Bill Knowles Suggests Electronic Verification Of Insurance Before Auto Titling

Saturday, December 29, 2012
Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law of 1977 requires specific vehicle insurance coverage but is presently enforced only when a motorist is involved in an accident or stopped by law enforcement for another reason.

Hamilton County Clerk Bill Knowles said Saturday, “For years members of the Tennessee General Assembly have explored legislation that would strengthen their mandatory vehicle insurance coverage law."

Mr. Knowles said, “My suggestion to accomplish their goal is to implement a digital-age solution—electronic verification by county clerks prior to vehicle titling. This method would be a seamless motorist-friendly process for clerk offices who serve citizens across the state.

“This method of verification will continue to allow motorists to take advantage of the all-important mail and Internet renewal registration initiatives that serve busy motorists.

Tennessee would not have to “reinvent the wheel’ to consider this approach, since the state of Georgia has a model electronic verification system that has been in effect since 2003. Reference:

Georgia’s law requires insurance agencies to immediately report a client’s compliance with the insurance law by transmitting owner’s name, vehicle make/model, vehicle identification number (VIN), and coverage dates. If policy is canceled, notification is transmitted for appropriate state action. Tennessee could require the same”.

“This approach is a non-intrusive way to accomplish what has eluded Tennessee Legislators in updating this law since holding hearings that I was invited to testify before in 1985.

“At a recent meeting, Hamilton County officials met with local legislative members to discuss the upcoming General Assembly session, I asked them to continue pursuing my proposal.”  

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