Proof of Financial Responsibility & Penalties
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.
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.
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