Gov. Fallin signed legislation Monday to help further reduce the number of uninsured drivers in Oklahoma. Sen. Ron Sharp is the principal Senate author of Senate Bill 115 to transfer oversight of the Compulsory Insurance Online Verification System (OCIVS) for motor vehicle liability policies from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID).
“Oklahoma has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the nation, which is unacceptable. We need to do all we can to stop this illegal activity. Transferring oversight of the Compulsory Insurance Online Verification System is a great step,” said Sharp, R-Shawnee.
“The current system is often unreliable because DPS hasn’t been able to afford to update and improve the system. The Insurance Department has the financial ability to maintain this important system and also regulatory authority over insurance companies making it the best agency to oversee the system.”
According to DPS, around 600,000 or 26 percent of Oklahomans are driving uninsured. The Oklahoma Compulsory Insurance Verification System was created by DPS to help law enforcement officers, tag agents, and court clerks quickly verify if a driver has auto insurance.
SB 115 requires that the system and the Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Program be transferred by January 1, 2018. It requires the Tax Commission and DPS to cooperate with OID in ongoing improvement and maintenance of the system. Under the new law, the Insurance Commissioner will be authorized to initiate an administrative proceeding against an insurance company that is not providing vehicle insurance policy information to the online verification system. The bill also allows a motor license agent or other registering agency to accept security verification from a licensed insurance producer or customer service representative if the online verification system is not online or the information is otherwise unavailable.
SB 115, which is coauthored by Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia), will become effective November 1, 2017.