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What Happens if I Get into a Car Accident Without Insurance in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, drivers are required by law to carry car insurance and are subjected to state-mandated minimums of coverage. If you are in a car accident in South Carolina and do not have coverage, you are subjected to a number of consequences, even if the accident is not your fault.

What Consequences Does South Carolina Have for Driving Without Insurance?

If you are in an accident and do not have insurance coverage, there are several consequences that the state of South Carolina may enforce. It is important to note that they can still take action on your wrongdoing even if according to the car accident report the accident was not your fault. There are four different ways South Carolina prosecutes drivers that don’t carry insurance:

Financial Penalties and Imprisonment

If you are caught driving without insurance in South Carolina, you may face fines ranging from $100 to $550 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses may result in higher fines. If you do not pay these fines or it is not your first offense, you may also be subject to jail time.

Suspension of Driver’s License

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) has the authority to suspend your driver’s license and registration if you are found driving without insurance. The length of the suspension can vary depending on the number of prior offenses.

Vehicle Impoundment

In some cases, law enforcement officers may impound your vehicle if you are unable to provide proof of insurance.

SR-22 Insurance Requirement

After a violation of the state’s insurance laws, you may be required to file an SR-22 form. This form serves as proof of future financial responsibility and may lead to increased insurance premiums.

It is important to note that consequences and penalties can change over time. If you have been involved in a car accident with no insurance, it is advisable to consult the most up-to-date information from the SCDMV or a South Carolina car accident attorney such as Philpot Law Firm.

Car Insurance Requirements in South Carolina

South Carolina has a state-required minimum for liability insurance coverage that all drivers must carry. Policies must include:

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

Drivers in South Carolina are also required to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage protects you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or is underinsured.

Who Is Covered Under South Carolina Car Insurance?

Regarding who is covered by car insurance in South Carolina, it typically depends on the specific terms of your policy. Generally, car insurance policies cover:

  • The named insured (the person who purchased the policy)
  • Household members who are related to the named insured by blood, marriage, or adoption and who reside in the same household
  • Other drivers listed on the policy
  • Permissive drivers (those who have the owner’s permission to use the insured vehicle)


Is South Carolina a no-fault state for insurance?

No, South Carolina follows an at fault model with comparative negligence. This means that as long as you are less than 50% responsible for an accident, you may file a claim against the at fault party.

Can you go to jail for driving without insurance in SC?

For a first offense, you will have to pay a fine to the state or you may be imprisoned for 30 days. South Carolina will also have to surrender your license plates and registration.

What happens if you drive without insurance and get pulled over in South Carolina

If you get pulled over in South Carolina without insurance, your license and registration will be suspended until the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles receives your uninsured motorist fee. In addition, your insurance company will need to file a Certificate of Insurance (SR-22) for three years beginning with the date of your suspension.

What happens if someone hits you and you don’t have insurance in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, if you are the victim of an accident and do not have insurance, law enforcement may issue a fine for an uninsured motorist fee. You can also be sent to jail for 30 days. If you have more than one offense, the fines and jail time may be higher.

Can you sue an uninsured driver in South Carolina?

Yes, if you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver in South Carolina and do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may sue the at fault party for damages.

What is the penalty for driving without insurance in South Carolina

The penalties for driving without insurance in South Carolina can include driver’s license suspension, vehicle impoundment, fines, and jail time.


Car accidents are already difficult and frustrating situations, not to mention if you are in one without insurance. If you need help navigating the aftermath of a car accident, call or message one of our expert South Carolina car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. We will fight for the compensation you deserve!