Dropping fines for missing forms

Legislation that would keep some motorists with insurance from receiving a fine when they fail to carry their insurance verification form was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
House Bill 2473, by state Rep. Ken Walker, would remove the penalty for failure to show proof of insurance in instances in which an officer is able to verify a person’s insurance. He said that law enforcement currently has access to a person’s insurance coverage when they look up the person’s tag or vehicle identification number.

The legislation was approved by a vote of 80-13.

“The overwhelming, bipartisan support didn’t surprise me,” said Walker, R-Tulsa. “I think we all have forgotten our wallet or jumped in our spouse’s car and accidentally failed to have our insurance verification form on us. It’s a universal mistake and one that should not carry a fine when law enforcement has access to a database to verify insurance. What the database says actually trumps the form, under current law.”

Walker said that law enforcement has expressed concerns that there would be instances in which online insurance verification would not have a motorist on file. He noted that his legislation allows for a fine in instances where law enforcement cannot verify insurance through a database.

“This doesn’t do away with the need to carry an insurance verification form,” Walker said. “It basically just provides grace to law-abiding citizens for a simple mistake. That grace does require that their insurance can be verified through a database.”