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SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina

Traffic violations are a serious thing that the state of South Carolina does not take lightly. Depending on how severe your violation is, your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked, and to reinstate it, you will need to file an SR-22.

An SR-22 is proof of insurance that shows the state of South Carolina you are complying with their auto insurance laws. Being hit with an SR-22 filing requirement is fairly common in the insurance world, but that does not mean you can brush it off.

You want to make sure these insurance documents are correctly filed to avoid further penalties. The insurance guide below can help you learn more about providing proof of insurance and how to fulfill South Carolina insurance responsibilities.

What is SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina?

SR-22 insurance is required for high-risk drivers in South Carolina after a license suspension to show that they are driving with at least the required liability insurance coverage.

SR22 insurance isn’t a type of insurance but instead a certificate you file with your auto insurance company to prove to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) you have car insurance.

By submitting this proof of insurance, you will get your driver’s license reinstated. It is your responsibility to inform your insurance company when you need to file this proof of insurance. Your insurance provider does the rest of the work by informing the state.

To keep your SR-22 insurance valid, all you need to do is keep up with your regular car insurance payments.

South Carolina Car Insurance Requirements

SR22 insurance proves to the state of South Carolina that you are following their insurance laws. South Carolina’s insurance requirements have a few more components than other states. Most states only require drivers to carry liability insurance.

However, South Carolina mandates that all drivers have liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage insurance. There are a set of minimum coverage limits you must meet to be considered a legal driver in South Carolina.

The mandatory minimum amount of car insurance required in South Carolina is outlined below.

Liability Insurance:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Insurance:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

Every driver in South Carolina must carry at least these amounts of car insurance, according to the state insurance laws. However, these insurance amounts are the bare minimum, and it is highly recommended that you expand your coverage.

This can be done by increasing your coverage limits and utilizing available auto policy add-ons. By increasing your coverage amounts, your finances will be better protected. Purchasing auto policy add-ons, like collision coverage and personal injury protection (PIP), will help pay for damages to your vehicle and injuries you sustain.

When is SR22 Insurance Required in South Carolina?

There are a couple of scenarios that will require you to carry an SR22 in South Carolina. If you practice good, safe driving habits, your chances of having to provide proof of insurance to the state are slim.

However, accidents happen on the road, and sometimes after those accidents, you get your license suspended. There is where SR-22 insurance typically comes in. SR-22 insurance will likely be required if you are convicted of a major traffic violation that has resulted in your driver’s license being suspended.

Some examples include:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving without insurance
  • Multiple traffic violations
  • Reckless driving
  • Failing to pay for damage after an accident
  • Accumulating multiple minor traffic violations

How Long Must You Carry SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina?

Thankfully, you won’t need to carry SR-22 insurance forever. On average, in South Carolina, drivers must carry an SR22 for at least three years. As long as this was your first offense and you keep up smart driving habits, you can forget about your SR-22 form once your designated filing period is up.

However, your required filing period may be longer than three years, depending on the severity of your conviction. You will be informed about when to cancel your proof of insurance upon receiving your filing requirement.

Once the expiration date has arrived, it is your job to contact your insurance company to let them know you no longer require SR-22 insurance. They will cancel the insurance and notify the state.

Failure to maintain your SR-22 in South Carolina can result in your license being suspended once again. You can also expect to have to restart your filing period along with paying the associated fees all over again. Violating your SR-22 maintenance period can occur when you fail to pay your car insurance premiums, and your coverage subsequently lapses.

If you let your car insurance coverage lapse, your insurer will inform the state, which will result in more penalties. It is also likely your insurance company will drop you, forcing you to obtain coverage elsewhere.

However, finding new insurance coverage can be incredibly challenging, given your driving profile and insurance history. Being labeled as a high-risk driver is unappealing and can make an insurance company hesitant to offer you coverage. To avoid this, it is best to keep up with your standard car insurance payments.

How Much Does South Carolina SR22 Insurance Cost?

When you inform your insurance company of your SR22 requirement, they will charge you a filing fee of around $25. However, this is not the only insurance cost you can expect to pay after an SR22 filing requirement.

Being convicted of a major traffic violation is sure to make your insurance premiums increase greatly. How much your insurance rates will increase, though, depends on a number of factors like what insurance company you are with and how severe your violation was.

As with many other states, DUI convictions are some of the most common reasons a driver needs an SR-22 form in South Carolina. After being convicted of a DUI in South Carolina, you will pay around $2,000 per year for coverage, on average. For reference, typical South Carolina drivers pay around $1,400 per year for car insurance coverage. Luckily, you won’t need to provide proof of insurance forever, so once you can cancel it, your insurance rates may decrease slightly.

If you are looking for affordable car insurance in South Carolina, we recommend shopping around and getting quotes from a wide variety of insurance providers. Look at car insurance companies both locally in South Carolina and nationally.

Pretty much every insurance company will offer you a free quote both online and over the phone. They may even have a mobile app you can download to get your insurance quote. These ways make it easy for you to find insurance coverage on your own time.

As you shop for coverage, it is best that you analyze every auto policy you come across to make sure you are getting coverage that fits your needs and your budget. Driving underinsured is incredibly dangerous and leaves your assets vulnerable.

If you feel you have the lowest insurance coverage premiums possible for your driving situation, ask your insurance agent about any policy discounts you may qualify for. Auto policy discounts are a fast and easy way to save money on your insurance premiums.

Even if you do not think you are eligible for any policy discounts, they are still worth asking your insurance agent about.

Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina

Even if you do not own the car you were driving at the time of the traffic violation, you can still be required to provide proof of insurance in South Carolina. Filing your proof of insurance is a necessary step to get your driver’s license reinstated.

Not owning a car does not mean you can skip getting car insurance. To fulfill your SR-22 filing requirement, you will need to purchase non-owner car insurance. Non-owner car insurance offers drivers state-required insurance coverage, and obtaining such an auto policy fulfills your proof of insurance requirement.

This type of insurance is some of the cheapest coverage on the market, but that is due to its specific qualifications. Non-owner insurance coverage is not available if you own a car or have regular access to one.

Non-owner insurance is typically recommended for people who frequently borrow or rent vehicles. But if you are in the habit of borrowing or renting cars, you should already have car insurance. It is illegal for any valid driver in South Carolina to be on the road without coverage. Do not wait until you get in trouble with the law before you start shopping for car insurance coverage.

South Carolina DUI Convictions

The most common reason that drivers in South Carolina need SR-22s from an insurance company is due to a DUI conviction. Being convicted of a DUI in South Carolina is a serious manner with harsh penalties. It is not just your car insurance premiums and coverage you will need to worry about after being caught driving drunk.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety enforces the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08 or greater.

Convicted drivers in South Carolina can face:

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1st Offense
2nd Offense
3rd Offense
Jail Time
Two days to a month
Five days to One year
60 days to Three years
Up to $400
$2,100 to $5,100
$3,800 to $6,300
License Suspension
Six months
One year
Three to Five years

Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) Requirements For South Carolina

South Carolina also has an ignition interlock device program wherein participation is required for drivers with a second DUI conviction or a first conviction with a BAC higher than 0.15. Enrollment in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program is another requirement for most DUI offenses. IIDs are a great way for suspended drivers to drive again with a restricted license for the time being.

Get a Free SR-22 Insurance Quote in South Carolina

Insurance Navy is here to help drivers get an SR-22 certificate and the insurance coverage they need. We understand that things can happen to good people, so we know that having the appropriate team on your side to assist you in correcting any driving mistakes is critical. The easiest approach to address an SR-22 Insurance requirement is to contact us as soon as possible for a quote. A driver should always have coverage on their car to avoid any additional obstacles.

More about SR-22 Insurance from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

*This insurance product may not be available in every state, please contact one of our insurance agents for more information.

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