Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation aimed at further reducing the number of uninsured drivers in Oklahoma.
Senate Bill 115 transfers oversight of the Compulsory Insurance Online Verification System (OCIVS) for motor vehicle liability policies from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID).
“Oklahoma has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the nation, which is unacceptable. We need to do all we can to stop this illegal activity and transferring oversight of the Compulsory Insurance Online Verification System is a great step,” stated Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, who authored the bill. “The current system is often unreliable because DPS hasn’t been able to afford to update and improve the system. The Insurance Department has the financial ability to maintain this important system and also regulatory authority over insurance companies making it the best agency to oversee the system.”
Under the bill, the Oklahoma Tax Commission and DPS would work with OID for the ongoing improvement and maintenance of the system.
According to DPS, around 600,000, or 26 percent, of Oklahomans are driving uninsured. The OCIVS was created by DPS to help law enforcement officers, tag agents, and court clerks quickly verify if a driver has auto insurance.
SB 115 requires that the system and the Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Program be transferred by Jan. 1, 2018. Under the new law, the insurance commissioner will be able to initiate an administrative proceeding against an insurance company that is not providing vehicle insurance policy information to the online verification system.
The bill allows for license plate numbers to be used in tracking.
It also allows a motor license agent or other registering agency to accept security verification from a licensed insurance producer or customer service representative if the online verification system is not online or the information is otherwise unavailable.
SB 115, which is coauthored by Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, becomes effective Nov. 1.
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