For years, Kentucky motorists have been required to provide proof of insurance to register an automobile, but loopholes in state laws have allowed vehicle owners to immediately turn around and cancel their policy. Although insurers have been electronically submitting monthly coverage reports to the state since 2006, this information has not been used to actively pursue uninsured motorists, until now.
Starting in June 2012, Kentucky law enforcement officers and state officials will have the tools necessary to ensure that all drivers in the state are maintaining continuous coverage. The Bluegrass State will be making changes to its Mandatory Insurance Reporting Program that will allow the State Transportation Cabinet to review policy records to determine which motorists have been continuously insured. Those who are found to be in violation of the law will be issued uninsured notices, and face the possibility of having their vehicle registration automatically canceled.
After receiving a notice, residents will have 30 days to verify that continuous coverage has been maintained, or deal with the consequences. These changes were made in an effort to decrease the number of uninsured drivers in the Bluegrass State. In 2009, an estimated 18 percent of automobiles in KY had no coverage, but by actively pursuing residents who ignore state coverage requirements, local officials hope to significantly decrease this percentage.
If residents receive a notice, they need to prove that they have purchased auto insurance in Kentucky by providing any of the following documents:
- An insurance card
- Reinstatement notice if insured with the same company
- Proof of active military service or provost letter
- Proof of self-insured coverage
- Contract including a declaration page
- Binder or certificate of insurance issued by an agent
Driving without adequate coverage can lead to more than just registration cancelation. If stopped by a law enforcement officer, uninsured motorists could face fines up to $1,000, 90 days in jail, and the suspension of their license plates. Convicted residents might also be labeled as high risk drivers, making it much more difficult to find inexpensive protection in the future.
To avoid the oncoming crackdown on uninsured motorists, residents are encouraged to double-check their status through the KY Department of Insurance or purchase protection as soon as possible. Shopping around online for estimates can help motorists quickly and efficiently compare their options so they can affordably meet Kentucky coverage requirements.