Mandatory liability law changes ahead

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 20, 2012

Changes are coming Jan. 1, 2013.

That’s when Alabama’s mandatory liability insurance law becomes effective. Beginning that day, a vehicle owner will not be allowed to register his or her vehicle or renew a registration unless the insurance status of the vehicle can be verified by using a statewide online system or by showing proof of insurance to the license plate issuing official.

That’s a significant change for Alabama drivers and an important one.

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While our state has long required motorists to carry liability insurance, we have never had in place an effective and efficient way of monitoring that coverage. The new law attempts to do so, prohibiting the issuing of license plates or renewals without proof of insurance.

We suspect many Pike County residents may not fully understand the impact of this law or what it means to them. However, we believe this is an important measure for our state.

If we’re going to require all drivers to carry mandatory liability insurance (which they should) we have to have checks and balances in place to make sure the law is enforced and implemented.

It’s not fair to the drivers who do pay for the coverage for others to skirt the law and avoid coverage.

So drivers get ready and make sure your insurance coverage is up-to-date before January 1, 2013.