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Driving without insurance in South Dakota

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Driving without insurance in South Dakota is a class 2 misdemeanor. The extent of the penalties each driver faces is ultimately up to a judge. At minimum, drivers can expect a fine of $100 or 30 days jail or both, and license suspension up to one year for failing to abide by South Dakota’s financial responsibility law. They must also file proof of insurance, an SR-22, with the state of South Dakota for three years from the date of eligibility for reinstatement.

Minimum insurance required in South Dakota

In South Dakota driving without insurance is against the law. The state requires all drivers to have these minimum amounts of both liability and uninsured motorist coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000 per person; $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: $25,000 per accident
  • Bodily injury uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: $25,000 per person; $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: $25,000 per accident

These are just the minimum coverage amounts needed to drive your car in South Dakota legally. Most insurance experts also recommend purchasing collision and comprehensive coverage to better financially protect yourself in case of an accident. The minimum amounts of liability coverage required by South Dakota will not cover damages to your vehicle and may not be enough to cover the damages or injuries the other driver sustains if you cause an accident. If you lease or finance your car, your lender will most likely require full coverage car insurance.

Penalties for driving without insurance in South Dakota

Unlike many states, South Dakota only has one set of penalties for drivers convicted of driving without insurance. Depending on the offense and whether any drivers were killed or injured by the uninsured driver, a judge may automatically penalize a driver to the fullest extent of the law regardless of whether or not it was their first offense.

Fine Jail Time SR-22 Requirement Driver’s License Suspension Reinstatement Fee
$100 30 days Yes, 3 years 30 days minimum, up to one year $50-$200

Fees from South Dakota’s online insurance verification system

South Dakota does not currently use an online insurance verification system. Instead, all drivers are required to provide proof of insurance when registering their vehicle and should carry proof of insurance on them at all times when driving.

Getting into an accident without insurance

If you get into an accident while driving without insurance, you will first get a ticket for driving without insurance. If you cannot provide proof of pre-existing insurance before your court date, a judge will fine you and may order you to serve up to 30 days in jail. Though these are stiff penalties, there are even more severe consequences for getting into an accident without insurance.

South Dakota is a tort state, which means at-fault drivers are financially responsible for any damages or injuries they cause in an accident. Without insurance, you could be liable for tens of thousands of dollars. It is also possible the other driver will sue you. Car insurance mandates are meant to protect drivers from financial ruin.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if you provide false insurance information?

Driving without insurance has serious consequences for drivers in South Dakota. Providing false insurance information can mean criminal charges, jail time and steep fines.

Furthermore, lying to your insurance provider is a form of insurance fraud. It is not uncommon for providers to cancel policies where drivers have provided false information, even if they were in the middle of processing a claim.

How much is car insurance in South Dakota?

The average cost of car insurance in South Dakota is $1,642 annually for full coverage, which is in line with the national average ($1,674 a year). However, each driver may pay more or less than these amounts since car insurance premiums are based on several factors, including driving history, type of car, and location.

What are the best insurance companies in South Dakota?

The best car insurance company is different for everyone because everyone has different needs. Bankrate did some research that looked at customer satisfaction scores, financial strength, coverage options and discounts. Our picks for some of the best insurance companies operating in South Dakota are Allstate, Progressive, State Farm and USAA.

What is an SR-22 certificate?

An SR-22 is proof of insurance that an insurance company sends to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS). SR-22s are usually ordered after a driver has been convicted of a DUI, but they are often ordered after a driver has been convicted of driving without insurance.

The minimum amount of time a driver must have an SR-22 in South Dakota is three years. If they cancel their policy within that time frame, their insurance company is legally required to notify the DPS, which will then suspend their driver’s license and revoke their registration.

Written by
Lauren Ward
Insurance Contributor
Lauren Ward has nearly 10 years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and She covers auto, homeowners, life insurance, and other topics in the personal finance industry.
Edited by
Insurance Editor