South Carolina law requires you to maintain liability insurance coverage for your vehicle at all times. Insurance companies notify SCDMV of policy cancellations electronically through the Automobile Insurance Liability Reporting System (ALIR).
When SCDMV receives this notification, a letter is automatically generated to the vehicle owner requiring them to provide verification of insurance coverage within 20 business days.
If SCDMV does not receive verification within the allotted period of time, the vehicle owner's privilege to drive, license plate and vehicle registration(s) of the vehicles listed on the policy will be suspended.
How does the ALIR system affect the average driver?
ALIR allows insurance companies to report policy cancellations much faster. Faster reporting means faster detection of uninsured motorists.
What should I do to protect myself?
All registered vehicles must be insured. Maintain your insurance coverage and do not let your policy lapse. If you surrender your vehicle tag and registration to your nearest DMV office before you cancel the insurance, you will not be penalized.
What if I changed insurance companies, but had no lapse in coverage?
Your insurance company will notify SCDMV of your policy cancellation date. SCDMV will then send you a letter, giving you 20 business days to provide proof of liability insurance coverage. If you changed insurance companies without a lapse in coverage, the process is simple. Notify your new insurance company about the letter you received from SCDMV.
Most companies can provide verification of the new policy to SCDMV electronically through the ALIR system. Remember-don't wait too long to notify your insurance company about the insurance verification requirement. SCDMV must receive the notification within 20 business days so be sure to give your insurance company ample time to help you comply. It is your responsibility to make sure that the Department receives your insurance information. If you are stopped while currently under suspension for a cancellation of insurance suspension, you could be given a Driving Under Suspension citation. You also may be arrested and sent to jail.
What happens if I did not have coverage?
Your privilege to drive, license plate and vehicle registration may be suspended and you may have to pay a $200.00 reinstatement fee. You will also have to pay $5.00 for each day your vehicle was uninsured, up to $200.00.
If I had more than one vehicle on the cancelled policy, will I have to pay more?
You must pay the $200.00 reinstatement fee and $5.00 per day fee for each vehicle that was covered by the policy.
What happens if my privilege to drive and my license plate and vehicle registration are suspended?
While under suspension, you may not drive any vehicle or register any vehicle that was uninsured. If you do not return your vehicle license to the SCDMV, a SC Trooper will confiscate your license plate.
What if I sold the vehicle?
You must provide proof that you sold the vehicle before you cancelled the insurance policy. If you did not sell it before the insurance policy was cancelled. You must pay $5.00 for each day the vehicle was uninsured. If suspended at the time you sold the vehicle, you will also have to pay the $200.00 reinstatement fee.
What happens if I receive a citation for driving uninsured?
If you are found guilty and you were driving a vehicle that you did not own, your driver's license will be suspended for thirty days and you will be required to pay a $100.00 reinstatement fee. If you were found guilty and you were driving a vehicle that you own, your driver license and your registration privileges will be suspended until the Department receives a $550.00 reinstatement fee. You will also be required to file SR-22 for three years starting from the beginning date of the suspension.