Proof of Insurance Requirements Getting Tougher

On October 1, 2009, Arizona drivers will have to contend with tougher proof of insurance requirements. The bill, HB2224, was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer in July 2009 and when practiced will add rules and fines to the driver’s necessity to show proof of financial responsibility.

For example, in the past if the driver was unable to show proof of insurance when pulled over, he would be served a ticket and have the option of paying it or showing up in court to try to reduce the fee. However, now the rules have changed. In order to get a reduction in fees, the driver not only has to show proof of insurance, but also that he hasn’t received any insurance citations in the past two years – or only one in three years.

If the driver is a repeat offender, he may face up to a $1,000 fine. What’s worse is if the driver doesn’t show proof of insurance, he will be fined and will have his license suspended. Here are the monetary specifics of the new law:

  • First offense – $500 + surcharges and court fees
  • Second offense – $750 + surcharges and court fees
  • Third offense – $1,000 + surcharges and court fees

If the driver shows proof of insurance then the law allows the court to reduce or waive the fees, waive the driver’s license suspension, waive only the registration suspension, waive the license and registration suspension, impose a lower monetary penalty, or any combination of the aforementioned items.

Insurance companies in the state are said to be thrilled about the law because it may encourage more drivers to purchased insurance. Surprisingly, many drivers are happy as well because the tougher law may promote safer driving conditions.

Do you feel that tougher proof of insurance laws can encourage more drivers to obtain auto insurance and/or promote safer driving conditions?