South Dakota Car Insurance Requirements
Financial responsibility laws apply to drivers in South Dakota. Fortunately, the Mount Rushmore State gives drivers several different options to meet their legal obligations. They can:
- buy a car insurance policy
- leave a $50,000 deposit with the state treasurer’s office
- secure a surety bond with a state licensed bonding company
- self-insure if they have more than 26 vehicles registered in the same name
The last option is obviously used primarily by car dealers. As for the bond and cash deposit, most South Dakota drivers don’t have that kind of money laying around. That makes the car insurance option the one the most utilized in the state.
South Dakota Insurance Minimums
Insurance companies selling auto policies in South Dakota are required to include minimum amounts of coverage. They can increase those minimums and add extra coverage as agreed to by the driver, but they cannot go below the minimum requirements. Those requirements are:
- $25,000 per accident to cover bodily injuries or death (one victim)
- $50,000 per accident to cover bodily injuries or death (more than one victim)
- $25,000 per accident to cover property damage
Remember that liability insurance does not cover you. It pays for the injuries or damage you cause to others by your own negligence behind the wheel. If you want coverage for yourself you’ll have to add extra components to your car insurance policy.
Driving without Insurance
Despite the fact that cheap car insurance is available in South Dakota, there are still a small number of drivers who insist on getting behind the wheel without it. If you drive without meeting the requirements of the state’s financial responsibility laws you could be slapped with $100 fine, 30 days in jail, and a one-year license suspension.
Furthermore, most people found guilty of violating the financial responsibility law will also be required to file and maintain an SR-22 certificate for three years. Since the SR-22 can only be attained through a car insurance policy, you won’t have any of the other options available to you during that time.
If the SR-22 requirement doesn’t sound like any big deal to you, consider the fact that it will raise your car insurance rates substantially. Some companies might even consider you a high risk driver at that point, thereby rejecting your insurance application and pushing you into a state managed plan. Trust us, it’s not worth it.
Whatever financial responsibility option you choose, make sure you maintain that continuously as long as your car is registered in the state. If you do that you’ll keep yourself out of trouble.