Insider's Report Vol. 6, No. 37
Insurance database rolls out statewide
TexasSure, the vehicle insurance verification database designed to reduce the number of uninsured motorists, is now available to law enforcement statewide.
I helped pass Senate Bill 1670 during the 2005 legislative session in an effort to target motorists driving illegally without insurance while protecting law-abiding citizens on our roadways. One of the greatest challenges for law enforcement is that many uninsured drivers use phony insurance cards or obtain a month's coverage of insurance to get an ID card so that they can get their licenses renewed and then cancel the insurance policy.
TexasSure is a secure database that provides law enforcement officials with immediate access to information allowing them to verify a motorist's insurance. It matches the records of registered passenger vehicles with personal auto insurance policy information submitted by Texas insurance companies. The statewide rollout of this program follows a successful pilot project conducted by the Department of Public Safety in the Austin area, which revealed that nearly 25 percent of motorists are uninsured.
During a traffic stop, law enforcement officers may use the license plate and/or VIN of a vehicle to submit a query to the TexasSure database through the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. If a motorist is found to be driving without liability insurance or with an expired or phony insurance document, they face a maximum fine of $350 and hundreds of additional dollars in court costs and fees. Repeat offenders also are subject to a two-year driver's license suspension.
Motorists must continue to carry proof of insurance in their cars.
The new TexasSure program is an example of the Legislature and state agencies collaborating to crack down on violators who drive up the insurance costs of insured motorists. Every state that has instituted some type of auto verification program has seen a reduction in the number of uninsured vehicles and I strongly anticipate that Texas will follow suit.
You can find more information regarding this new program at: www.texassure.com