Since the launch of the TexasSure auto insurance verification program two years ago, the number of uninsured vehicles on Texas roads shows signs of decline, the Texas Department of Insurance reports.
The TexasSure electronic database has been available to all 254 County Tax Assessor-Collectors since June 2008 and to Texas law enforcement since October 2008. Soon after its launch, the database showed that statewide, 24.28 percent of Texas registered vehicles could not be matched to an insurance policy. By June 2010, the number of unmatched registered vehicles had declined to 21.65 percent.
The verification program’s county level data may be accessed online at http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/news/2010/documents/unmatchedbycounty.pdf.
The database, which provides law enforcement with another tool to confirm whether a Texas registered vehicle has valid auto liability insurance, is able to match over 99 percent of all reported auto insurance policies to a registered vehicle. TexasSure routinely contacts those insured customers who can’t be matched.
Because TexasSure is able to identify registered vehicles that are properly insured, the program is also able to identify Texas registered vehicles that appear to be uninsured. Officials for TexasSure recently began contacting individuals with Texas registered vehicles that appear to be uninsured. Mailing of the one-page letters, in both English and Spanish, began mid-June 2010.
There are a few valid reasons that a registered vehicle may not be insured, which include:
- The vehicle is out of service due to an extended repair or to owner’s active military service.
- The type of vehicle and/or vehicle registration class does not require auto liability insurance, such as vehicles registered in the antique classification.
TexasSure uninsured notices are only sent to the owners of registered vehicles that require auto liability insurance. Customers are provided with the vehicle registration information on file and specific guidance to resolve the issue and provide information to TexasSure. Customers may respond by mail, phone, or online through the TexasSure Web site.
First time offenders are subject to a fine of up to $350, plus court costs, and may be assessed additional fees as authorized by Texas Transportation Code Chapter 708. Repeat offenders are also subject to a two-year driver license suspension.
Source: Texas Department of Insurance
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