Arizona House Committee Considers Mandatory Auto Insurance Amendment

March 12, 2009

The Arizona House Banking and Insurance Committee is evaluating a bill that would make changes to the state’s mandatory vehicle insurance requirements.

According to bill text, in November 1997, Arizona began allowing citizens to use the Internet or telephone to renew their vehicle registrations. Additional services have since been added to include ordering special license plates, duplicate driver licenses and identification cards, license address changes, and payment of abandoned vehicles and nonsufficient fund fees.

Under the current statue, a person who continuously fails to provide proof of insurance coverage for his or her motor vehicle is subjectto a civil penalty, among other penalties.

The proposed legislation would:
1) Mandate that a person shall submit proof of financial responsibility for initial registration for a motor vehicle and all renewal applications;

2) Instruct the court to direct the Department of Motor Vehicles to require a person to provide proof of financial responsibility upon resinstatement of a driver license, registration and license plates that are revoked due to the failure of providing proof of financial responsibility three or more times; and

3) Eliminate a judge’s discretion to reduce or waive a civil penalty incured as a result of failure to provide proof of insurance if the person cited did not have insurance at the time of citation.

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Arizona said it supports the concept of the bill to strengthen mandatory insurance laws, but was concerned with the implementation of paper identification cards. Paper ID cards create more work and costs for the Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as are less efficient than the current electronic method, the association indicated.

For information, visit http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/1r/summary/h.hb2224_03-03-09_caucuscow.doc.htm.

Source: Arizona Legislature, IIABAZ

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