Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in South Dakota

Uninsured motorists on the roadways of South Dakota are committing a serious offense. Based on state law, driving without liability insurance is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. Violating the law can cost you over $500 in fines and reinstatement fees, up to one year of driver's license suspension, and even possibly 30 days in jail. This conviction can also cause you to be classified as a high-risk driver, which may result in a hard time finding affordable South Dakota car insurance coverage.

Type of PenaltyPenalty
Fine $100 to $500
Jail Time 30 days, either in place of fine or in addition to fine
Driver's License Suspension 30 days to a year
Reinstatement Fee $50 to $200
Reinstatement Application Fee $28
SR-22 Maintenance 3 years
Failure to maintain SR-22 Suspension of registration, driver's license, and license plates

Penalties for Driving Uninsured in South Dakota

South Dakota’s Codified Law on Financial Responsibility aims to ensure that every registered motorist has the financial means to be liable in the event of an unfortunate accident. The minimum required liability coverage amounts are 25/50/25. If a police officer stops you for a traffic infraction or during a car accident investigation, you must produce proof of insurance when requested. Proof may be in the form of your official policy or an insurance ID card provided by your insurer. If you don’t have one of these in your motor vehicle, you can face the below penalties.

Fines and Suspensions

Unlike most states, South Dakota has only one set of penalties for those who violate the insurance law, regardless of whether it’s your first, second, or third offense. As a Class 2 Misdemeanor offense on South Dakota's Financial Responsibility law, it also bestows upon the court the power to increase your penalties, within the preset range of limits, when you are a repeat offender.

For driving uninsured, you will be charged a fine of $100, or serve 30 days in a county jail –- there is also a possibility that you will be punished with both. Your driver’s license will be suspended for no shorter than 30 days. Again, at the court’s discretion and how many times you were caught uninsured, your driving privileges can be suspended for up to one year and your fine increased to $500. You should also note that if you do not give proof of valid insurance within a set time period, your car's registration can be suspended as well.

Reinstating your Driving Privileges

You will have to complete your sentence before reinstating your driving privileges. When you’ve satisfied judgment and have accomplished all court conditions, you may now secure a proper proof of insurance and have an SR-22 filed for you by your insurer. The SR-22 is kept on file at the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division as a status check that you are maintaining good financial responsibility for 3 years.

You will then have to pay a reinstatement fee in an amount between $50 and $200 to the Department of Public Safety; the actual amount will depend on the length of time your license has been suspended for. You will also need to pay an application fee for license renewal, which is $28.

Suspension After Failure to Maintain SR-22

It is important to note that there will be penalties if you do not maintain your SR-22 without lapse for 3 years. If you miss payment on your premium and cause your insurer to cancel your policy, thus your SR-22 filing, your license, registration, and license plates will be suspended.

Re-applying for an Auto Insurance in South Dakota

These violations and demerit points will show up on your driving record. Insurance carriers in the voluntary market have the right to deny you coverage if, based on your driving history, you are rated a high-risk driver. This is why the State established an assigned risk pool called the South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan. It is specifically designed so that high-risk drivers have a way to obtain auto insurance coverage, if they can't find any carrier to insure them otherwise.

Sources:
South Dakota Department of Public Safety: financial responsibility required
South Dakota Department of Public Safety: revoked or suspended license
South Dakota Legislature: misdemeanor classes and penalties

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