Know the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Thomas Jeter • September 22, 2015

Know the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

In the majority of states across the country, drivers are required to carry automobile insurance. South Carolina is no different. At either the time a driver’s license is issued or renewed, the driver must present a proof of auto insurance. You should be aware of what the state requires in terms of insurance coverage minimums as well as what the penalties for driving without insurance will be.

South Carolina Requirements

According to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, the limits for coverage are 25/50/25. In other words, you must have the following:

  • At least $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • At least $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident
  • At least $25,000 for property damage

It is important to note that uninsured motorist coverage is not required by the state. Once you secure a policy, you will have to present confirmation of it to the DMV to obtain your license.  These are simply the state requirements. However, it is possible that your insurance company or the lender of your auto loan will request that you carry additional coverage. For example, the law does not require property damage coverage for both comprehensive and collision. Some lenders may prefer that you carry such insurance.

The Consequences of Lacking Coverage

Every vehicle in South Carolina is required to be insured. When a law enforcement officer pulls you over, he or she will typically ask for your license and vehicle registration. If you cannot provide proof of insurance at the time, you will have 30 days to get that proof together. If you have been in an accident, you only have 15 days from the date of the crash to provide proof.

When you cannot provide such proof, the DMV can suspend your license, license plate and vehicle registration. There is a $200 reinstatement fee to get your privileges back, and you may have to pay $5 a day for every day you lack insurance up to a $200 maximum.

As the SCDMV points out, insurance companies alert the department every time a policy is cancelled. The department will send the driver a notification in order to get proof of the new policy. If you do not provide that verification, the DMV can revoke your license plate and vehicle registration and suspend your driving privileges.  Whenever your driving privileges are threatened, it is important to know the laws and what legal recourse you might have. Our attorneys at Nosal & Jeter, LLP have years of experience providing sound counsel to people who have been accused of traffic violations.