JAN. 5-- A new law targeting uninsured motorists went into effect on Jan. 1, attacking the common practice of drivers without insurance skirting the law by avoiding traffic stops.
“When folks first come in to register they’ll have to show proof of insurance,” said Hardin County Clerk Connie Stephens, "but after that the computer will keep track automatically. It’ll take a few months to get used to the change, but I think this will be great for everyone.”
“Tennessee already has a financial responsibility law that applies to Tennessee drivers,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “The goal of this new system is to efficiently and effectively check compliance in order to reduce the number of motorists who lack insurance or another form of financial responsibility.”
The James Lee Atwood Jr. Law was passed during the 2015 legislative session in order to help reduce the overall number of uninsured drivers on Tennessee roadways. Although passed by the legislature two years ago, time was given to create the infrastructure of the program before implementation.
As part of this law, all insurance companies that write auto policies within the state are required to register those policies with the Tennessee Department of Revenue and provide the policy information.
The biggest change is that the department will maintain that policy information in a computer database, and continually check to see if there were any policy changes or cancellations.