Montana Proposes Stricter Penalties for Uninsured Motorists

By | February 22, 2011

Montana regulators have proposed increasing fines for motorists who are repeatedly caught not carrying automobile liability insurance. The uninsured motorists bill, HB 243, would increase fines on second conviction to $500, up from $350. And a third or subsequent violations would be punishable by a fine of $1,000, up from $500, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months, or both.

The bill was passed out of the House Appropriations committee.

According to the fiscal analysis of the bill, its implementation would require additional expenditures of about $78,000 each year to monitor driver records that show commencement and cancellation of insurance policies, as well as to notify offenders. The Motor Vehicles Department expects it would have to track an additional 2,200 second-violation offenders each year, and about 3,000 additional drivers whose licenses are suspended. Currently, driver’s licenses are suspended after a fourth conviction.

However if passed, the bill is expected to generate additional revenue of about $370,000 per year that would go toward the state’s general fund.

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