Motorists without auto insurance coverage in West Virginia will have a tougher time flouting state law in the future, as officials move to complete an electronic system that will provide up-to-the minute information on insurance status.
According to West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Joe Miller, "with the passage of this vital legislation, DMV will now have the tools necessary to more efficiently and effectively monitor motorists who choose to drive without the required insurance."
The DMV says it is almost ready to release an official request for quote to private vendors hoping to help the department create its new apparatus. The system was authorized by Senate Bill 394, which was sponsored by state Senator John Unger and signed into law by Governor Joe Manchin in the spring.
According to the DMV, there are three primary ways in which the new system will help officials crackdown on uninsured drivers. First, it will allow state workers to verify that anyone registering their vehicle or renewing a registration has auto insurance. It will also regularly compare state records with those kept by car insurance companies, looking to identify drivers who have allowed their policies to lapse but continued to drive.
Finally, the DMV says, the new system will let police making traffic stops or responding to accident scenes quickly identify whether motorists have current auto insurance coverage.
Officials say they hope to have all three of these components up and running by 2013, fully replacing the current paper records with a more advanced, searchable database that can be used for numerous applications. Some, including Unger, think the system could even bring West Virginia car insurance payments down.