The Mississippi Senate has passed a bill requiring motorists to show proof they have purchased liability insurance before receiving a car tag.
The measure was sponsored by Sen. Billy Hewes, a Republican from Gulfport, who said his constituents have complained about being involved in crashes with drivers who aren’t insured.
Presenting false proof would result in a fine of $500 and possibly imprisonment of up to a year. The fine and imprisonment would be waived if the offender provides proof of valid liability insurance by the court date. Motorists must purchase a minimum of six months’ coverage.
Hewes said the bill (SB2053) wouldn’t require any extra paperwork for tax collectors. He said they only have task to see an individual’s proof of insurance before granting the car tag.
Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith, a Republican from Brookhaven who voted against the bill, said her local officials were concerned about the extra duty slowing the process at tax collectors’ offices.
The bill now moves to the House, where similar proposals have died in the past.