About 15 percent of Montana drivers are uninsured, or slightly higher than the national average of 13.8 percent, a state insurance official told a legislative committee in 2012.
A new computer verification system intended to make sure vehicles have liability insurance in place at the time they’re registered or renewed went into effect Jan. 2.
Flathead County Treasurer Adele Krantz said clerks in her department will ask a person for a proof of insurance card if the computer system doesn’t show their vehicle is insured. If the person doesn’t have a card, clerks will go ahead and complete the transaction but advise the person they may not be successful next time.
In May 2012, the Montana Highway Patrol began using the MTIVS web service to electronically verify proof of vehicle liability insurance during traffic stops. Use of the web service assists troopers and motorists in situations where drivers either can’t find their proof of insurance card or have an expired card. The web service also gives troopers the ability to confirm the validity of a proof of insurance card based on the response received from the issuing insurance company. Troopers may also use MTIVS to electronically verify that liability insurance was in effect at the time of an accident.
Highway Patrol troopers, like officers from other law enforcement agencies, have the discretion to make enforcement decisions, such as whether to issue a citation or warning, or neither, based on information gathered during a traffic stop or accident investigation. The new MTIVS service does not alter that use of officer discretion – it simply allows troopers to base their decisions on reliable, real-time insurance information.
Insurance verification capabilities were extended to local courts in August 2012, and MTIVS access was expanded to other Montana law enforcement agencies later that summer. In 2013, insurance verification will be used by the Motor Vehicle Division and County Treasurers for motor vehicle titling and registration transactions.
The ultimate goal of this system is to reduce the number of drivers in Montana who do not carry liability insurance as required by Montana law. Uninsured drivers are a serious problem, undermining traffic safety and driving up the costs for insured, law-abiding motorists. Real-time insurance verification will make the roads safer for everyone.
If you or someone you know has been injured by an uninsured driver, contact the Kalispell attorneys at Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation. Uninsured car accidents in Kalispell occur frequently. Our Kalispell lawyers, represent injured victims in uninsured car accidents.
Even if you are injured by an uninsured driver in a car accident, a Kalispell lawyer at Bliven Law Firm, P.C. may help you receive funds for lost wages, medical expenses and loss of use that you may be legally entitled to.
For a free consultation, contact Bliven Law Firm, P.C. at (406) 755-6828.