DPS Insurance Verification System to Be Online May 22

The Department of Public Safety's online insurance verification system will be available to all law enforcement officers and agencies statewide beginning Friday, May 22.

"The Department is pleased to provide this additional tool to law enforcement in Oklahoma, and to the residents of Oklahoma who too often become the victim of uninsured motorists," said David Beatty, project manager for the Oklahoma Compulsory Insurance Verification System. "Through our partnership with the insurance companies themselves, we are able to let peace officers on the roadside or at the scene of an accident know instantly if vehicles are properly insured."

"Through a direct interface with the verification system, a peace officer will receive a message in a matter of a seconds stating that insurance coverage is confirmed or unconfirmed for a particular vehicle," Beatty said. "The process will not take any extra time for the officer. The verification response accompanies every tag check or VIN check run by the officer." The response to the officer is the result of a cooperative effort between the Oklahoma Tax Commission, which maintains all vehicle registration information, and the Department of Public Safety.

"The Department will test the system with law enforcement for about one month," Beatty said, "with a disclaimer on the verification response not to use the response as the sole reason to write a ticket. On July 1, however, that will change and the verification system response can be used as probable cause to issue the motorist a ticket for no insurance." Beatty explained the test period will allow officers and dispatchers to become accustomed to seeing and using the response.

"This month of testing will also allow all motorists who do not carry insurance for their vehicles to get insurance before July 1," Beatty said. "Until now, tag agents and law enforcement have had to rely on that little piece of paper most of us carry in our cars. Now there is a process to confirm the reliability of the security verification form every time it is presented."

Beatty estimates that 22% to 23% of vehicles on Oklahoma's highways are uninsured. "But it is hard to prove a negative," Beatty said. "This verification system will give us a better grasp on the uninsured situation in Oklahoma and hopefully help bring it under control."

The cost of a ticket for no insurance remains the same, a minimum of $211.50 according to the state bond schedule. A conviction for no insurance leads to revocation of a person's driving privileges with the requirement to provide proof of insurance and pay up to $350 in administrative fees in order to reinstate driving privileges.