Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 22, 2017
Senate approves bill modifying oversight
of online insurance verification system
full Senate approved legislation Wednesday 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). Sen. Ron
Sharp, R-Shawnee, is the principal Senate author of Senate Bill
115 and said the bill is an effort to reduce the number of uninsured
drivers in the state.
“Currently, around 26 percent of Oklahomans are driving uninsured,
which is illegal. The Oklahoma Compulsory Insurance Verification
System was created by the Department of Public Safety to help law
enforcement officers, tag agents, and court clerks quickly verify
if a driver has auto insurance,” said Sharp. “While
the system does minimally serve this purpose, DPS has pointed out
that it’s sometimes unreliable and they haven’t been
able to afford to update it since 2009 when the system was created.”
SB 115 would require the transfer of the system to take place by
January 1, 2018. Although district attorneys can already access
the system, the bill authorizes their access. The bill allows for
license plate numbers to be used in tracking. It also affirms that
the Insurance Commissioner does have the regulatory authority to
deal with any insurance companies that violate the insurance verification
law. Finally, it requires tag agents to accept proof of insurance
from insurance agents in the event that OCIVS does not provide a
clear answer, and to do so electronically at no extra cost to the
person registering the vehicle.
“The Insurance Department, with its regulatory authority over
insurance companies and its ability to improve and maintain the
system, is the ideal agency to oversee the system,” said Sharp.
“Once the transfer is made, police officers, highway patrol
troopers and others will be able to check the system and have up-to-date
information available to them. Having that accurate, real time information
will ensure that violators are held accountable and we should see
the number of uninsured drivers in Oklahoma decrease.”
Under the bill, the Oklahoma Tax Commission and DPS would work with
OID for the ongoing improvement and maintenance of the system.
SB 115 now goes to the House for further consideration.
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