Amendment May Slow Down Ga. Vehicle Database Bill

April 18, 2003

Insurers and legislators who have collaborated on a bill designed to fine-tune Georgia’s motor vehicle insurance database are hoping that an unrelated amendment will not spoil chances of the bill’s eventual passage, according to the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII).

“We’ve worked hard with various House members to develop H.B. 191, a bill that deals with proof of auto insurance, and will make the database system work for everyone,” said James S. Taylor, NAII’s southeastern regional manager. “We’d hate to see the bill fail because of unrelated amendments.”

The bill passed the Senate yesterday on a 37 to 18 vote. Although it primarily addresses proof of insurance and the Georgia motor vehicle database, an amendment allowing immigrants and foreign nationals to obtain drivers licenses with an assortment of documentation from their countries of origin could raise questions about the bill.

“Although we don’t think these amendments will keep the main bill from going to the Governor, we’re concerned that some legislators will try to hold up the bill in the House to amend the amendments, and that if the changes don’t agree with the Senate’s version, the bill could end up in conference committee,” Taylor said.

The bill is needed because of earlier legislation that eliminated insurance cards, making the database the sole proof of insurance. Some legislators have received complaints about errors in the system, so part of H.B. 191 is a provision allowing insurance cards to be used as proof of insurance for another year to give the Department of Motor Vehicles time to correct any glitches in the system.

NAII will continue to work with both the House and Senate to shepherd the bill along, and is working with the Department of Motor Vehicles to fine-tune the database system.

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