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Drivers Beware of Uninsured Motorists

The insurance industry estimates that 10-20% of Minnesota residents drive without auto insurance.   State legislators are working on ways to better identify Minnesota residents who drive without auto insurance.

Motorists don’t have to show proof of insurance when renewing a vehicle’s registration.  People who drive without insurance can lose their licenses and be fined about $300.

Minnesota has a law mandating insurance but there is no verification system set in in place.  The uninsured motorist task force is exploring enforcement options.   The uninsured motorist drive up premium costs for insured drivers.   

Minnesota residents paid about 33,000 tickets for driving without insurance last year, while another 38,000 tickets were issued but not paid.  It isn’t clear as to how many unpaid tickets were the result of a driver who later presented proof of insurance, a task force member said.

The Department of Public Safety is upgrading its computers and making other technological advances that should make it easier to identify uninsured drivers.  Police patrol cars have license plate readers and the task force is proposing that the reader be linked to insurance databases so officers know immediately if someone is driving without insurance. 

The committee is trying to pinpoint the demographics of uninsured drivers; some people believe that the culprits are young, low-income drivers who operate older vehicles. 

Be a responsible and carry liability coverage, if you don’t you are driving up the premiums costs for all Minnesota insured drivers.