A 2011 Insurance Research Council report estimated that 11 percent of the state's drivers were uninsured in 2009. The good news: this was below the national average of 13.8 percent.
Because South Carolina requires all policies to include uninsured motorist coverage (UM), insured drivers have some financial protection against those who don't have coverage.
Uninsured motorist fee
South Carolina approaches the problem of uninsured motorists a little differently than other states. In lieu of having car insurance, you can pay the state an uninsured motorist fee of $550 a year so long as you meet certain requirements. You'll still be liable for any damage caused in an at-fault accident.
No proof of insurance
If you're given a citation for driving without insurance, your driving privileges will be suspended. You'll also need to pay a $550 reinstatement fee and file an SR-22 for 3 years. An SR-22 is a proof of financial responsibility form required by the state and filed through your car insurance company.
South Carolina's rules on digital proof of insurance
South Carolina law permits drivers to display electronic proof of car insurance on a smartphone or tablet in the event that they get pulled over and need to provide evidence of auto coverage. If you're an Esurance customer in the Palmetto State, you can download our mobile app and even save your proof of coverage to your phone so it's available offline, too.