As of September 2018, 37 states require carriers to report coverage on vehicles they cover to departments of motor vehicles. Many states require data for commercial vehicles and have rigid timelines for reporting based on the coverage effective date. Some states are considering fines for continually exceeding their timelines. Police patrol cars now scan vehicle license plates for up-to-date insurance coverage and are more likely to rely on DMV supplied information rather than an insurance ID card. It has never been more important to provide timely and accurate information for DMV reporting.
The information below is to inform you of how DMV accomplishes reporting, what is reported when the reports are submitted, and what can happen if there is no report.
What is reported:
This varies by state but at a minimum, the insurance carrier reports the full and complete VIN, the effective date of coverage, make, and model. Some states match on policy number and the vehicle registrant name for owned as well as leased vehicles. States match what is in their system against what the carrier reports. If there are discrepancies for VIN, registrant name, etc., they will be rejected until corrected – leaving the insured without evidence of coverage on record with the DMV. The carrier must report when the coverage starts and when a vehicle is no longer covered.
When the information is reported:
Reporting to the states is done nightly according to the state’s requirements (e.g. daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.).
How can you make this process go smoothly:
Accurate and timely information is critical. Make sure you provide accurate VINs, registrant name, and registrant state.
What can happen if the information is not reported timely?
Without accurate and timely information, carrier’s reporting to the DMV is delayed. As a result, the insured’s registrations could be suspended, you could receive tickets or fines and in some instances, the vehicle could be towed and impounded. There have been rare cases where the driver was jailed. If your vehicles are taken off the road due to suspension, towing, etc., that could mean lost business for you.
What if you need vehicle filings:
Vehicles that transport certain products or people need separate filings to various state and federal agencies. These filings let those regulatory agencies know that the vehicle carries required coverage and limits. Certain additional information is necessary to make accurate and timely filings on behalf of our insured. The insurance carrier will do the filing given they have your requirements.
Let us know in the comments section below or via a private message if we can help you with your personal or commercial auto insurance.