When Computers Disallow Renewal Of Car Registration Because Of The Absence Of Insurance

Tennessee drivers are no longer required to show proof of insurance when renewing car registration. Tennessee’s Department of Revenue has a new insurance verification system that took effect early this week. The program was designed to improve compliance with Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law. Instead of checking insurance coverage during license renewal, the system verifies the insurance on a continuous basis throughout the year.

The James Lee Atwood Jr. Law was passed in 2015 by the State Legislature for the reduction of uninsured drivers on Tennessee roads and highways.  Part of the law includes the insurance verification system. All Tennessee insurance carriers that are registered to write personal auto liability policies are required to register with the Department of Revenue and provide information on the policy of those they insure. The insurance verification system will check the policies against the registered Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

The process of renewal for car registration is still the same but if the computers show that there is no insurance, a new registration will not be issued. If the system is unable to confirm whether a particular vehicle is covered, a notice will be sent to the car owner directing him to the website to prove the existence of minimum liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility. Several notices will be provided but if the car owner continues to be unresponsive, he can be fined or the vehicle registration may be suspended.

Since the system is directly linked to the Department of Revenue, verification will be handled between the state and the insurance provider. When an uninsured vehicle is being registered, the Department of Revenue will put a stop code on the computer similar to a situation where the driver has a suspended license. Registration renewal will not be allowed until the computer says so.

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