Insurance commissioner explains how state catches drivers without insurance

The tough economy has a lot of people trying to trim their monthly expenses. KPCC’s Brian Watt says they should think twice before they drop their auto insurance.

The tough economy has a lot of people trying to trim their monthly expenses. KPCC’s Brian Watt says they should think twice before they drop their auto insurance.

Brian Watt: California law requires insurance for all cars and drivers. Without it, you can’t register your car or get a drivers’ license. Some folks try to skirt the law by ordering an insurance policy just to get the paperwork from the Department of Motor Vehicles, then cancelling the policy – or just not paying for it. But State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner says a new law requires all insurance companies to tell the DMV when that happens.

Steve Poizner: So every month now, all the insurance companies doing business in California send a computer disk to the DMV. Then, the DMV does a computer match between the people who have licenses and registrations and people who just cancelled their insurance.

Watt: Then, the DMV sends a letter to people who are driving without insurance. It gives them 40 days to provide proof of insurance or lose their vehicle registration.

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