If you’ve committed a serious traffic violation and your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked because of it, you can expect the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SC DMV) to require you to purchase a car insurance policy with an SR-22 filing requirement. The SR-22 filing fee is typically around $25 but your car insurance rates will be significantly higher than usual. The SC DMV can require you to keep the SR-22 coverage for 3 years or longer if necessary.
- What Is SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina?
- When Do you Need an SR-22 in South Carolina?
- How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in South Carolina?
What Is SR-22 Insurance in South Carolina?
We often call it “SR-22 insurance,” but it’s not actually insurance!
SR-22 is an insurance filing requirement.
When a driver commits a serious traffic offense — such as drunk driving — the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SC DMV) will suspend or revoke his driver’s license. They will also require the driver to purchase a car insurance policy with SR-22 filing. The SR-22 certification proves to the SC DMV that the driver has purchased and is maintaining South Carolina’s minimum liability insurance.
Usually, the SR-22 filing fee is around $25 (but car insurance rates will increase) and the SC DMV can require drivers to keep the filing for 3 years or longer.
When Do You Need an SR-22 in South Carolina?
You’ll be required to purchase car insurance with an SR-22 filing requirement when you’re convicted of a serious traffic violation and the SC DMV or state has suspended or revoked your driver’s license. Usually, these violations put you in a “high-risk driver” category in the eyes of the SC DMV and auto insurance companies.
The most common offenses include:
- Drug and alcohol offenses.
- At-fault accident.
- Significant speeding.
- Careless or reckless driving.
- Driving with a suspended license.
- Driving with no insurance.
- Car accident with no insurance.
Generally, the SC DMV will reinstate your driver’s license after your coverage provider files the SR-22 paperwork and you’ve met all other license reinstatement requirements.
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in South Carolina?
When it comes to the cost of SR-22 coverage, there are a few things to remember:
- You are not required to purchase extra auto coverage
- The SC DMV only requires the same minimum liability requirements as it does for any other driver.
- The SR-22 filing fee is usually around $25 or so (there’s a little extra cost there).
- Because insurance providers now see you as a high-risk driver, you can expect increased insurance premiums (this is where it gets costly).
Now, just how much those premiums increase depends on your specific violation. Below are the average annual premiums after common violations in South Carolina.
|Offense||Average SC Annual Rate||% Increase|
|At Fault Accident||$1,949||42.5%|
Rates After a DUI
These are the average rates you can expect from a few reputable car insurance companies if you need SR-22 filing due to a DUI conviction:
|Insurance Provider||Average SC Annual Rate After DUI|
USAA is the most affordable insurance provider if you have a DUI. However, it is only available to members of the military and veterans. Another company to consider is Allstate. Here are other insurance providers to consider if you have a DUI. The average increase in auto insurance in South Carolina post DUI is actually 31% lower than the nationwide increase in auto insurance after a DUI.
Keep these averages in mind as you’re shopping for affordable SR-22. Also keep in mind the highest rated insurance companies for high-risk drivers. These companies are rated based on factors like coverage options, financial strength, and claims and customer satisfaction, and are the most likely to offer the most affordable premiums as well as the most reliable coverage.
How Does SR-22 in South Carolina Work?
Once the SC DMV notifies you of your SR-22 filing requirement, here’s what will happen:
- You’ll notify your insurance provider or shop around with other providers.
- Most auto insurance companies are authorized to sell car insurance with SR-22 filing services.
- Be sure to let the agent know you don’t currently have a vehicle so they can issue you a Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance policy.
- Your insurance company will file the SR-22 certification with the SC DMV.
- Expect to pay around $25 or so for SR-22 filing.
- You must maintain your SR-22 for a period of time.
- Typically, the required time is 3 years, though the SC DMV might decide otherwise.
- Your insurance provider will notify the SC DMV if you or the company cancels or terminates the coverage or let the coverage lapse.
Once your SR-22 period is up, you should start shopping and comparing auto insurance quotes to find more affordable coverage.
While the SR-22 filing fee is around $25 or so, you should expect your annual car insurance premiums to be higher than normal. Once you’re finished with your SR-22 filing period (most likely 3 years), you can shop around for more affordable auto insurance premiums.