New Mandatory Liability Insurance for Alabama Drivers reports Flick Law Firm
State ranks sixth worst in regards to uninsured motorists
The law will require drivers to present proof of insurance, along with their driver's license, when renewing their license plates. The DMV will now check an insurance database that is hosted by the Department of Revenue in order to make sure that drivers do have such insurance.
According to previous reports from the Birmingham News, drivers had often bought insurance just long enough to get the insurance card, only to cancel their policy soon after. By doing so, “An uninsured driver can show a law officer a 'valid' insurance card and have no insurance in place at all," the editorial said. "Now ... the owners of the estimated 900,000 Alabama vehicles without insurance are more likely to get caught."”
Starting at the turn of the year, police officers now have the ability to check Online Insurance verification Systems to make sure that insurance is current. Drivers who do not have proper insurance will have a $500 fine for the first offense, with a $1,000 fine for each subsequent offense following.
"[G]etting caught even once can be as expensive as having to purchase a simple auto liability insurance policy," Birmingham News stated.
Those who are repeat offenders may see more than a simple fine, however, and could see their license and registration suspended for up to six months.
With the estimated near-25% of Alabama's registered vehicles uninsured, the state currently ranks as the sixth most uninsured state in the United States, according to Alfa Farmers News.
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