Enforcement of Oklahoma License Plate Seizure Law Begins in 2014

Motorist and copA new Oklahoma law allowing police to seize the license plates of uninsured motorists goes into effect Nov. 1, but motorists have a couple of months before having to face enforcement under the new rules.

Under HB 1792, signed into law in late April, uninsured motorists whose license plates are confiscated will be enrolled in an temporary car insurance plan for 10 days while they find coverage elsewhere. Uninsured motorists pay a $125 administrative fee to fund the 10-day coverage plan, called the Temporary Motorist Liability Plan (TMLP), which provides coverage at the minimum Oklahoma auto insurance liability requirements of 20/50/25.

“Technically, law enforcement can begin seizing tags today, but they won’t be doing it,” Kelly Collins, director of communications at the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID), said.

“There are no plans to begin seizing tags” until Jan. 1, 2014, Collins told Online Auto Insurance News (OAIN).

Until then, Collins said that the OID is partnering with the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association “to train law enforcement officials around the state about the requirements under the new law.”

Oklahoma is also undergoing “an open bidding process that is still underway” for an insurer that will supply policies for the TMLP, Collins told OAIN.

Lawmakers Hope Law Curbs Rate of Uninsured Motorists

Lawmakers passed HB 1792 in a bid to lower the statewide rate of uninsured motorists, which Sen. Corey Brooks (R-Washington), one of the legislation’s sponsors, said stands at 25 percent; researchers say the uninsured rate nationwide is around 14 percent.

“One in four drivers in our state is uninsured,” Brooks said in a statement. “That means higher premiums for drivers who obey the law, so the rest of us are paying the price. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, you can be left holding the bag for even more. The whole idea behind this new law is to make sure that happens less often in our state.”

Oklahoma’s new plate confiscation law is modeled after “similar measures” in Louisiana and South Carolina. The two states more than halved their uninsured motorist rates after implementing “temporary sticker” laws, according to the state Senate.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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