in South Carolina without insurance now is a little more difficult.
electronic database designed to expose uninsured motorists went into effect
last week as part of an effort to force those drivers – about one in four – to
add coverage or get off the road, The Post and Courier reported.
move is designed to snag motorists who try to skirt the system by taking out
insurance just long enough to get a card showing they are covered, then
canceling the policy.
Sept. 15, all insurance companies are required to begin electronically
transferring names of canceled policyholders to the state Department of Motor
the DMV receives the names, it immediately sends out notices to motorists
telling them they are being fined $5 daily while uninsured, and could have
their tags taken away and registration suspended if they don’t get covered
within 45 days. Retaining registration would cost $200 with all fees and fines
going to the department.
had a similar policy years ago, but it lacked the organization and enforcement
and it just faded away,” state Rep. Bob Walker, R-Spartanburg, told the
sits on a seven-member working group aimed at setting up the database system
for the 2-year-old legislation.
legislation is being tweaked to close a loophole to further discourage
motorists who cheat.
current law, insurance agents are required to submit canceled policyholders’ names only once a month to the DMV, meaning some offenders could slip through
undetected for a few weeks. Proposed changes, expected for adoption when
lawmakers convene in January for the next session, would make insurers comply
on a daily basis.
changes planned include shortening the 45-day grace period to 20 business days,
and up the punishment to include revoking drivers’ licenses.
state’s system will run via the Internet, enabling insurance companies to
connect with the agency without needing to pay for extra technology.