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Auto Insurance in South Carolina

The State of South Carolina requires that all drivers be covered under liability auto insurance. However, any eligible consumer may legally drive uninsured in South Carolina by paying an annual fee of $550 to the Department of Public Safety. If that consumer is involved in an accident, however, he/she will be personally liable for damages caused to the property or person(s) of the other vehicle and any passengers in his or her own car, so it is still strongly recommended that all drivers carry minimal levels of insurance. Consumers have to provide proof of insurance or authorization to legally drive uninsured upon the request of law enforcement officers.

South Carolina Minimum Liability Coverage

Liability coverage is required by law in the State of South Carolina. The minimum liability amounts for the State of South Carolina are as follows:

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

Remember that these are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts always advise that drivers get more than the state-mandated minimums, particularly if you have assets you need to protect, since these limits have not kept pace with the skyrocketing costs of car repairs and medical care. Also, getting liability coverage alone will not cover you in case of damage to your own car, so most drivers will want to add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Some, not all, states will require that drivers carry UM/UIM, also known as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage will protect the driver in the event that an accident occurs and the other party does not have auto insurance.

The State of South Carolina currently requires Uninsured Motorist coverage (but not Underinsured Motorist coverage), with the mandatory minimum limits mirroring the minimum liability insurance limits.

No-Fault Insurance

South Carolina is a not no-fault state, so no-fault insurance is not required.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP is an extension of car insurance available in some U.S. states that covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damage.

The State of South Carolina current does not require drivers to carry PIP insurance.

South Carolina SR-22 Requirements

SR-22 is a document that is required to be filed with a state's DMV as proof that the minimum liability coverage for the state is being carried. Not everyone needs an SR-22 filing. SR-22s are typically required for a driver to reinstate their driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident, or driving without proof of insurance.

South Carolina currently requires an SR-22 filing to reinstate a driver's license.

South Carolina DUI Laws

For the first DUI offense in the State of South Carolina, you will face the following maximum penalties:

  • BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) under 0.10%
    • 2 to 30 days imprisonment or 48 hours public service
    • $400 fine
    • 6 month license suspension
  • BAC 0.10% to 0.16%
    • 3 to 30 days imprisonment or 72 hours public service
    • $500 fine
    • 6 month license suspension
  • BAC above 0.16%
    • 30 to 90 days imprisonment or 30 days public service
    • $1,000 fine
    • 6 month license suspension

Additional Information on South Carolina Insurance

For additional information, you can contact the South Carolina Department of Insurance at (803) 737-6160 or go to their website at

Read more about the Most Popular Auto Insurance Carriers in SC.