Alabama Car Insurance Requirements
Alabama ranks sixth in the nation in terms of the total number of uninsured drivers operating cars on public roads. According to numbers from the Alabama Department of Revenue and Department of Public Safety, some 22% of the state’s drivers are uninsured. The state took action to reduce that number by updating a mandatory insurance law that first went into effect in 1975.
According to current regulations no Alabama resident can legally operate a motor vehicle on public roads, procure a vehicle registration, or maintain a current registration unless a minimum liability car insurance policy is in force. The compulsory insurance statute extends to all self-propelled vehicles including motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, and so on.
There are a few exceptions including government vehicles, cars and trucks covered under a broad-based commercial insurance policy, and trailers hooked to other self-propelled vehicles. Minimum liability requirements in the state include:
- $25,000 per accident for injuries or deaths to a single victim
- $50,000 per accident for injuries or deaths to multiple victims
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
Alabama Enforcement Procedures
The Cotton State has implemented a number of enforcement procedures at the local, county, and state level. Some of these procedures are brand-new beginning in 2013 while some have been on the books for quite a while. These enforcement procedures include, but are not limited to:
- police officers asking for proof of insurance during traffic stops or accident investigations
- county DMV personnel requesting proof of insurance prior to license plate issuance
- state verification of insurance among people who have been convicted of prior insurance violations or whose licenses and/or registrations have been suspended
Beginning January 1, 2013 two new enforcement procedures go into effect. The first one involves the installation of computers in all police cars in the state to give officers access to an electronic database of up-to-date insurance information. Officers will be required to verify insurance information via this database during a traffic stop or accident investigation.
The second procedure allows for state officials to randomly request insurance verification from Alabama’s drivers via the postal system. Drivers will begin deceiving mail notices which will require them to furnish proper insurance identification and other information within a specified amount of time.
Penalties for Insurance Violations
Drivers or car owners who violate Alabama’s mandatory car insurance law are subject to fines of $500 for a first offense, $1000 for every subsequent offense. Furthermore, license suspensions of up to six months can be imposed along with reinstatement fees in order to get one’s license back. Given the size of the penalties it’s more cost-effective for Alabama drivers to just purchase a cheap car insurance policy.