Sen. Ron Sharp has filed legislation to address Oklahoma’s high number of uninsured motorists especially those with DUI convictions. Senate Bill 260 would require an individual convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) to have valid auto insurance on file with the Department of Public Safety for at least one year after their conviction.
“We have a problem with people convicted of DUIs having no auto insurance. They have found a loophole in our law whereby they can buy auto insurance to get their tag renewed and then cancel the policy after one month. Others simply go purchase a new car and auto insurance under another name,” said Sharp, R-Shawnee. “Hopefully, this bill will prevent DUI offenders from sneaking around the law and ensure they get and maintain the auto insurance that they are legally required to have.”
Under SB 260, the offender’s insurance company would be responsible for keeping an SR 22 Form on file with DPS whether the individual was convicted in Oklahoma or another state. If the individual drops their coverage, the insurance company will then send an SR 29 Form to DPS.
If DPS is notified by the insurance company that the individual has cancelled their insurance policy, the agency will then notify the person that he or she has 10 days to demonstrate proof of continuous vehicle insurance or request a hearing to demonstrate insurance coverage. If the individual cannot show proof of insurance for the vehicle in question, DPS will revoke their registration and suspend their driving privileges. The suspension or revocation will continue until the individual provides satisfactory proof of insurance to DPS. The individual will also be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $100. If someone’s registration is revoked within one year of a prior revocation a $300 reinstatement fee must be paid.
The measure makes it unlawful for a vehicle that’s registration has been revoked for lack of insurance to be reregistered in the name of the owner, the owner’s spouse, parent or child, or any member of the same household until the owner obtains insurance.
If an owner of a vehicle, registered or required to be registered in Oklahoma, is found driving or allowing someone else to drive the vehicle without insurance and makes a false certification concerning having insurance then he or she will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person, firm or corporation that gives false information to DPS concerning someone’s vehicle insurance will also be guilty of a misdemeanor.