Insurance for your vehicles is important in the US. The reasons for this are not far-fetched. For one, driving a car that has good insurance inspires a good degree of confidence in you. You have the assurance that in the event of an accident in which you are confirmed at fault, your insurance provider will bear the cost. Even if you are a safe driver, you never can tell when an accident can still occur. The importance of insurance is also underscored by the fact that it is mandatory in nearly all the states in the US. South Dakota belongs to this category. What this means is that driving without car insurance in South Dakota could lead to penalties.
However, the penalties vary from state to state, even if there are broad similarities. In South Dakota, the penalties are well-articulated. You will find out here about these penalties and other related information you need to know.
What type of car insurance do I need in South Dakota?
It has already been established that car insurance is compulsory for drivers in South Dakota. But then, what type of types of car insurance does every driver need in this state? In other words, what are the basic requirements for car insurance in the state? These are as follows:
Bodily Injury – This refers to the injury or injuries sustained by anyone that gets involved in an accident. Typically, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider will pay for the medical bills of those injured. The minimum requirements for bodily injured are:
- $25,000 minimum liability coverage per injured person
- $50,000 minimum liability coverage for multiple persons
Property damage – Damages are expected when accidents occur. The at-fault driver is liable for such damages. The minimum requirement for property damage is:
$25,000 minimum liability coverage per accident
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist – There is always the possibility that the at-fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured. The other party’s insurer will only have to activate an uninsured or underinsured motorist in his or her insurance. The minimum requirements are:
- $25,000 minimum liability coverage per injured person
- $50,000 minimum liability coverage per accident
However, it is also important that you consider increasing your liability limits as well. This will give you protection if the liability is more than the minimum requirements. You may choose to get collision and comprehensive insurance as well. These provide coverage for vehicle theft and car damage from flooding, falling objects, fire, hail, vandalism, riots, and collisions with animals.
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage is another additional policy that could come in handy as well. Although it is optional, it will provide huge financial relief by covering medical bills and funeral costs assuming you got injured or killed in an accident.
Optional coverage may not be a necessity on the surface of things. After all, you are not getting into trouble with the law if you are without it. But, you need to consider the financial relief it will provide when you are at-fault for a severe accident.
Penalties for driving uninsured in South Dakota
As the saying goes, there is no offense without punishment even if it is a lenient one. If you are caught driving without the basic required insurance in South Dakota, the following penalties could be enforced.
- You could get up to 30 days of jail term
- You could be fined any amount between $100 and $500
- You could get a 30-day jail term along with a fine
- Your license could get suspended for up to 30 days in a year
- Your driving privileges could be suspended or revoked
Out of all these penalties, having your driving privileges revokes has the most lasting effect. Not only will your driving records will be tainted. You will have to go through a series of processes to get the privileges reinstated.
Reinstating your driving privileges
The process of getting your driving privileges reinstated is not as simple as many people would like to assume. That your license is suspended shows that you have run foul of the law. This gives the impression that you probably do not deserve it. Not having proof of insurance for your vehicle is one of the reasons why your license could be suspended.
There are nevertheless steps for getting your privileges on the road restored. That, of course, is dependent on you completing your suspension. Once it is over, you can see only need to tick the following boxes.
I. Satisfy Any Court Ordered Requirements
The penalties for driving without insurance in South Dakota are stipulated in the law. Therefore, it is mandatory that you satisfy all requirements that are ordered by the court. For instance, if you were sentenced to 30 days of jail term, you will have to complete it.
II Pay All Legal Fines & Fees
Although the fines for driving without car insurance is $100*+, you may have to pay other legal fees as well.
III Pay Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee
Once you are found wanting, your license could be seized. To have it reinstated, you will be requested to pay a stipulated fee.
IV Provide Proof of SR22 Insurance: This is not actual insurance as misconstrued by many people. On the contrary, it shows proof of financial responsibility for the future. In other words, the SR-22 is proof that a driver has the minimum required insurance coverage. To have your driving privileges reinstated, you must meet this criterion.
V Retake Driver’s Examination Test
You will have to retake a driver’s examination test as well. Even though this may seem unnecessary, the state needs to be sure that you are fit for the roads.
There are times that you only need to get a restricted license in order to protect your driving privileges. The following conditions must be met, though.
- Proof of employment or class enrollment.
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle
- Provide proof of SR22 insurance
- Payment of a certain fee