Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in South Dakota

All drivers in South Dakota are required to prove financial responsibility in order to legally operate and register a vehicle. The most common way that drivers do this is to purchase an insurance policy; however, drivers may also deposit cash or bonds with the State Treasurer to cover the minimum requirements for liability insurance, or apply for a certificate of self-insurance.

The minimum financial responsibility requirements for South Dakota drivers are as follow:

  • A minimum of $25,000 per person, for bodily injury or death. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $50,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).

  • A minimum $25,000 for property damage liability

This means that the total minimum amount of financial responsibility you will need is $75,000 to cover bodily injury or death, and property damage liability.

Additionally, all insurance providers are required to offer Uninsured Motorist Coverage in their minimum insurance policies.

South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan

All South Dakota insurance providers are legally allowed to refuse coverage to a driver they deem to be “high-risk.” If a driver has a poor driving record, or a history of many accidents, they may be unable to find traditional coverage.

In order to ensure that every driver carries the legally required liability insurance, the state maintains the South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan program. Under this program, high-risk drivers can apply to any insurance provider in South Dakota, even a provider that has previously turned them down.

Proof of insurance

The law in South Dakota requires that all drivers carry proof of insurance with them when they drive. Drivers must present proof of insurance to a law enforcement officer at the scene of an accident, or at a traffic stop. Your proof of insurance must include at least this information:

  • The insurance provider’s name

  • The policy number

  • The effective and expiration date of the policy

Usually this document is the insurance ID card provided by the driver’s authorized insurance provider.

If a driver used a different method for securing financial responsibility, proof may be submitted in these form as well:

  • The certificate of deposit of cash or bonds from the State Treasurer

  • The certificate of self-insurance from the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division

Violation penalties

If a driver is caught operating a vehicle without car insurance in South Dakota, they could face severe penalties, including:

  • A $100 fine

  • 30 days in jail

  • A one-year suspension of driver’s license

  • A mandatory filing of an SR-22 Proof of Insurance document for three years. This document is a guarantee to the state that you will carry insurance for the specified time, and is usually only required of drivers who have been convicted of reckless driving charges, such as DUI.

For more information, or to renew your registration online, contact the South Dakota Motor Vehicles Division of the Department of Revenue through their website.


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