County clerks, insurance agents: mandatory insurance program working
BALLARD COUNTY, Ky. — Nearly two years ago, Ballard County became one of the first counties in the state to start a pilot program addressing uninsured drivers in Kentucky.
As mandated by the Kentucky Legislature, uninsured motorists across the commonwealth will begin receiving notices in June that registrations for their personal vehicles will be canceled if they do not obtain required insurance or show proof of existing insurance.
Registered owners of personal vehicles shown to have been without insurance for more than 60 days will receive the notices. The owners will have 30 days in which to obtain or present verification of coverage.
The letters started going out across the state in June and since they've had a little bit of a head start, Ballard County Clerk Lynn Lane said she's seen an improvement.
"I think it's working, yes I do. I think it's working and it's making people more aware," she said.
The mandatory insurance initiative is aimed at plugging an enforcement gap that enables drivers to skirt the law by dropping coverage once their vehicles have been registered. It is administered by the Department of Vehicle Regulation, of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Each month, insurance companies licensed to do business in Kentucky submit to the Department of Vehicle Regulation the vehicle identification numbers of the vehicles their policies insure. A database compares the VINs with those of vehicles registered to Kentucky owners.
Vehicles for which there is no corresponding personal insurance policy are identified and owners are notified that if they do not obtain insurance or provide proof of insurance within 30 days, their Kentucky registration will be canceled without further notice.
Ballard County insurance agent for Kentucky Farm Bureau told Local 6 the initiative has made his job a lot easier.
"The information was always available," he said. "This just makes it easier and quicker to obtain."
Based on results of the eight-county pilot program, the two departments estimate 30,000 to 35,000 uninsured notices will be issued each month. Each notice will identify the vehicle in question by make, model, license plate number and VIN. A notice will be issued only once per individual case.
If a notice has been generated in apparent error — such as in cases of a mismatched VIN or a commercial vehicle erroneously listed as a personal vehicle — the notice instructs the owner to contact the county clerk or the Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing to get the matter resolved. However, owners who fail to take necessary action will be subject to citation for driving without valid registration.
For more information about the initiative you can click here.