New Online System To Crack Down On Uninsured Drivers

Posted at 5:55 PM, Dec 21, 2016

The Tennessee Department of Revenue will be using a new online system to help reduce the amount of uninsured drivers in the state. 

Starting next month, the agency will implement an insurance verification system to make sure drivers have coverage by reading the registered Vehicle Identification Number. 

The system will match the numbers to registered policies. If you are unable to provide proof of financial responsibility, you can face fines or the risk of having your vehicle registration suspended. 

"We are merely trying to confirm if the proper type of auto insurance is in place. It's about insuring compliance with a law that's already in the books," Tennessee Department of Revenue Spokesperson Kelly Cortesi told NewsChannel 5. 

Law enforcement agencies have access to the system too. Instead of checking for insurance coverage during vehicle registrations, officials can review them randomly at anytime of the year. 

"If you've never been out of compliance then you probably won't see a difference," State Representative William Lamberth said. "If you are one of the drivers on the roadway uninsured, then you will get caught, and before you get tags renewed, you'll have to have insurance on that vehicle."
The system is part of the James Lee Atwood Jr. Law passed last year. The goal is to help drop the number of uninsured drivers in Tennessee by increasing fines among other policies. 
According to Lamberth, one in five Tennessee drivers are without insurance.
"We have had individuals in our state that have been hurt and killed by uninsured drivers that never should be driving to begin with," Lamberth added.

The state stresses that drivers still need to carry the proof of insurance. Drivers should make sure their VIN is correct on registration and insurance documents. 

It is also important drivers ensure their insurance information is updated to avoid notices. According to Cortesi, the new verification system is only as good as what is made available from records and auto insurers. 

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