Auto insurance fines create controversy in Louisiana

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Office of Motor Vehicles sends more than 1 million letters to drivers for lapsed insurance coverage

The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has sent out more than 1 million letters to drivers, seeking to collect some $400 million in fines associated with lapsed auto insurance coverage. These letters were sent to approximately 550,000 Louisiana drivers, many of whom have more than one vehicle, or were unable to insure their vehicles for a period of time. Some drivers are facing fines as high as $656 for driving without auto insurance coverage.

Drivers take issue with the letters they have received

The letters have drawn ire from many drivers who claim they have been improperly accused of lapsed insurance on vehicles that they have sold in the past. These vehicles are now registered in other states and belong to different drivers. Some consumers are claiming that this is a simple cash-grab from the state, as it attempts to fund raises for the State Police. The letters were issues to drivers in mid-October, and some drivers have had to wait for two or more weeks to resolve the situation and avoid fines that were issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles.

State insurance regulator believes many of the letters are unfair to consumers

auto insurance fines keys carLouisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon also has a problem with the letters that have been sent to drivers. According to Donelon, the fact that there is no real appeals process for fines issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles is unfair to those living in the state. The State Police, which is responsible for applying the fines, note that the goal of the endeavor is pure, hoping that fines will encourage consumers to stop operating vehicles without the appropriate auto insurance coverage.

State Police has collected $6 million in lapsed auto insurance fines

The Louisiana State Police has collected some $6 million in fines as of November 4. Several cases are still under review, with drivers arguing that they have has auto insurance coverage for their vehicles all along. Investigating these cases may be time consuming, but many drivers are expected to be able to provide proof that they had auto insurance coverage in the past, allowing them to sidestep any fines.

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