Requirements for Acquiring Auto Insurance

SafeAuto wants to help you get the lowest possible auto insurance rates. Being familiar with your state's financial responsibility requirements is an easy way to start. Here is the most recent information for South Carolina:

The minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required to satisfy South Carolina's Financial Responsibility law is 25,000/50,000/25,000. This means that your insurance policy must insure you against loss in an accident where you have been determined to be at-fault for a minimum of:

  • Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one (1) person in any one (1) accident
  • Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two (2) or more persons in any one (1) accident, subject to the twenty five thousand dollar ($25,000) per person limit
  • Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in an accident

Under South Carolina law, you are required to provide documentary proof of Financial Responsibility in the following circumstances:

  • At the request of a law enforcement officer at the time of an accident or traffic stop
  • When registering a vehicle
  • To obtain a driver's license or learner's permit

To ensure drivers continue to meet the Financial Responsibility requirements, South Carolina requires insurance companies to provide the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles with a monthly report listing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of each vehicle covered by policies currently in effect.

Penalty for failure to comply with South Carolina's Financial Responsibility requirements:

Failure to maintain proper insurance could lead to the suspension of your vehicle registration. If your liability insurance is canceled or expires, you must return your vehicle's license plate and registration to the DMV or reinstate your coverage. Otherwise, you may be subject to a reinstatement fee of $200 and a $5 penalty for each day the vehicle was uninsured or the plate(s) was not turned in. The maximum penalty for the first offense is $400 per vehicle.

Certificate of Financial Responsibility (SR-22):

An SR-22 is a certification of future proof of Financial Responsibility issued by your insurance company to the DMV providing proof that you purchased liability insurance. The following circumstances may require a person to have an SR-22:

  • To reinstate a suspended license after a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction
  • To reinstate a suspended license after conviction for driving on a suspended license (except suspension for failure to pay a traffic ticket)
  • To reinstate a suspended license after conviction for driving uninsured

If you are required to maintain a certificate of Financial Responsibility, your insurance company must provide the DMV with at least ten (10) days notice before termination. SafeAuto will only issue a South Carolina SR-22 to South Carolina residents.

Other helpful things to know about South Carolina's Financial Responsibility laws:

A Financial Responsibility suspension may be avoided by the return of the registration plate, sticker and card to your local DMV branch. You may be eligible for a registration refund if you have paid for a full year of registration that you will not use. You may apply for a refund in person or by mail.

Link to South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

Uninsured Motorist Registration:

If you have any further auto insurance questions please visit the FAQ page or contact the SafeAuto Customer Service Department at