This year, uninsured motorists in Texas would have to get their vehicles insured, or they would have to face the prospect of having to face sanctions.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) reported that there are about 4.8 million registered family-owned cars in the state which remains uninsured. This is roughly about 22% of the 22 million automobiles recorded in the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Because of this large number, notices are being planned by TDI to notify and compel these drivers to get auto insurance.
By law, drivers of this state are already mandated to have minimum liability insurance. This would pay for damage and/or injuries that might happen during a car mishap.
Reports made by TexasSure indicate that counties like Deaf Smith, Potter and King have the most number of cars which are uninsured. However, this does not include commercial vehicles because they are not yet part of the TexasSure program.
TexasSure is a new vehicle verification system that permits tax officials and law enforcers to confirm if a motorist has the compulsory personal auto liability insurance coverage. It started on June 2008 for registration purposes and was implemented for law enforcement use on October of the same year.
Before this said program was carried-out, traffic officers had to call insurance companies for verification on whether or not a vehicle which figured in an accident is insured or not.
However, aside from the notice, officials from TDI said that enough time would be given to said drivers in order for them to comply with the state’s minimum auto insurance policy.
For those who have declared that they have insurance, but in truth has none, a letter informing them that they have no record in any insurance company would also be sent. They would need to sort this out with their underwriter.
The penalty for driving without necessary insurance is $350 for first time offenders. A second offense, on the other hand, amounts to a fine of $1,000. Those who are repeat offenders, if found guilty, would have to serve prison time.
Although state legislators are worried of the high figure of uninsured vehicles, they cited monetary reasons for this dilemma. They reason that because of the high cost, those who are uninsured are those who cannot afford it.
Many uninsured drivers are seen as using unlawful means such as using counterfeit insurance cards. Others, wanting to have their license plates and registrations renewed, only engage contracts involving a single month’s coverage.
With the TexasSure program in place, and with plans of its stricter implementation this year, state officials are hopeful that many uninsured vehicle owners would be compelled to obtain auto insurance.