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Auto Insurance Requirements in South Dakota

There are four ways for drivers to establish financial responsibility in South Dakota:

  • Self-insurance (if you own a business with 26 cars or more).
  • A surety bond.
  • A $50,000 Certificate of Deposit.
  • Liability insurance.

Minimum Requirements:

  • For injury or death to one person: $25,000
  • For injury or death to more than one person: $50,000
  • For property damage: $25,000.

Drivers must be able to provide proof of insurance at all times. Failure to provide proof of insurance can result in a $100 fine, 30 days in jail, mandatory filing of an SR-22 for three years and the resulting higher insurance premiums.

South Dakota Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is big business. In fact, it costs South Dakota residents almost $1,000 more a year on their auto insurance premiums. Auto insurance fraud, to some people, seems like a victimless offense. Many don't consider things like exaggerating the amount of damage or injury on a claim form to be insurance fraud. But it is. Here are a few more types of auto insurance fraud:

  • Referring people injured in accidents to doctors, lawyers and auto body repair shops for a fee.
  • Lying on an insurance application. One common fraud practice is to use the address of a friend who lives in an area where premiums are lower.
  • Staged accident rings.
  • Tampering with an expired insurance card to make it look current.
  • Issuing a bogus insurance policy.
  • Filing a claim for an accident that never really happened or may have happened in the past. These are called "paper" accidents because they exist only on paper.
  • Claiming that an insured driver was driving during an accident instead of the uninsured family member who was really driving.

Alcohol-Related Accidents in South Dakota

In South Dakota there are a total of approximately 120 crash fatalities per year. Roughly 45 of these deaths, or 35 percent of them, are related to drunk driving. Thirty-five of these fatalities are caused by a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher.

The BAC limit in South Dakota is 0.08 percent. However, if a driver has a BAC of more than 0.05 percent and it is proven that his or her driving was unsafe, that person can still be charged with a DUI.

South Dakota's Unusual Laws

Every state has its own share of strange, unusual and downright funny laws. Here are a few of South Dakota's:

  • It is against the law to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.
  • It is illegal to disturb a mink den.
  • Hunters are forbidden from using spotlights, except to hunt for raccoons.

Driving in South Dakota

Motorists who drive through South Dakota will have lots to see. Redlands National Park offers 80 million years of geological history, and if you drive through the Black Hills, you can visit restored gold-rush towns and old mining sites. Nature lovers will enjoy the wildlife preserve of Custer State Park. Did you know that Mount Rushmore is in the state of South Dakota?

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