s bare minimums.¬†

The cheapest auto insurance providers in South Carolina, based on average prices for minimum coverage, is:

  • USAA – $522 annual premium (only available to current and former military members)

Nationwide is the most expensive auto insurance provider in South Carolina for minimum coverage, with an estimated annual rate of $771.


Here’s more info on¬†top-rated airport parking,¬†the best parking spots in your city, the most¬†affordable insurance¬†for your car, and¬†top-rated car washes near you.


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