Troopers: Drivers without liability insurance will face penalties after Nov. 1

 

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is warning drivers who operate a vehicle without liability insurance they could soon face hundreds of dollars in fines and even a possible driver’s license revocation.

Beginning on Nov. 1, the ALEA and local law enforcement agencies will begin enforcing the Alabama mandatory liability insurance law, which was passed by the Alabama Legislature and signed into law during the 2016 legislative session.

The law states “no person shall operate, register or maintain registration of a motor vehicle designed to be used on a public road or highway unless it is covered by a liability insurance policy.”

Alabama county driver’s license offices already require proof of liability insurance before allowing vehicles to be registered.

Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 1, those who drive without liability insurance will face a civil penalty. Fines will be $200 for the first offense, $300 for the second offense and $400 for the third and subsequent offenses.

Drivers who are issued fines for violating the mandatory insurance liability law could face a 90-day driver’s license suspension if they do not pay the fine within 45 days or request a hearing with ALEA’s Driver License Division. If a license is revoked, drivers must pay a $100 fee to have it reinstated, according to ALEA.

If a driver is issued a civil penalty, due process provides the option to appeal, and a hearing will be conducted to determine whether the motor vehicle being operated at the time of the motor vehicle incident was in compliance.

“There has been a grace period in enforcing that law to give motorists time to obtain the proper insurance coverage,” Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor wrote in a statement. “Beginning Nov. 1, motorists are subject to a civil penalty if involved in a motor vehicle incident, the vehicle you are operating is not covered by the state’s mandatory liability insurance and you are not issued a citation for no insurance at the time of the incident.”

Alabama Department of Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling said the law is intended to keep insurance rates down for all Alabama drivers.

“It just makes sense to have liability insurance on your vehicle because operating a motor vehicle without it drives up everyone’s rates,” Ridling wrote in a statement. “Do the right thing, and follow Alabama’s Mandatory Liability Insurance laws to help stabilize rates for Alabama insurance consumers.”