New system warns uninsured drivers to pay

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By Shannon Brock

Anderson County residents whose motor vehicles are not insured will soon have to pay up or have their vehicle registration revoked.

Starting at the end of this week, about 200 residents will receive notifications by mail informing them that if they don't get proper insurance coverage in 30 days, their vehicle registration will be canceled, said Anderson County Clerk Harold Ritchey.

After the initial round of letters, notifications will be sent out to new offenders on a monthly basis, Richey said.

The notification system is a result of Kentucky Revised Statute 186A.040, approved by the General Assembly in 2005. It has taken several years to get the system up and running, Ritchey said.

"(The General Assembly) had to get all the insurance companies on board," he said. "They're confident that they can send out the letters now and not make mistakes."

The system is being tested out in Anderson and Bullitt counties, but the plan is to eventually spread it into all of Kentucky's 120 counties, Ritchey said.

Upon receiving the notification, Ritchey urges people to come to the county clerk's office as soon as possible. If those who receive the notification can show proof of insurance, they will not be fined and their registration will not be canceled. However, if the person cannot show proof of insurance or waits past the 30-day period, she or he will have to pay a $20 fee.

If people who receive the letter do not straighten out the matter in the 30-day period, a notification that their registration has been canceled will be sent to the state database. This database is used when officers make a traffic stop.

Those who receive a notification in the mail can call with questions, but matters must be dealt with in person at the county clerk's office and cannot be resolved over the phone or by fax.

Even if the person has switched insurance companies or doesn't own the vehicle any more, she or he must go to the county clerk's office and sign an affidavit recording what happened, Ritchey said.

Although the notification system will upset some, it shows that state government is "trying to do something about uninsured motorists," he said.