SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina
Last Updated on September 7, 2023
The SR-22 isn’t technically insurance; instead, it’s a certificate verifying you have insurance. You buy insurance from a licensed South Carolina insurance company, and the insurer submits the SR-22 certificate to the South Carolina DMV on your behalf.
The SR-22 certificate verifies you meet minimum insurance requirements in South Carolina. It’s a certificate of financial responsibility allowing the DMV to reinstate driving privileges or unsuspend your license.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about SR-22 insurance in South Carolina and how it works.
- SR-22 in South Carolina is a certificate, not actual insurance, confirming a driver meets minimum insurance requirements.
- High-risk drivers, such as those with DUIs or multiple violations, often need to secure SR-22 insurance in the state.
- Most South Carolina insurance companies, from major brands to regional providers, offer SR-22 certificates.
- While SR-22 insurance typically costs more than standard policies, drivers can explore various options to find affordable rates.
How Does SR-22 Insurance Work in South Carolina?
SR-22 insurance in South Carolina works similar to insurance in other states.
You may need to purchase SR-22 insurance in South Carolina if you’re a high-risk driver – say, if you’ve been convicted of multiple driving offenses, were caught driving uninsured, or have one or more DUIs and other serious moving violations.
The court or judge in South Carolina will notify you of SR-22 requirements after your conviction. Alternatively, the DMV may notify you of SR-22 requirements in writing. Typically, you need to carry SR-22 insurance for a minimum of three to five years.
The South Carolina DMV will revoke your driving privileges and/or suspend your license until you submit an SR-22 certificate verifying you have valid insurance coverage.
You buy SR-22 insurance in South Carolina from the open marketplace. Most insurers in South Carolina can submit an SR-22 certificate on your behalf. Once the DMV receives your SR-22 certificate, the DMV reinstates your driving privileges and unsuspends your license, allowing you to resume driving as normal.
Who Sells SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina?
Most car insurance companies in South Carolina sell SR-22 insurance.
You can buy SR-22 insurance from large and well-known insurers – like GEICO, State Farm, and other major names in South Carolina.
Alternatively, you can buy SR-22 insurance from smaller, regional providers – including high-risk, specialty insurers. Some insurers specialize in insuring high-risk drivers and providing them with SR-22 insurance. If mainstream insurers have denied your application, or if they’re charging exorbitant rates, then you may want to buy SR-22 insurance from a smaller insurer.
Some of the options for SR-22 insurance in South Carolina include:
- State Farm
- South Carolina Farm Bureau
- Standard Fire
- Small, regional, and specialty insurers – including high-risk insurers
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in South Carolina?
SR-22 insurance costs more than ordinary car insurance. As a high-risk driver, you’re expected to cost insurers more money than a less risky insurer, which is why insurers charge higher rates.
The average full coverage car insurance policy in South Carolina costs around $1,450 per year. In comparison, SR-22 insurance costs around $1,800 per year, on average.
However, some drivers pay as little as $80 per month for SR-22 insurance, while other drivers pay as much as $400 per month. Insurers charge different rates based on your personal risk factors, location, ZIP code, and other factors.
All insurers also charge an SR-22 submission fee, which is typically around $25 to $60. Insurers pay a fee to submit the SR-22 certificate to the DMV on your behalf, and they pass this fee on to you.
You must carry SR-22 insurance in South Carolina for a minimum of three years. Assuming you maintain a clean driving record, you can re-enter the ordinary car insurance marketplace after three years, which should lower rates back to normal (although DUIs and other serious incidents remain on your driving record for longer).
SR-22 Insurance Requirements in South Carolina
You must carry a certain minimum amount of liability insurance coverage in South Carolina, whether you have an SR-22 or ordinary car insurance.
Minimum coverage requirements for SR-22 drivers are the same as they are for ordinary drivers and include:
- $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 of property damage liability coverage
If you are leasing or financing a vehicle, then you are also required to carry full coverage car insurance (including collision and comprehensive coverages). These coverages are optional in all states but are required per your financing agreement. Check your financing agreement to verify you meet minimum insurance requirements. Otherwise, your lender could seize your vehicle.
How to Get Cheap SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina
SR-22 insurance is more expensive than ordinary insurance in South Carolina. However, there are ways to save money on SR-22 insurance – even if you have a DUI, multiple serious moving violations, or other problems on your driving record.
Here are the most proven ways to get cheap SR-22 insurance in South Carolina:
Work with a specialty, high-risk SR-22 insurer. GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive, USAA, and other major insurers could charge prohibitively high rates to SR-22 drivers. They may even cancel or deny insurance for certain high-risk drivers. If you’re struggling to find affordable premiums from South Carolina’s largest insurers, then consider working with specialty, high-risk insurers. Many of these insurers specialize in SR-22 insurance. They exclusively insure high-risk drivers, allowing them to charge cheaper rates than nationwide brands.
Compare quotes today and regularly in the future. The more quotes you compare, the easier it is to know you’re getting a good deal on SR-22 insurance. Compare quotes today to ensure you’re getting a good deal on car insurance. Then, compare quotes regularly – say, every 6 to 12 months during your renewal – to ensure you’ll continue to pay good rates in the future.
Buy non-owner SR-22 insurance. You can save hundreds per year with non-owner SR-22 insurance in South Carolina. Non-owner insurance is ideal if you want to reinstate your driver’s license and driving privileges but do not currently own a vehicle. Non-owner SR-22 insurance allows you to occasionally borrow someone else’s vehicle or drive a rental car while being legally insured.
Adjust coverage for lower monthly premiums. You can reduce coverage or raise deductibles to save money on car insurance. The lower your coverage is, the less you’ll pay per month for car insurance. Similarly, high deductibles help you save money on car insurance (although you’ll pay more if you need to make a claim).
Be patient. SR-22 requirements don’t last forever. Eventually, your moving violations, DUIs, insurance lapses, and other incidents fall off your record. Typically, drivers in South Carolina must maintain SR-22 insurance for three years. Beyond the three-year period, you can rejoin the ordinary insurance marketplace and save money.
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina?
You may need SR-22 insurance in South Carolina because of moving violations, DUIs, insurance lapses, or even unpaid child support, among other issues.
Some of the reasons you need SR-22 insurance in South Carolina include:
- You were caught driving without insurance
- You have one or more moving violations on your record
- You were involved in an accident and failed to pay for damages fully
- You failed to pay court-ordered child support
- You were convicted of a DUI
- Your license was suspended or revoked for another reason
If you need SR-22 insurance in South Carolina, the judge or court will notify you of your SR-22 insurance requirement. Alternatively, you can search your driving record via the South Carolina DMV website. Enter your driver’s license number, Social Security Number, and birthdate to view current license information.
South Carolina, like most states, uses an SR-22 certificate system to manage high-risk drivers.
An insurer submits the SR-22 certificate to the South Carolina DMV on your behalf. Then, the DMV reinstates your driving privileges or unsuspends your license, allowing you to resume driving as normal.
Most drivers must carry an SR-22 certificate for three years before rejoining the ordinary car insurance marketplace.
Contact South Carolina insurance companies or compare quotes online today to ensure you’re paying the best prices for SR-22 insurance in South Carolina.